History + Zoom level

Hi :slight_smile:

I’m just digging my teeth into Ardour 4.1 by doing a real world project with it. It feels amazingly fast and responsive :slight_smile:

One question: is there a possibility to prevent Ardour from changing zoom level when undoing things ? It seems Ardour saves zoom levels in it’s undo history and restores these when undoing things.

When trimming and moving regions I always have a visual picture in my mind of where things are, like region borders I wan’t to move next. When undo changes zoom level, everything I had in my view might disappear and I need to find the things again.

Maybe this is just a configuration option somewhere :slight_smile:

Just one more thing. Everything is fine with restoring zoom level if you only undo the last thing you did. But if do say 5 edits in 5 minutes, then zoom out to see if everything is alright and get ready for the next edit. Now if you notice some regions you tried to move were left were they were and you need to undo 4 last changes, then you get visually lost, because the display jumps around with every undo.

I tried to do something to turn it off just to see if it’s even possible - seems it’s not; considering your point of view all I can suggest is quite obvious: pay attention to the ‘summary view’ and/or save your ‘favourite’ views and go back to them when needed. I like that feature because the change of view sometimes can remind you of something you really don’t want to undo… imho.

When your mouse is over any region, Ctrl+scroll will help you to quickly zoom in/out.
Maybe this will help?

Thanks for the suggestions :slight_smile:

I realize there are many other use cases than mine (recording music), but I wonder in which use cases is this behavior helpful. Does it solve a certain problem ?

The coder has put some effort in storing the zoom levels in the history, so I guess there is some benefits to it.

My main gripe with the feature is that the big movement (big change in zoom level) masks the small movement (what was actually undone: for example a region border movement). When you undo an edit, you can not see it being undone, because the big jump in the zoom level prevents you from seeing it. I would prefer to being able to zoom out to see a bigger picture, and then when undoing things I could really see the region borders / regions jumping back where they were. The current behavior makes me lose position in the session and I really don’t know what was undone because I cannot see it being undone.

My use case is for recording music one instrument at a time and the normal workflow goes like this:

  • Record guitar for the main verse
  • Record guitar for the chorus (this recording usually overlaps the end of the first recording)
  • Zoom in at the border of the recordings and move region borders so that new recording starts at a desired location. The exact spot where this happens changes every time, since it depends what was played and how it was played.
  • Zoom out and record more instruments
  • Zoom in to adjust the borders of the recordings.
  • Repeat until finished

Now if I undo the last thing, I can remember what I did and where and it doesn’t matter if the zoomlevel jumps. But if I undo more things, I cannot really remember ever change I made and I lose my place in the session. Furthermore I’m afraid to use undo for more than 1 times in a row, since I can’t be certain what really will be undone.

The fact that undo history with zoom levels is saved with the session makes matters even more complicated. You can undo things you saved with the session 6 month ago. I for sure can not remember what changes I did only yesterday because there may have been hundreds of them.

I humbly ask for the developers to reconsider either removing zoom levels from undo history or giving user the possibility to choose themselves. And it goes without saying I appreciate your hard work you do for all of us :slight_smile:

I’ve noticed the same issue, with a much simpler work-flow than mhartzel’s. (I typically work on live recordings.) When this happens, it can be quite surprising - I have to relocate/re-zoom to the part of the project I was working on, which can be kind of disruptive. I was thinking of opening a bug report about it, but hadn’t spent enough time exploring the behavior to document it sufficiently. And as mhartzel has said, there seems to be some “good stuff” intended there with remembering zoom levels, which I wasn’t sure I fully appreciated.

You’ve convinced me. If maybe this feature was enabled/disabled at will, this would do the thing. I’m not sure weather it’s allright to report it as a bug - well, the idea works just fine.

Maybe I can suggest to move the thread here, dear Admins? :slight_smile:
Ideas for Ardour - https://community.ardour.org/forum/18

It came to my mind just now: Is this a lot of work to create some kind of undo list, just like you can work with in GIMP? If there’s one already, I’m sorry - I don’t have an access to Ardour at this moment and can’t check it, but there’s none AFAICT.

There are no plans for an explicit, visual undo list. The very first versions of Ardour had this, and it was removed because it actually doesn’t help the vast majority of users, confuses many who try to use it. Jumping back to arbitrary points in time is fine … the problem is that this then creates a very deep question about what happens when you edit after that. Snapshots are the right way to store specific important “versions” of things, not timepoints in an undo list (which may or may not be very long anyway).

I think snapshots are the right way to make “backups” of a sessions editing history. I routinely create “snapshots” while working with Pro Tools and it has saved my bacon many times when the session got corrupted because of a flaky hard disk or Pro Tools crashing. In case of corruption you lose only the work done after the last working snapshot.

I save snapshots:

  • Always when I open a session to continue editing
  • Every time I make a big change that could mess up the session.

This leaves points in the editing history where I can always return to if needed. And the extra session files are very small. A good way to keep snapshot filenames sane is to use the same prefix for the filename and add a number after it (for example: version-01, version-02, version-03, etc). Then the newest version is always the one with the biggest number.

Just one more thing about history + zoom levels.

When you think about the feature and how it now works, I think it boils down to:

  • Assume that the zoom level the user has selected for himself when pressing ctrl + z is always wrong. Help the user by restoring the zoom level that was active when the edit was done.

I think the opposite is true: the zoom level that the user has selected for himself is always the one he really needs / wants :slight_smile:

It depends a great deal on the edit that was done. There are a class of operations for which remaining at a high zoom level when the edit was performed at a low zoom level will be very confusing. There are another class for which it doesn’t really matter. So the core question is: which of these two classes is larger and/or contains the most commonly performed operations?

Sorry for being such a bitch in this case, but I will be silent after this post :slight_smile:

I’d like to know what are these use cases where the current behavior is beneficial ? I can’t think of any, so please help me here :slight_smile:

I think there are quite big disadvantages in the current model, so the benefits should outweigh those.

What about other Ardour users, are there cases where you find the current behavior helpful ? Please chime in :slight_smile:

For me this is only a minor problem in a otherwise great program :slight_smile:

I’ve found the restoring of zoom with undo to be just slightly annoying, too. I didn’t complain about it before; I wanted to have a chance to get used to it and see if there were advantages to it, but on balance I think it’s not quite as good for me.

In particular, I quite often make “experimental” edits, which I’m likely to want to discard if they don’t sound right. I’ll usually zoom in before making the edit, but if I then zoom out, or scroll around in the session, before deciding to undo, I don’t necessarily want to be zoomed back to the place I made the (now discarded) edit - either I’m going to leave it as it was, or I’m going to try something different.

It’s not a big deal, and sometimes I do want to go back to an edit I’m tweaking, though, so I’m prepared to be persuaded that the current behaviour is better in general.

I join the choir of “The Dislikers Of Jumping Zoom”. Whenever I undo a “split track” I feel I get beamed to a place I can’t remember. And I have to re-orient myself.

Same here, I found this feature slightly irritating, even if I can imagine the reason it exists.
I think it would be nice to have a preference setting that allows us to choose if we want to use this feature or not. Or, better, a button in the toolbar to toggle it on/off ?