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Re: minimal examples

From: Hans Aberg
Subject: Re: minimal examples
Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2007 12:01:15 +0100

On 7 Dec 2007, at 23:58, Graham Percival wrote:

There is nobody who knows more about the internals than me who has the time to help out.

Perhaps you should, that is, having connections set up it makes it to consult at need.

And I only spend about two hours a week on the bugs. There is a *critical* shortage of volunteers -- be they developers, documenters, website maintainers, whatever -- in lilypond.

Perhaps the current setup discourages people joining in. You may need to engage folks in little things you think you can do yourself, and then train them to do bigger things. And if somebody wants to join in, they should know how to do it.

The "bugs" website is intended to do that. I apologize again for not sending you that link.

Im not sure what you mean here - I have followed the bugs for some time, and I know about the bug reporting conditions list.

It would not have helped in the case at hand, since you said you did not know what \pitchedTrill, and in fact, I had only used in two occurrences, in the same code, in a similar position, and the bug showed up in both case. In addition, this was just an experiment: I would probably prefer the accidental written out above the "tr", as this is typically done otherwise. So my immediate guess was that you perhaps had broken in an upgrade. Further reduction would need experience in how the graphical components might be linked, which you turned out to have.

If you have any suggestions for improving those suggestions, please tell me. You already suggested removing the \paper{ ragged- right=##t} line; as Mats replied, this line is easy to copy&paste, and if somebody forgets it I add it myself anyway.

The tendency is that this is not included when people are discussing code informally in the lists, so I suspect you might get it excluded pretty often - human habit thing.

As for the real hints, I honestly think that "remove anything unnecessary" is the best I can do. I could easily write a 1000- word essay about how to remove unnecessary items in bug reports... but nobody would read it.

It requires human experience, and gaining that mst likely requires social interaction. I think you need more people getting engaged in this.

I estimate that by now I've spent three hours working on that measly webpage, trying to find the perfect balance between brevity and wit... err, I mean "compactness and explanations". Still, it's possible that adding one more bullet point might clarify something; I'm not perfect.

Webpages only have limited influences, as it may be hard to know what it means in specific cases.

Once somebody fails to produce a minimal example for the second time, I will general create one myself, precisely as I did in this case. But I definitely want people to read the webpage and attempt to make a minimal example on their own first.

I think you should have gotten back to me, when I remarked that it was perhaps the first g, saying: "Aha, so then perhaps this is not necessary. Do you ming trying again?" Even if you are sure you can do it, you engage others learning how to do it. With more interaction of the bug list, others may help out with the reductions.

It was great when Graham said that "this or that might not be needed, please try reduce it a bit further". If you work on a bit more interaction, then you should be able to get people to help out more.

... and I go back to spending 20 hours a week on lilypond, instead of _trying_ to spend only 10 hours on lilypond.

For reference, my paid Teaching Assistant work -- which my academic advisor keeps on complaining about, since it means that I'm not working on my Masters thesis -- is 12 hours a week. And I actually get money from that non-academic-career-furthering work. Do you have any idea how many conference paper I could publish if I spent 20 hours a week working on them? I might even be able to get some grants or scholarships!

Again, I apologize for not sending you the link. But I will not spend any more time and energy on lilypond than I am already. If that means that the bugs suffer, so be it. I'm doing more than enough already.

The problem might be that you try so hard to do it all yourself, that you as a result of that hard effort do not get others to help out. It is a long term problem. I cannot say if what I suggest will actually improve the current difficult situation in the long term - it is just an input.

  Hans Ã…berg

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