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Re: flags, beams and stem length in forced directions - output improveme

From: Carl Sorensen
Subject: Re: flags, beams and stem length in forced directions - output improvement
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2010 15:13:15 -0700

On 12/28/10 12:28 PM, "Janek Warchoł" <address@hidden>

> 2010/12/27 Han-Wen Nienhuys <address@hidden>
>> Why don't you try to find some scans of reputable editions to see what
>> the standard behavior is in this case?
> Because i believe the situation is quite different.
> Would it be feasible for an engraver to have different flags for many
> different stem lengths? No, perhaps there would even be problems with
> manufacturing such dies. Is it feasible for a computer program like
> LilyPond? Of course!
> Generally speaking, i don't like to prove things by providing
> examples; i prefer to prove them by reasoning.
> I'm that kind of guy
> who doesn't take anything for granted, you know :) I'm sure there are
> things that we can do *better* than the hand engravers because of the
> technological advantage, and therefore i don't want to do things in
> some manner only because engravers did so.

I'm not opposed to reasoning, but I don't think that the goal of LilyPond is
to invent new standards for engraving.

> Surely, they had their reasons, but looking at the scores won't
> explain what the reasons were. Maybe they don't exist now? For
> example, according to this article
> the
> reasons behind steep angles of the beams in the 19th century were the
> physical limits of printing technology (page 4) - this sounds
> reasonable. Now we have better printers and the standards changed.

Personally, I much prefer the older standard, and LilyPond implements the
older standard.  I'm glad it does.  Just because this article suggests it
could be different doesn't necessarily make it right....

> I hope this doesn't sound too arrogant...

I don't think it does, but I also think that you will have a hard time
convincing the LilyPond community that we should change the standard
behavior just because you like it.

> 2010/12/27 Carl Sorensen <address@hidden>:
>> I have now reviewed the engraving books.  I will give the answers that they
>> have.
> Thanks for sharing this!
> I must admit that i'm surprised to see a shorter variation of flag in
> the Stone scan. However there is (should be?) at least one
> intermediate stem length between 3.5 and 3. What shall we do with it?

Why is there an intermediate stem length between 3.5 and 3?  If there is,
then we use the size 3 flag, I think.

>> The bottom line, for me?  I think there should be separate single and double
>> flags for 3-space stems.  I don't think they should be scaled from the
>> existing flags.  I think they should be designed separately and added to the
>> font.  But in order to get this to happen, I think we need some examples
>> from well-engraved scores.  And I don't have a good collection.
> Hopefully i'll learn Metafont and try to add it myself, but before
> this happens maybe it would be good to have those scaled flags?
> Wouldn't it be better than the current situation?

I'll be happy to add 3-space flags to the font.  It won't take too long.
But before I do it, I'd like to see some prototype code that would use them.

Here's a suggestion.  How about if you write code that uses some other flag
for short stems (take your pick; it doesn't matter what flag you choose) and
then send me a copy of your patch. At that point, I'll make shorter versions
of flags.d3, flags.d4, flags.u3, and flags.u4.



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