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Introducing the LIlypond Snippet Repository

From: Sebastiano Vigna
Subject: Introducing the LIlypond Snippet Repository
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2005 04:41:16 +0100

*** The Lilypond Snippet Repository ***

I would like to invite the user community of Lilypond (and developers,
if they think it's useful) to join a project: to build a consistent
searchable set of Lilypond snippets that solve common problems.

In the last weeks I've realised that Lilypond has all the features of a
programming language, and yet at the same time many of its users are not
programmers. The idea of snippets in the manual is fantastic, but my
problem is always location: unless I read the chapter on rehearsal marks
(that I don't need) I won't ever be able to position a \fermata on a bar

The other problem with snippets is that you cannot put thousands of them
in a manual, or it becomes unreadable.

What sets apart Lilypond snippets from standard forms of programming is
that when we search  for a snippet, we are really searching for music (a
score). Finding code on the web is very difficult--it takes time to
realise something you see in an old posting is what you want.

So, in essence, my proposal is: we (everybody) should try to contribute
snippets that do useful things in a centralised searcheable repository.
When I want to position a fermata on a bar line, I should be able to
just put "fermata bar line" in the search engine and get a *list of
score snippets* (I mean--graphics), which I can easily scan for what I'm
searching for.

My first tentative is here:


Of course, now it's ridiculous: it's 10 snippets 8^). But I can assure
you that putting together everything was not completely trivial. It's
just a first start, so don't expect everything to be perfect, but it

The engine uses state-of-the-art multi-index text ranking techniques
(that's one of my research topics). Snippets are compiled in the night
and stored in binary form in a database.

Anybody wanting an account, just send an e-mail.

Everything is minimal; I'm very open to suggestions. 

I really hope that you people like it: if the thing catches on, and
everybody puts in a  snippet every time he/she discover something
useful, we will soon have an organised body of knowledge that should
significantly make developers and users lives easier.

Obvious evolutions: a downloadable local version for working with
Lilypond when you have no connection; a printed, automaticaly
categorised version of the repository.

Let me know what you think!



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