"Spatium" vs. "Space"

• Oct 16, 2014 - 14:00

Layout → Page Settings calls it "Space"
Inspector for Images calls it "Spatium" (as does the disabled dialog for OMR and one translator hint)

I think "Space" is the term to use in English (but Spatium in German).

So I've made this part of PR #1385

Or call it "staff space", like SMuFL (or "stave-space", like Gould)?

On IRC I've been asked to poll for opinions here...


I've never encountered the word spatium, and I doubt most English speakers have either. Your reference to SMuFL makes me think that it is a term of art - possibly borrowed from medical vocabulary, where its very limited usage seems most prevalent.

In reply to by [DELETED] 448831

As an another native English speaker, I concur that "spatium" meant nothing to me the first time I saw it in MuseScore. However, I would also say that the word "space" - while entirely accurate to describe the distance betwene two adjacent staff lines - is far too broad. It means too many other things for the "Space" setting in Layout / Page Settings to be very intuitive. It seems obvious once you are told that is what it means, but for whatever reason, I think most English speakers upon seeing a setting "space" in a layout dialog assume it has to do with distance betwene staves or page margins or something else. Which is to say, I don't know that any one single term is going to eliminate questions - we will have continue to hope people use the tooltips or other documentation.

What _exactly_ does the 'space' value represent? Is it the measured distance between staff lines?

While Spatium seems like an reasonable description of how it's being used, once you go and read various definitions, it's also obscure on this side of the pond. However Space doesn't seem to have the right connotations either... maybe Spacing, Scaling.

Regardless, what this value is and how it's used needs to be described better in the handbook. In the local 1.3 handbook Spatium is only mentioned in one place.

Ok, I think we agree that a proper toolTip is needed, but what term to use?

  • spatium (like used in Layout → Page Settings)
  • space (like in the Inspctor for images and in the OMfR dialog)
  • staff space (like in SMuFL and used by Gould, meanwhile my favorite)
    All the above as 'sp' like it currently is, when used as a unit postfix in spinboxes
  • something entirely different, and if so what?

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I'm not sure exactly where we are talking about making changes. If it's just about what to call the field in Layout / Page Settings, I like "Staff Space" (currently it's just "Space") with a tooltip saying "Distance between staff lines" or something like that. And indeed, keep "sp" where used in spinboxes.

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