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Re: Roadmap to lily code

From: Han-Wen Nienhuys
Subject: Re: Roadmap to lily code
Date: Fri, 09 Dec 2005 23:32:28 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.7-1.1.fc4 (X11/20050929)

address@hidden wrote:

Is Scheme really preventing users from hacking LilyPond's internals?

I sure believe it does. Scheme is ok, but too remote to many people's
culture. My perception has always been that the first few hurdles

Scheme doesn't really help, but I doubt whether this is the real reason. For example, Darcs (a distributed Version control system) is written in Haskell, a language which is arguably just as or more obscure than Scheme. In its short life (approx. 2.5 years), it has attracted a number of contributors, to the point that 50 % of the code (IIRC) is now coming from the other people than the project leader.

I think that Scheme is the smallest problem in getting more LilyPond contributors.

Larger problems are:

 * a user base largely consisting of musicians (ie. non-hackers)

* music typesetting, which is as much of a esoteric niche problem as you can get.

* An architecture that only has started stabilizing only now (I'm finally satisfied with the architecture of the Grob engine now, I think)

I don't even try to suggest that Python (or Perl, or whatever...) is better in abstract or purely scientific terms. As a matter
of fact, I'm no big Python fan myself. However, evidence seems
to show that extensible systems based on Python, Lua, or Tcl are more

Examples? In most extensible "user" applications, there is a big barrier to extending the application, because the learning curve is steep, and knowledge of the user-interface of an app doesn't necessarily help with programming it.

Case in point: as a die-hard Emacs user, I still don't know how to write Elisp.

 Han-Wen Nienhuys - address@hidden -

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