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RE: Whatis on the fly

From: Paul Harouff
Subject: RE: Whatis on the fly
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2007 11:31:26 -0500

Francois, you're close.

In hunting terminology, "on the fly" means catching/killing a bird in the
air vs. catching/killing a bird on the ground. In fishing terminology,
catching a fish "on the fly" means using a fly bait which requires
continuous activity and rhythm with the rod and reel. In this context, the
English idiom has taken on the meaning of being quick, agile, or lucky.

In aeronautical terminology, "on the fly" means making repairs or
modifications while flying the airplane vs. waiting to make repairs or
modifications after landing. The idiom has been applied to other engineering
situations to mean making repairs or modifications to equipment while the
system is running vs. shutting down the system to remove and replace the
equipment for depot maintenance. In this context, the English idiom has
taken on the meaning of being flexible, adaptive, or ingenius.

Therefore, from the second context above, in computer terminology, "on the
fly" has taken the meaning of dynamically changing software activities or
values while the program is running vs. statically predefining activities
and values so they can't be changed without stopping the program. An example
is using a cookie file to modify the behavior of a web page "on the fly"
based on the user's input.

So, I don't think that the LilyPond *program* does anything "on the fly",
since you can't change the *.ly file while the compiler is running. But I
guess it's possible for a developer of one LilyPond engraver to say his
engraver (e.g., beams) makes changes "on the fly" based on the output of
other engravers (e.g., notes).

That being said, English idioms are continuously evolving and taking new
meanings. So, it's possible that some programmers have adopted the practice
of using "on the fly" to mean the ability to change a program setting
several times within a file as needed. But this doesn't make sense to me.


-----Original Message-----
From: address@hidden
[mailto:address@hidden On Behalf Of
Valentin Villenave
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 5:33 AM
To: Francois Planiol-Auger
Cc: address@hidden
Subject: Re: Whatis on the fly

2007/8/1, Francois Planiol-Auger <address@hidden>:

> Yes I know, its a newby question. And I found nothing really helpful that
> defines it in relation with lilypond.
> Can somebody explain?

If I understood correctly (English is not my native language),
something you can change "on the fly" is something that you don't need
to change at the beginning of your score, once and for all; therefore
it allows you to change properties several times during your music
(for instance, the key signature can be changed "on the fly": you
don't have to define a single key signature at the beginning, and then
be stuck with it for the whole piece -- instead you can change it as
many times as you want).

Does it help?


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