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GDP: summary and directions, 11 Sep

From: Graham Percival
Subject: GDP: summary and directions, 11 Sep
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 14:32:46 -0700
User-agent: Icedove (X11/20070607)

If you're somewhat interested in GDP, but don't want to follow the 50-email monster threads, simply read any email by me that starts a subject.

Not because I think my opinion is the only one that matters :). Just because I'll sum up the important points, and attempt to direct future discussions, in emails like this.

ALMOST-CERTAIN  (barring massive opposition, this will happen)
** split the Learning Manual (chapters 2-5) into a separate manual, just like Program Usage.

cons: no shared index with Notation Reference. Benefits: no shared index with Notation Reference. :) besides, chapters 2-5 have hardly any index entries, anyway.

I don't know what to do about chapter 1 (general intro, background). The "about this manual" will obviously stay in some form or other. Omit that section from the discussion for now. Opinions about the rest of chapter 1 are desired, though.

** combine multiple subsections into single subsections. Something like an average of 3 subsections -> 1.

Assuming there isn't significant opposition in the next 18 hours, I'll take a stab at creating the new merged subsections.

** Abandon basic/advanced/instrument/decorating/cakes division of notation reference. See below as to how we do this, though.

** should the "combined index" include entires in the "command index" ? We could easily separate the "concept" index from the "combined index". Would that help or hurt?

( assuming that we added many more index entries; don't bother commenting that we don't have enough right now )

** combined subsections: print names of old subsections in the manual?
For example, suppose we make a "printing repeats" section that includes Repeat types, Repeat syntax, Repeats and MIDI, and Manual repeat commands. Do you want to only see "Printing repeats" in the table of contents, or do you want to see
        x.y  Printing repeats
                Repeat types
                Repeat syntax
(without any x.y.z numbers)

** Abandon decorating/cakes method of dividing the notation reference.

There's sufficient support for this, but I have some remaining concerns: Pitch and Rhythm are more connected than Pitch and Spacing or Pitch and Changing defaults.

Now, we could indicate this purely by the proximity of chapters -- Pitch is chapter 1, Spacing is chapter 27.

Or, we could have a single chapter for all Notation.
1.  Notation
        1.1 Pitches
        1.2 Rhythms
2.  Text   (arguably as 1.25 inside Notation)
3.  Input and output
4.  Spacing
5.  Changing defaults
6.  Interfaces for programmers

(exact order of the chapters to be determined)

I'd rather have this kind of setup. Yes, chapter 1 will have 25 sections (or whatever), but IMO something like "Repeats" just shouldn't be at the same level as Changing defaults.

- Graham

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