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Re: Absolute Beginners

From: Manuel
Subject: Re: Absolute Beginners
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2006 19:02:18 +0100

Am 29/12/2006 um 02:17 schrieb John Mandereau:

( ... )

Although I agree that having one didactical introduction and one
reference work is a good idea, don't forget that even a reference
work must be somewhat didactical, since even the expert is learning.

No, a real reference is pure information (I mean information without any
didactical or pedagogical blurb), from which the expert extracts the
useful bits when needed. That's what a reference is for, at least this
is to me the right definition.

Well, yes, like a dictionary. You are right.

To insert parts of the beginners guide into the present tutorial
would cancel most of its didactical, "take-you-by-the-hand"
structure, which should hang together to be clear and useful, instead
of being cut and mixed with parts of another work, however good,
written at another time and with other concepts in mind. But yes, one
didactical help and a deeper going reference work should be enough in
general terms. I can't really say, but as a general idea, could the
present, official tutorial be merged with the present reference
document? I say this because the tutorial is already a rather
reference-oriented work. Indeed I thought that its last part was the
reference document itself.

I don't totally agree when you say the official tutorial is a reference
work, I'd rather say it intends to quickly show Lily notation features
with concrete applications (a lead sheet and an orchestral score with
parts). It's not perfect, but it explain well concepts like nested music
expressions. Maybe you call _reference_ this kind of explanation? This
is certainly not. These explanations are maybe mathematically- or
programmingly-minded (that's not surprising because the ly format is a
kind of language) so it may take some people time to assimilate.
I guess you wouldn't explain Lily concepts this way; is this why you say
the "Absolute beginners" tutorial couldn't replace the official one?

I'm not entirely clear on this point. Maybe one day the "Absolute Beginners" could replace the present tutorial, but it is still a work in progress at its beginnings and certainly, it would not try to include "everything" the program does - the reader would have become a non beginner during his reading, so to speak. Also, I don't know how the documentation is organised. Truly, I take a somewhat "naive" approach to this: I wanted to do something nice for people, and once a part is produced, I offer it to the public. If it happens to be useful, I go further like now with a second chapter I'm working away with. We could conceivably wait and see where does this take us in the end.

If this and other issues like style (your work shows much more detailed
intructions) really matter, there could be two tutorials in Lily docs,
with two different styles; but their contents shouldn't overlap each
other, so that new users can read one tutorial, then the other without
wasting their time.

Of course. See below.

So yes, I would like to go on working on this. I would need some help
though, when I cannot figure something for myself, like it happened
with the Da Capo thing. Of course I'll look it up in the manual first.

You will certainly get help on the list. Chapter one is already great
work, good luck for the next ones!

I'm glad you like it. Thank you.

My offer to integrate your work into the official tutorial was
premature, as it is not clear now how to integrate it (or add it) into
the official docs, that's why I second Joe and Graham's suggestion: the
ideal current hosting of your work is certainly a wiki, for example If you need help for adding your work
there, just ask me ;-)

Yes, I have a problem with this, that I still don't know it or understand the wiki at all, so I wouldn't know what I'm talking about. I beg to have time to "have a look at it" but taking into consideration that I am short of time - aren't we all... - and so I have set myself the task of writing the Absolute Beginners' guide in the first place, or second actually, since I am preparing a didactical work of a certain size. This, of course, on top of other things. Let me concentrate in the writing, maybe when Daniel goes ahead with his posting of the Spanish version I'll learn a thing or two.

Alternatively, it could be posted with the documentation as "Absolute Beginners' Guide" in difference to the "General Tutorial" and see what happens.


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