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Re: Planning a MEI-to-LilyPond project

From: Urs Liska
Subject: Re: Planning a MEI-to-LilyPond project
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2015 19:15:15 +0200
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Am 19.10.2015 um 18:36 schrieb David Kastrup:
> Urs Liska <address@hidden> writes:
>> I think this is a huge opportunity to bring LilyPond forward. First
>> this will bring us a whole new range of users and use cases, maybe
>> even to a point where a general audience will take notice of LilyPond
>> on a different level. Second this potential new user base (the
>> academic music edition community) can be expected to contribute back
>> to LilyPond, in short and on the long run. And finally this project
>> would mean significant amounts of money (= development capacity)
>> thrown at us, and one can assume a significant share of that going
>> into LilyPond development itself, and a significant share of *that*
>> part benefitting LilyPond users in general, without considering the
>> MEI/Digital Edition part.
> Well, the main question when money is about to get thrown at a project
> is whether there is a viable way to convert that money into work being
> done.  

OK, I'll try to make somewhat clearer what we have at hand. (For the
sake of simplicity I'll leave out any conditionals and just assume the
application will be successful.)

It's not that we'd just get a bunch of money and make something useful
with it. The application will have to point out exactly what will be
done, with which amount of personnel and time. Then basically the DFG
will fund the granted number of positions, in the form of fixed jobs at
the hosting institutions. This will basically mean the institution will
give these jobs to certain people. It seems possible (although I found
that surprising) to apply for positions for specific persons (that is in
the current case: one of these two positions would be specifically
assigned to me). The other one would presumably published if we don't
come up with a ready-made solution (that is also acceptable for ZenMEM).
I think it would be comparably easy to split such a position in two or
more part-time positions, but that would still be fixed positions that
may imply living there.
On the other hand it seems possible to apply for *some* money to
externally commission specific tasks. But the first thing to do is
produce a very precise description of such tasks and reasonings why it's
necessary to do that externally.

After all this will be a pretty formal thing, as can be expected from
public funding.

> We have a very large hobbyist quota in the project, people who on
> the one hand work for the love of working on LilyPond and on the other
> hand tend to have a steady job already they are not likely to give up.
> So they tend to work in their free time in the things interesting to
> them, and money is likely not a major motivator for them to working
> focusedly on something else.
> There are a few small publishers among formerly and possibly currently
> active developers.  It's conceivable that they might have either
> interest or capacity and capability for contributing to solutions here.

Apart from what I wrote above I hope to get work being done by students,
at least from Karlsruhe, but maybe also from some other institutes. If
the project starts part of my responsibility would be to coordinate such
things. Of course it would be nice if such a momentum would be reflected
in the community of voluntary contributors too.


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