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Re: Engraving essay questions and RFC

From: Trevor Daniels
Subject: Re: Engraving essay questions and RFC
Date: Fri, 9 Oct 2009 10:18:31 +0100

Hi Andrew

Generally looking good.  A few comments, mostly minor:

a) Page 2 has the phrase "Not let down, we created a font of musical symbols"
"Not to be deterred," or "Undiscouraged," would be better.

b) Where you compare the shapes of the quarter rests on page 2 it might be better to draw attention to the three sharp points in the middle, as the one at the bottom seems to exhibit the point :) being made the least.

c) Page 3: the last para of the text immediately below the first music example has the references to the two examples the wrong way round - the _lower_ measures contain the correction.

d) Page 5, where you compare Lily 1.4 output, I suggest you make it clear when 1.4 is first mentioned that this is a very old version. This would not be immediately obvious to someone coming to LilyPond for the first time.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Andrew Hawryluk" <address@hidden>
To: "lilypond-devel" <address@hidden>
Sent: Thursday, October 08, 2009 5:18 AM
Subject: Engraving essay questions and RFC

Hi everyone, I'm working on the LilyPond essay, and I'm ready to ask
you some questions.

You can read my current draft at (this is identical to a doc build with my latest patch, except that I have only updated the pages containing the new essay, leaving out the
original, the GPL stuff, and the index.) The source file in question
is Documentation/essay/engraving.itely


1. Multiple staff sizes and optical line weights. I have a piano +
violin excerpt on page 4 (PDF page 6). If I modify the staff-space and
thickness by the same number then I don't get the relatively heavier
lines that I would naturally get using "set-global-staff-size". I am
currently using this:

 \new Staff \with {
     fontSize = #-4
     \override StaffSymbol #'staff-space = #(magstep -4)
     \override StaffSymbol #'thickness = #(magstep -3)

This gives me staff lines that I like, but they may not match the
carefully tunes weights of "set-global-staff-size". Also, I think I
should be thickening up the barlines and stems as well.
- Any suggestions on the tweaks I should do to match the
"set-global-staff-size" appearance?

(A previous discussion suggested magstep = 3.5 for these cases, but I
am trying to increase the contrast a bit.)

2. Something is wrong with my beaming on page 6 (PDF 8). Any guesses?
The source is
\relative c {
 \clef "bass"
 \key d \minor
 \time 3/4
 << {\slurDashed d8.-\flageolet( e16) e4.-\trill( d16 e)}
    \\ {d4_2 a2}
 <f' a, d,>4. e8( d c)
 bes g' f e16( f g_1 a_2 bes_3 d,_2)
 cis4.-\trill b8_3( a g)
 << {\slurDashed d'8.( e16) e4.-\trill( d16 e)}
    \\ {<f, a>4 a2}

3. As you can see, I have started a comparison of Finale / LilyPond /
real engravings. The scores are on the last 3 pages. (Note that the
Finale example has been clipped just a bit to close on the right hand
side. I will fix this.) My preliminary observations are

- Finale rests are always at the same heights (in v1/v2 situations).
- Finale doesn’t interlock notes nicely (mm. 28–29).
- Finale misses the B-flat in mm. 33!
- Finale’s beamed stems are almost always too long when they extend
off the staff.
- LilyPond 2.13.5 currently has a vertical spacing problem (no padding
between staves).
- LilyPond could use a little more space before the first note of mm. 30, 33–34.
- LilyPond’s ties to beat 1 of mm. 31 are shorter than any of the
reference scores, and Finale’s are even worse.
- LilyPond’s stems are often shorter than any of the references,
especially RH mm. 31.

Have I missed anything?
Please discuss?
Maybe a couple of those items should be bug reports? Although I want
to be fair in this essay, I also don't want to

4. I believe that I have now incorporated the most valuable elements
of the original essay into the nicer structure that Trevor began. Do
you agree or did I miss something? (There are probably still things to
add, but I don't think they will come from the old essay.)

5. Any other thoughts? The essay has been a prominent piece of
LilyPond 'marketing' and I want to know that community is getting the
upgraded essay that they want.


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