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Old 2009-04-16, 21:41
Reason1O1's Avatar
Reason1O1 Reason1O1 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,096
Dockable Tool Window

Putting a little thought into the way in which the Tool Window works, I propose a few small enhancements.

I've never been a huge fan of the Tool Window to begin with. I love the idea of moving a lot of features and functions into palettes (or tabs) inside a window. But the problem is that now I have three windows I have to constantly be battling with, moving from one to the other. I'm continually using the F8 key to open/close the Tool Window. And when it's open, it obscures my sequencer (I have a small monitor and so would rather have my sequencer fully maximized). So here are my suggestions:

The "Devices" tab: How about doing away with this tab altogether, and instead creating a thin row of icons (a toolbar) that sits docked to the top or bottom of the Rack? One icon for each of the devices. Click it, and poof, there's your device. Much more immediate than the way it is now (and less scrolling to get to the required device).

The "Groove" tab: This should somehow be consolidated with the "Re-Groove" in a similar way. So these tools would only be visible on "Re-Groove" when that big "Re-Groove" button is clicked. More intuitive no?

And the "Tools" tab: I think this would be most usefully docked to the sequencer along either the right or left sides as independant palettes. If the user wants, they can undock these palettes and move them as separate windows. Or, they can leave them docked as tabs along the right or left side of the sequencer. All the user should see are a single strip of tabs rotated 90 degrees (think the way the mixer label strip looks when it is expanded in the rack). Then, when one of those tools is required, you click the tab name, and it magically expands from the edge of the screen.

Also, when it expands from the edge, the rest of the screen should move aside to make room for it. For example, in Internet Explorer 7.0, when you open up your history list, it opens on the left side of the screen, but becomes part of the screen. The main browser window shifts to incorporate it into the main window. Overlapping windows just cause more confusion. In this dream world that I've built, there should never be any overlap between the tools window and the sequencer. The sequencer should step aside to make way for each of the tools palettes. Then, when you're done with them, you can click the title bar of each palette, and it moves back into the tab strip.

I think these enhancements would make Reason much more elegant and easy to work with.

Working with the Rack and sequencer separated is also a bit of a pain if you only have one monitor (constant switching between windows), but it's the only way I can work with the sequencer at full screen size at the moment. Figuring out how to maximize the rack window would be the cherry on the cake of my day as well.

Don't take any of this to be product bashing. Reason 4 is still my favorite software, and is truly awesome. All of the above are just small little annoyances for me.