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Re: Odd output

From: Carl Sorensen
Subject: Re: Odd output
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2010 21:16:50 -0700

On 12/10/10 8:27 PM, "Marco Correia" <address@hidden> wrote:

> Hi,
> I didn't want to sound rude or anything. I just want to make a point that I do
> not consider this as a minor improvement since:
> 1. The output is not aestetically wrong, it is definitely readable differently
> from what is specified in the lilypond source.
> 2. I think you should not assume the user will write a musically (logicaly)
> consistent piece in order to display the notes correctly.
> 3. It can happen in a real world exercise, for example when displaying music
> which is obtained by a computer program.

It's not rude for you to question our issue classification.  Let me explain
it to you.

We have lots of issues, and few developers.  So the issues that are worked
on come in two kinds: critical issues and developers' favorite issues.

The issue classification scheme is described in the LilyPond Contributor's


Critical issues are those that used to work in lilypond but don't now, or
those that cause lilypond to crash.

> I don't know anything about the lilypond internals. I'm just a 1 week newbie,
> who just stumbled across this problem on one of the first attempts at
> lilypond.
> Lilypond is written in Scheme, is that right?

LilyPond is written in a mix of C++ and Scheme.

> For someone who doesn't know
> this language, but has a strong background on computer science in general,
> would you think that he could hack into the lilypond algorithm for displaying
> the accidentals and make something better out of it?

If you have a strong background in computer science, you can definitely
contribute to LilyPond, whether or not you know Scheme.  Scheme is not that
hard to learn, and there are good references for it.

> Is there any
> documentation on the subject available?

The documentation on hacking into LilyPond is available in the Contributor's
Guide.  It's not complete, but it's the best we've got.

> I think the idea behind lilypond is great, and from the examples I've seen it
> looks like it works very well for most cases. I'm willing to try to help to
> correct this issue, with your help, if you think that it is feasible.

We'll be glad to offer help.  Accidentals are created by the
Accidental_engraver, which is written in C++.  You can read a top-level
description of the Accidental_engraver in the Internals Reference.  You can
find the source code in lily/

> Anyway, thanks for making your effort available for free. I am also an open
> souce developer and, believe me, I do value these contributions.

We'd love to have you solve that problem!  We'll provide whatever help we


Carl Sorensen

P.S. We like to get replies in the body of the email, rather than on the top
of the email.  We have a "no top-posting" policy on the lilypond mailing

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