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From: Mats Bengtsson
Subject: Re: GUI
Date: Sat, 19 Dec 2009 21:47:21 +0100
User-agent: Internet Messaging Program (IMP) H3 (4.0.5)

A couple of detailed comments on the Learning Manual:

- At, I find the formulation in "Read it": "read this manual in the same format as this one." very confusing. Honestly, I don't understand what you mean. If you mean that the link is HTML format just as the current page is, then there's certainly no need to write it out, since that's what everybody will expect. Why not simply remove this comment that brings much more confusion than information.

- In 1.1.1 Entering Input, the title above the links to the OS specific information is "Viewing output" which is inaccurate. These pages contain information on all the production steps, from starting the simple editor to vieweing the output. After having read the preceding text in 1.1.1, my reaction as a newbie would be that I first wanted to know where and how to input the text and process it, not only how to view the output. How about replacing "Vieweing output" with something like "Practical details for your operating system" or "Getting started".

- In the first sentence of 1.1.1, why not mention the PDF format: "... to produce a PDF file which can be printed ..."?


Quoting Mats Bengtsson <address@hidden>:

Graham Percival wrote:
A couple of comments on the text at

You never mention that you need a text editor.

Well, the windows and OSX lilyponds come with their own text
editor.  I admit that I'm just assuming that linux users will be
able to draw the inference that they need a text editor, which is
no longer a safe assumption.

Looking at the download page for Windows, I notice that you say "If you are happy with the GUI", but don't say anything else about how to find this GUI. Perhaps the installation instructions should end with a link to the Learning manual 1.1.3. Actually, the current installation instructions are almost over-emphasized on the current web page. These steps are the same as for almost any other Windows application so I'm not convinced we need to comment on them. It's much more important to focus on the things that are not common to a Windows user, namely how to use the program. Once you add command line instructions, the focus of the web page will be even less on the important stuff.

Answering your earlier question "Pretend that you've never heard of lilypond. Does the webpage answer the questions, or present the information, that you wanted to know before you got involved?", I would say: definitely no!

Think of a Windows user who wants to try LilyPond. She will click on Download, quickly locate the Windows logo and click on that and probably miss the "Note: ..." at the top of this intermediate page. Then, she directly finds the link to the installer since it's nicely located at the top of the column, perhaps takes a quick look at the rest of the text while the download is going on, just enough to see that it looks exactly like all other installation instructions and then runs the installer. Now is the moment that she might end up as a "where's the application" question mark and there's no information at all on the download page that's open in the browser. What's the next logical step? Try to click on "Introduction". Again, no information on how to run the program, unless you happen to look below the title "Why *not* to use LilyPond?" where you have to click on "Text input" -> "Learning" -> "Learning manual" -> "Tutorial" -> Compiling a file" (what is "compiling"?) -> ...
Seriously, how can you expect anybody to find this crucial information?

At the Windows download page, I would propose to remove all the current information, except the link to the installer, and replace it by the nice introduction with screen-shots. At the bottom of the page, you can add links to a separate page with the current detailed installation instructions and command line instructions.

Similar comments apply also to the Mac page.

I have not followed all emails of this thread, so I apologize if all this has already been said earlier.


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