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Re: Newbie Question -- verse and chorus

From: Anthony W. Youngman
Subject: Re: Newbie Question -- verse and chorus
Date: Mon, 11 May 2009 16:03:51 +0100
User-agent: Turnpike/6.05-U (<U1f6TVj8PTSuG3mvbWX+2+anuD>)

In message <address@hidden>, Tim Rowe <address@hidden> writes
2009/5/11 Graham Percival <address@hidden>:

RTF Learning Manual.  It's written specifically for this purpose.
- Graham

Really I find this attitude very aggressive, hostile and unwelcoming,
and quite unlike all of the other email groups for software that I

Graham's quite cuddly when you get to know him - like a hedgehog you just have to be very careful how you cuddle him :-)

In the case of every question I have asked, I have not only scoured
the manuals -- not just the learning manual -- but also searched the
snippets repository and the web in general for anything that might
give me a clue. Each question has only been asked after *hours* of
searching. In the case of every question I have asked, somebody has
just told me to "read the manuals" as if I were some sort of idiot. I
have to say that I find the manuals very poor -- they assume a lot of
prior knowledge, and they are poorly indexed, but this is usual for
free software -- documentation almost always lags behind, but usually
it's compensated by a friendly user community.

Actually, the manuals are pretty good. And we have Graham to thank for that.

The problem is that lilypond is NOT a user-friendly program. It's a highly sophisticated typesetting program and, as you say, assumes a LOT of background knowledge in order to be able to use it well.

It's easy to use in a basic sense. As soon as you try and do anything complicated (as I'm trying to do) you hit a *steep* learning curve.

But that's the nature of the beast. Any tool that sets out to do a specialist job well *will*, by the very *nature* of the thing, be a tool that requires a specialist user.

I'm very disappointed in the attitude of some members of this group,
who seem to want Lilypond to be a private club and don't want the
inconvenience of new members. Your hostility and unhelpfulness makes
me strongly tempted to go back to Finale, but fortunately /some/
members of the mailing list have a much more welcoming and helpful

If this is not an appropriate place to ask elementary questions that I
can't find addressed in the manuals or on the web (even if the answers
are buried in there somewhere) then please tell me where I /can/ ask
those questions. Otherwise your attitude is simply going to drive
people away. Maybe that's what you want.

This is the place to ask :-( Just give Graham as good as you get :-)

The difficulty is that steep learning curve. Any decent lilypond piece of music is a *program*, written in a *schizophrenic* *mix* of lilypond and Scheme (which is a dialect of Guile, which is a dialect of Lisp, which is something many people, including programmers nowadays, have never met).

Some people seem to find that transition from simple to decent easy - I've seen it happen to people on the list. Others find it hard. I'm finding it hard. I really need someone to hold my hand while I get started, and that doesn't happen on this list. People are helpful though - on several occasions people have offered to write stuff I want (sometimes for a fee :-). But I don't want it written for me, I want to write it myself in order to learn, and that's where this list does fall apart a bit :-(

Anthony W. Youngman - address@hidden

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