[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

problems with learning lilypond

From: John Sellers
Subject: problems with learning lilypond
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2008 00:54:39 -0800
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20080914)

I am in Silicon Valley. I've never met and talked to another lilypond user face to face. It is lonely out here.

I've used lilypond off and on for a few years AND HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO REALLY LEARN IT WELL!

There are five reasons

1) lack of context
2) lack of context
3) lack of context
4) lack of context
5) lack of context

I'm very tired of having a few hours to do something different, going to lilypond documentation and getting something like

"use such and such to do so and so".

fine so far. but how in God's Green Earth am I going to use something like:

\paper {    }

If I don't know what context it works and what context it does not work? If like an idiot I go into my LY file and insert paper and put my between-system-space or anything ELSE on the same page with a lot of other variables which control things. Why don't they ALL work WHENEVER I try to use them...the answer is of course LACK OF CONTEXT. For correct context, I have to put the \paper {} in the right part of the program. I have to tie the variables to whatever they are going to effect. Or do I? I haven't a clue. we go again....LACK OF CONTEXT.

Here is one way you can solve this problem.


YOU HAVE TO BE SYSTEMATIC!  Consider the following:

Every feature must be documented....right? So are we talking about a desert of documented sand pebbles in a jar or are there relationships between them? WOW! there are DEPENDENCIES --- A dependences are B depends on C --- oops, C depends on A ----NOT GOOD.

So what is one to do? Well, you could use a topological sort of all capability dependencies using generality as the sort discriminant. Find all the cycles and BREAK THEM. Organize things in this way so now you have a structure which has an entry point for the user for every feature. Look, dependency is just another way of say CONTEXT. If context goes in a circle then you end up defining A grumpet B and then defining B as anti-grumpet A, which is has no more meaning than being a tautology. In the best of all worlds, a user coming to the documentation WITH NO KNOWLEDGE OF LILYOND in wanting to do something like control vertical spacing, and if you linked back to more and more general contexts with clear examples and explanations in a systematic way, then at some point you would reach the context that includes the user's context, and there the user can make the connection of how to find the way to apply vertical spacing to his/her specific situation.

Here is a hint. You run lilypond executable and makes those connections, so the relationships already exist and are documented in an executable form. Here is another hint. The nature of MEANING is the one to one correspondence between two different systems. So we have a system to compile which we know to be complete, and we want a system to provide meaning to the user...could it be that we could parse the code to provide CONTEXT to the user? yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, YES---Each individual thing has meaning if we have CONTEXT of each thing. Each and every thing we wish to document is carried out and executed by the compiler.

As for additional documentation, such as you already have in abundance. If you had a truly complete general to specific dependency tree of all features, there you could ALWAYS link every reference to its proper place in the dependency tree. This would mean that someone reading your GDP would ALWAYS have a path back to context of the currently examined feature.

Now one really slick way to do this would be hyperlink ALL compilable code in the documentation, automatically generated through a link compiler that would establish a link to point to the right place in your dependency tree (e.g. right context) for learning about the particular feature. This linked structure is nothing more than a remediation tool which all users, new and experienced could use to quickly brush up on how to use any feature in lilypond. There IS a way to do this. Really! So why not? I guarantee that when all is said and done, it is a shorter path for the user AND to YOU to provide good communication than what you are doing now....because once done, it can be maintained in parallel with development since it reflects the structure of compiling and therefore development.

---end of tirade--

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]