BTW there is one key person who has not contributed to this discussion - and that is Koz.  Any changes made would impact him as he is a key contributor to the Forum.
I suspect that he does not subscribe to the Quality list - it's unlikely that he would have no opinion one way or another.
What would be the best way to solicit his opinion/vote (without him having to wade through the whole thread of emails)?
Peter Sampson
Tel: +44 (0)1625 524 780
Mob: +44 (0)7732 278 299

From: Peter Sampson <>
To: Gale Andrews <>; audacity-quality <>
Sent: Thu, October 28, 2010 12:05:01 PM
Subject: Re: [Audacity-quality] Track Controls - was: Visibility of sync-lock mini-clock icon in Track Panel

Vaughan wrote:

>Let's take a vote on current options:
>A) "Track Panel" -> "Track Controls"
>B) "Track Panel" -> "Track Controls Panel"
>C) No change. Means Mixer Board description and others will have to be
>hacked to be incorrect. Means "deselect all" is undocumented. Etc.
>I vote for B. Feel free to add another option to the vote.


I’m still with Vaughan on this one.  My vote is for B  -  (with 0 for A – and –1 for c )


I seem to recall that earlier in this thread Steve also voted for B, before Vaughan proposed the vote – I do quite like Steve’s “Track Control Box” too though.




1)  I don’t mind typing an extra word on the forum occasionally or in the manual – if that means that we can avoid any future misunderstandings between QA and Devs over the conflicting use of “Track Panel” and TrackPanel”


As Vaughan wrote:

>… The point I made about that is for
>discussions between developers and QA, where if "Track Panel" stands, it
>will have two different meanings and we'll have to explain which one we
>mean whenever we discuss them.


Bill wrote:

>Which is not a good enough reason, on its own, to change it, if it is 
>currently working well for users.

But Vaughan’s exposition above makes a strong case for change I believe.




2) Vaughan wrote:

>But the point is that "Controls" is the relevant thing about that
>TrackInfo panel, and "Tracks" the relevant contained type of item in

I agree with Vaughan here (and feel strongly about it).  It’s not just the sliders, there are also the Mute and Solo buttons which are controls – and I regard the drop-down menu as a control too.


Incidentally my wife (who has no vote in this as she is not even an Audacity user – but she is a s/w developer and works on GUIs) when asked what does that thingy look said “Oh, it looks like a controls panel that manages the track”)



3) Bill wrote:

>"Track Controls Panel" just sounds awkward to me. No-one talks about a 
>"controls panel".


Sorry Bill, oh yes they do: a quick Google reveals the Adobe and Chirp (Midi) both use “Track Controls Panel”.  And Googling “Controls Panel” yields a shed-load of results (220,000!).



Best regards, 


Peter Sampson
Tel: +44 (0)1625 524 780
Mob: +44 (0)7732 278 299

From: Gale Andrews <>
To: audacity-quality <>
Sent: Wed, October 27, 2010 5:03:51 PM
Subject: Re: [Audacity-quality] Track Controls - was: Visibility of sync-lock mini-clock icon in Track Panel

| From Vaughan Johnson <>
| Tue, 26 Oct 2010 13:17:31 -0700
| Subject: [Audacity-quality] Track Controls - was: Visibility    of    sync-lock mini-clock icon in Track Panel
> On 10/26/2010 10:49 AM, Gale Andrews wrote:
> >
> > Gale wrote:
> >> If the consensus is to change "Track Panel", I just hope I or someone can
> >> dream up some other alternative.
> > 
> > I had the possible idea of "Track Stub". I don't especially like it, though
> > it might indicate something about its end-position.
> -1. It's a pejorative in general usage -- something incomplete or
> unfinished. It has *no* prior usage as a GUI term, so is non-standard.
> (It does have a computer usage as an incomplete function/method that's a
> placeholder for incomplete functionality.) Position is not the salient
> point about TrackInfo, it's that it contains controls.

Yes, I found that computer usage too, so I'm glad you're -1.  And I have
no more "ideas" yet.

> > If we must change "Track Panel", perhaps we should use some other term
> > than "Panel" to make clearer still the distinction with the TrackPanel class?
> > The two uses of "Panel" and not exactly similar are they?
> Of "Panel" as a concept by itself, yes. But adding "Controls" makes the
> distinction clear.

I think "Track Controls Panel" (apart from being a mouthful) possibly *is*
an improvement for a small minority of knowledgable users. Against that,
as Bill says, TrackPanel doesn't wholly contain controls (in the developer
sense). And as most users understand "control", the only controls it has
are the sliders. Calling it "Track Controls Panel" IMHO creates a day-to-day 
problem with user support that QA can do without.

Also, I note other developers have helped with the Manual, especially on
"Audacity for the Impatient":

so presumably accept the usage of "Track Panel" in the Manual?

Plus, the current Manual usage of "Track Panel" is already in the old 1.2
Manual, and I'm sure a developer (Dominic?) wrote that. See "Click on an
empty part of the track panel(left of the wave display with the mute and
solo buttons)" on:

As far as I can tell, Dominic started the 1.3 Manual, and it has never had
any other term for TrackInfo than "Track Panel". 

> Oh, and per my vote suggestion, I think "Project Window" should be
> "Tracks Panel" (and means TrackPanel).

I think "Project Window" in the Manual usually implies the whole window,
so any such change would need thinking about.

Generally, I'm not sure making a user-facing Manual match with Class
descriptions is all that helpful; "panel" in the sense of "TrackPanel" IMO
isn't much like general usage of "panel". If the Manual is to match, we
would *have* to use "TrackPanel" (no space) in the Manual to mean the
TrackPanel class. Not to do so is equally confusing. 

> > Is there any word in software engineering that describes a "thing" placed
> > in a panel, or a "thing" attached to a GUI element in a panel?
> Heh, usually they're "controls"! But that covers display elements,
> whether they "control" anything else, e.g., a static text is a "control"
> in the GUI software terminology sense.

So the "thing" that the multiple controls are on has no description?
I think that's a minefield for users to grasp.

If we were Ardour, I would wholeheartedly go along with you, Vaughan.
But we're not. Many of the first-time computer users who turn up in my
inbox every day wanting help would find the current (excellent) Manual
and even using the Forum a significant challenge. That doesn't mean we
should dumb the Manual down, but its main audience has I think to be
the final consideration.


> > 
> > Bill, are you moving to Vaughan's viewpoint, or do you feel "Track Panel"
> > is a historical accident like TrackInfo that's best left as is, given it largely
> > works for the intended audience?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Gale 

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