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Constructive Criticism and a Question

From: Jonathan Henkelman
Subject: Constructive Criticism and a Question
Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2006 15:41:46 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Loom/3.14 (

First, since this post contains constructive criticism I want to start by 
saying that I think Lilypond is a pretty nice piece of software.  A bit steep 
on the learning curve maybe, but excellent all the same.

In terms of making it easier, I don't know if it would be straight forward or 
not, but if the PDF version of the manual had chapter numbers in the table on 
contents that showed on the bookmark pane (to the left) it would make it much 
easier to bounce around and find one's way back again.

Is there a copy of the so called "programmers documentation" in a suitable 
format to download i.e. PDF (I know it would be long) or a few large HTML 
files, or an archive (tarball - whatever) of the current HTML documentation.  
I was hoping to do a bit more work on this over the break, but will have very 
limited web access... 

Another comment: to reiterate a post by Joe Ferguson (2005-02-03).  I am an ex-
programmer and an amateur musician.  Some type of doc. that oulined the 
lexical construction of Lilypond would be helpful.  I am not used to the level 
on confusion I am experiencing now, when learning a "language".  I am not even 
sure the manual is totally consistent on this point, e.g. (pg 209) [I have 
reformated it so it easier to read here]:

### Begin Quote ###

The third command for creating contexts is: \context type music

This is similar to \context with = id, but matches any context of type type, 
regardless of its given name.

This variant is used with music expressions that can be interpreted at several 
levels. For example, the \applyOutput command (see Section 12.5.2 [Running a 
function on all layout objects], page 264). Without an explicit \context, it 
is usually applied to Voice: 

\applyOutput #'context #function % apply to Voice

To have it interpreted at the Score or Staff level use these forms
\context \applyOutput #'Score #function
\context \applyOutput #'Staff #function

### End Quote ###

To me the first line implies I should expect a "\context" followed by a type 
then some music.  The final examples indicate a "\context" followed by a (?) 
command then a context then a function, with music to follow? I assume I am 
not fully understanding the context word, or the apply Output word, but it 
isn't immediately clear to me.

Finally, is the web interface for posting to this archive the most straight 
forward method?  I tried posting this yesterday, but it got lost in the 
ether.  Is there perhaps an email address I can send the post to, where it 
will get sent back for validation etc.

Thanks much all for both the software and this archive.  It makes it much 
easier to climb a learning curve when people leave ladders lying around...

henkelstone <at>

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