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Colin Nicholls

Young Lady's Illustrated Primer to Theming Cakewalk

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Image ID this time.

On p. 35, Track view / Folders / Open/Close Folder is listed as "TBD."

I've been using this one since the last revisions of Racing Green and EVA 01. It's a side-by-side +and - sign to indicate that's where you click to open or close a folder. I made the ones for my themes big bright green triangle arrows for greater legibility. Here is a purpletrated shot in "folder open" state:

image.png.010b581fb42a7372a26a7eec0cc217e6.png

For another reference, here's a shot of the same folder in the next revision of EVA 01. Notice also that my track header minimize button has been changed from the two tiny grey arrows to a single larger orange one:

image.png.232b7ec464e55e9388eb271b370ec984.png

Wherever I get the chance I simplify and enlarge arrows for better visibility. I think it gives Cakewalk a more solid appearance.

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2 minutes ago, Starship Krupa said:

Image ID this time.         On p. 35, Track view / Folders / Open/Close Folder is listed as "TBD."

Nice catch! 

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I've told people to click "in the space to the left of the folder name" to open and close them because the default buttons are so hard to see.

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5 hours ago, User 905133 said:

Nice catch! 

Just to be clear, they were labeled "TBD" not because I couldn't find them, but because I considered them obvious and put them on the back-burner 😁

I appreciate Starship's drive to experiment with alternate expand/contract icons but I'm not sure I'm totally on board with it 🙂

 

 

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5 hours ago, Colin Nicholls said:

Just to be clear, they were labeled "TBD" not because I couldn't find them, but because I considered them obvious

Something tells me that I may have the wrong idea about what "TBD" stands for ("to be determined" or "to be documented" is how I used to use it professionally), and that you've explained it to me and I've forgotten. Apologies if I made it seem as if I thought you had missed the obvious. I plead American; as far as the English language goes, we're like The Ramones vs. your King Crimson. I made the purpleated graphic in case you wanted to use it.

5 hours ago, Colin Nicholls said:

I appreciate Starship's drive to experiment with alternate expand/contract icons but I'm not sure I'm totally on board with it 🙂

Yeah, not everyone's gonna be down with such a thing, I know. Maybe I should have versions where it has the double arrows. I'm just having so much fun here. There is that danger that it starts not to match the documentation, but my hope is that anyone who is far enough along to know and be able to install a custom theme doesn't need it to have an exact resemblance.

Wait'll you get an eyeful of what I'm doing over in the Inspector/Arpeggiator.

I'd appreciate it if you could give me anything specific on why my flippy triangles might not work, as your themes and book are my biggest inspirations. I know you won't consider it a compliment, but I never would have gone for something as weird as EVA 01 if you hadn't done Steam Punk. That's when the idea clicked that a theme could be a "theme" rather than just utilitarian. It could be humorous or whimsical or evoke a feeling.

There is the issue that @Kevin Perry brought up in a different context, that things that catch the eye and aren't part of the clips pane itself may distract the eyes. There's also the issue, which I'm less concerned about, that the "I started using Cakewalk when you had to start it by flipping switches on the front panel of your computer" crew are resistant to change (especially for change's sake 😂). I can go the other way, I get stimulated creatively when I can switch the look around.

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3 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

I'd appreciate it if you could give me anything specific on why my flippy triangles might not work,

Thanks for the nice words. 

"TBD" in the YLIP document used to be defined in the introduction but I think I took it out after the second or third re-write 😵 For me, it means "To Be Done" and is just a marker for the bleeding obvious or something that I honestly haven't got to, yet. If I truly can't find something in the UI, I've usually marked that with red text.

Replacing the "+/-" for folder open/close is actually a nice idea - because "+/-" is used elsewhere for "add/remove" and I always strive for consistency and familiarity in UI.

Maybe if it looked more like the "> v" that Windows 10 File Explorer currently uses for folder trees? I'd try to make it visually different from the "Track Pane Collapse/Expand" icon. That's really all I was alluding to. In FLIGHT_DECK and MIL_SPEC ALPHA I have actually used "manila folder" icons and so making it more reminiscent of File Explorer is actually a good thing. For some reason, though, it never occurred to me to change the +/- (despite everything I've written above).

 

Edited by Colin Nicholls

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26 minutes ago, Colin Nicholls said:

Replacing the "+/-" for folder open/close is actually a nice idea - because "+/-" is used elsewhere for "add/remove" and I always strive for consistency and familiarity in UI.

Maybe if it looked more like the "> v" that Windows 10 File Explorer currently uses for folder trees?

That was my thinking as well. "+" means adding something, "-" means getting rid of it. As we've both remedied in our themes (I notice), having "x" be the button for deleting a take lane while it's a "-" for automation lanes....I really have to wonder about that.

I have plans to experiment with Mac-style "turny triangles" as I once heard them referred to by a new Mac user.

Where the convention is like Explorer, that pointing to the right ">" means "closed" and pointing down "v" means "open." Ableton use that in their browsers in Live! Cakewalk's convention says that arrows point in the direction of the resulting action. Up to fold things up, down to expand them downward, right to collapse or expand to the right, etc. It could get confusing.

I've even been thinking of places where the "hamburger" or half-a-hexagram or whatever icon might be used. I just don't like those darn tiny double arrows. A downward arrow for docking options? Ugh.

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On 6/20/2021 at 1:20 AM, Starship Krupa said:

There is the issue that @Kevin Perry brought up in a different context, that things that catch the eye and aren't part of the clips pane itself may distract the eyes. There's also the issue, which I'm less concerned about, that the "I started using Cakewalk when you had to start it by flipping switches on the front panel of your computer" crew are resistant to change (especially for change's sake 😂). I can go the other way, I get stimulated creatively when I can switch the look around.

I did???!?  I forget these things nowadays 🙂

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Yes, when I first unleashed Racing Green on my fellow Cakewalk users. You pointed out that the difference in colors between the area below the track headers and the area below the clips pane was "jarring." That got me to start thinking about where in the UI our eyes should want to rest, and what things should stand out so that we can spot them easily when we want them.

It's like a car's dashboard for driving at night, you want things to be bright and legible when you glance down to check speed and indicators, but you don't want it to pull the eye away from the road.

As you might imagine, with my next theme, which uses the colors from a giant anime robot, that theory got a real workout. My palette for EVA 01 is purple, orange, green, black and violet. My only variation from the color palette information that I found online was that I came up with a slightly brighter green to use to stand out from certain backgrounds.

I'm doing a deep rework of both EVA 01 and Racing Green right now. A lot of buttons and tabs have been altered. Selected clip backgrounds have gotten as dark as I could practically get them without losing visibility of that damn coal black clip fade line. When working on projects, I've always had trouble with distinguishing between the various clip states (selected, unselected, muted, unmuted, and combinations thereof). I'm trying to make that easier.

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Funnily enough, I overcompensated for this on my own "Tungsten-" theme (it's basically an overlay for Tungsten which tweaks clip and track name colours, so no need to constantly update when there's a new release - I alternate between it and Blue Aston with my clip colour overlay applied) - I made the scrollbar thumb too close in colour to the scrollbar background to the extent it was invisible and I couldn't find it to grab it 🙂

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@Colin Nicholls "About that Custom Medium Background" on p. 116... You said "This is almost certainly a bug" and it appears so.

I was hoping to experiment with the unexpected effect but it no longer works as you described. IOW, it looks like they fixed it at some point. 😢

Edited by sjoens

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Here's one that's listed as 'Not yet identified' in YLIP, Page 48- Track view / Track View Menu Bar Background. As far as I can tell, it just affects the corners at the top of the track pane.

Track View - Track View Menu Bar Background 1.png

Track View - Track View Menu Bar Background Zoomed.png

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2 hours ago, Matthew White said:

Here's one that's listed as 'Not yet identified' in YLIP, Page 48- Track view / Track View Menu Bar Background. As far as I can tell, it just affects the corners at the top of the track pane.

Found it! With the green I used (8AF912), I had to use Tungsten as a base to see it.  Works with Mercury, too, but was hard for me to see it. 

image.thumb.png.d6a748a0b1f6d6b06d66fae9d8eeb73d.png

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11 hours ago, sjoens said:

@Colin Nicholls "About that Custom Medium Background" on p. 116... You said "This is almost certainly a bug" and it appears so.

I was hoping to experiment with the unexpected effect but it no longer works as you described. IOW, it looks like they fixed it at some point. 😢

Um, for me in 2021.06.0.041 it still appears to be behaving as expected.  I use "Lock Module Order and Centered" all the time, and the control bar background color is definitely coming from the theme's medium custom background.

Are you sure about this?

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3 hours ago, Matthew White said:

Here's one that's listed as 'Not yet identified' in YLIP, Page 48- Track view / Track View Menu Bar Background. As far as I can tell, it just affects the corners at the top of the track pane.

Wow. Incredibly good catch. THREE INTERNET POINTS to Matthew.

I'll update the YLIP with this crucial information. 😄

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1 hour ago, Colin Nicholls said:

I'll update the YLIP with this crucial information. 😄

Thanks, I can sleep better now.  😆 Just found it today whilst working on my next theme and decided to have a hunt for the unknown areas, after 3 years and quite a few Themes you'd think I'd know them all by now but I don't, I think I found what it was for a while back but I must have just defaulted to knowing that it usually works best when left quite dark.

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5 minutes ago, Matthew White said:

Just found it today whilst working on my next theme

It's the first time I've needed to "zoom in" on an image when pasting it into the document. Usually it's shrink to fit.

I realize that my running at high PPI makes spotting things like this very difficult. 

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10 hours ago, Colin Nicholls said:

Um, for me in 2021.06.0.041 it still appears to be behaving as expected.  I use "Lock Module Order and Centered" all the time, and the control bar background color is definitely coming from the theme's medium custom background.

Are you sure about this?

... at the time I was. But trying it again it's now doing exactly what you describe. :S

Edited by sjoens

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