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Old versions support

From: Simon Plante
Subject: Old versions support
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2007 20:50:42 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Loom/3.14 (


Someone on IRC told me about a quite important lack in lilypond. A file compiled
with an older version CANNOT be compiled on a newer version. 

Well, you might want to tell me "just use the convert-ly script". The result of
that script is generally not satisfacting and often needs much hand code

Personnally, I didn't really experienced that problem, but when I think that
this is an important lack in a program.

Take a look at LaTeX. Using the current versions, we can easily build a 20-years
old file. With lilypond, we need to rewrite it in order to compile a 6-year old

There are some ideas I could propose you:
   -- Update the convert-ly script (not the best solution, since you would need
to do that at each version).
   -- Correct the thing on lilypond, to make sure that old files can still be 
   -- As LaTeX did, "freeze" the lilypond's syntax to make sure that is won't
change, and be compatible.

I cannot really help you with that, since I'm not a pretty advanced programmer.
(I probably look like whining... sorry about that ;-).

Here is the little (french) memo that I recived, that motivated me to write 

"-MemoServ- IMPORTANT : envoyer un message sur mailing-list des développeurs à
propos de convert-ly : impossible de convertir des vieux fichiers, exemple Si les
fichiers lilypond ne sont pas pérennes, lilypond ne vaut guère mieux que des
logiciels propriétaires... "


"IMPORTANt : please send a message on dev's mailling-lists about convert-ly: it
is impossible to convert old files, as propos de convert-ly : impossible de
convertir des vieux fichiers, exemple . If the
lilypond files are not perennial (old files useable on new versions), lilypond
is not better than those propertary (closed-source) software." 

I DID NOT write this, I just recived it, and sent it to you. Do what you want
with that, but it would be really useful/nice/cool to consider it.


Simon Plante
admin of
founder of the lilypond's IRC channel, address@hidden

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