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Re: Serious feedback and improvement headroom

From: Urs Liska
Subject: Re: Serious feedback and improvement headroom
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2014 01:27:44 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:24.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/24.4.0

Am 11.04.2014 00:51, schrieb David Kastrup:
Urs Liska <address@hidden> writes:

That's a difficult issue, and I think you both (Janek and David) are
completely right with what you write.

Nevertheless I think that trying to improve usability _now_ _is_ a
good thing.

A user of a (notation) software usually needs to finish stuff for a
concrete purpose. An engraver will probably need to finish a score for
being printed. And he needs to do that "now". Telling him "we could
make it easier for you, but that will make your scores less flexible
regarding future development of LilyPond" sounds completely ridiculous
from the user's perspective.

I want to be able to draw up some score of mine in ten years and print
new versions of it using the version of LilyPond I'll be using then.
I've done a mediocre job of ensuring that regarding the stability of
LilyPond's syntax, but a pretty good job regarding convert-ly to mop
after any changes.

That's what's important to me.  At the current point of time, this may
well imply scores below publishing quality.  But it is a rare case when
they are not playable.

OK, that's what _you_ see in LilyPond, for your purposes. That's completely valid, and it's even more valid to spend your worktime for that goal. But if you take that perspective seriously you actually say that LilyPond will and should only be really useful for professional work in some distant future when we might have managed to make it "Do the right thing" automatically. But LilyPond can already be used for professional publication work today - although that requires manual tweaks.

What you are saying is what I've been lobbying everywhere too recently: That you can create usable performance material with no (or neglectable) manual post-processing, and that you can do the whole process of (scholarly) editing of a score without bothering with engraving details until the last moment before publication. But that doesn't reduce the necessity to create publication quality scores too, and that can't wait until the 12th of never.

It's similar with visual feedback. Telling someone that we don't help
with getting visual feedback for ideological reasons ("we provide a
text based workflow which we consider superior, so please respect that
and stick to text - otherwise got back to Finale") doesn't make any
sense to me.

It's a strawman anyway.  That I can only manage a finite workload is not
a matter of ideology.

Hm. There are two things to that: first: We're not talking of _your_ workload concretely. Second: in the way you write about the issue it _is_ a matter of ideology. You don't say "Unfortunately I don't have capacity" or "sorry, but I have too many issues that matter more to me". In fact you say "it is wrong to in that direction."

There are undisputable advantages in text based workflows, but these
don't have anything to do with whether the user wants or needs visual
feedback for his work.

At any rate, there is no use in trying to tell me what I should be doing
since I am not good at doing things I am not interested in anyway.
A good part of my work is making it easier for others to do what they
want.  It's up to them how they make use of that.

Well, nobody is telling you what you should be doing as long as what you're doing is undoubtedly useful.


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