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Re: Methods of working

From: Julian Squires
Subject: Re: Methods of working
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2004 13:15:38 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.4.1i


On Thu, Jun 24, 2004 at 09:59:48PM +1000, Cameron and Trudy Horsburgh wrote:
> I've been wondering lately how other people organise their workflow, the 
> tools used, and how they actually go through the typesetting process. 
> Given the number of different platforms supported, I imagine this would 
> vary widely.

I have been, in the past, mostly a die-hard vim user with lilypond,
where my setup was to have an instance of xdvi open, a gvim window, and
a terminal.  I'd write the lilypond files (usually keeping separate
pieces in separate directories, with separate files for different parts)
in vim, and have a couple of aliases in the shell for producing a new
DVI or MIDI (and then playing the MIDI).  I found the ability to quickly
record and replay keyboard macros in vim to be great for making some
kinds of widespread but infrequent changes to my sources.  I also tended
to find that just DVI generation and viewing was a lot faster than PDF
or PS.

Lately, though, I've started to use emacs again (took a long break
during a period of time when it was too resource hungry for the machines
I had around typically), and I've found lilypond-mode to be pretty
nifty.  I haven't really gotten the hang of all its features, though.
Also, I've been sufficiently lazy that even though the last Lilypond
version I upgraded to (2.1.0-2 in debian/unstable) generates a PDF by
default, I haven't bothered to figure out how to make it just produce a
DVI file.

As for version control, I had kept some scores under CVS in the past,
but I was pretty negligent about committing regularly.  I started
keeping some of my scores under Subversion somewhat recently so I could
work on some parts collaboratively with another composer, and I've been
very pleased with it.  One nice thing is that it makes dealing with
renaming and deleting versioned files a lot easier than CVS, which was
always a problem for me as the physical source layout of my scores often
changes in its early stages.

Also, with CVS, I used to tag the repository every time I made a major
printout to give to other people or similar, although now with SVN I can
generally just scribble down the revision number.

As for my workflow itself, it's approximately:

 - make sketches on paper;
 - copy a minimal template for each conceptually distinct sketch, enter
   into files, do a run of lilypond for each and check that the results
   are approximately correct;
 - commit new files into svn repo;
 - repeat a process of writing, editing, merging, and committing, until
   the files have approximately settled down to one per instrument-group
   per movement;
 - make a nice printout of the complete score, spend a while mulling
   over it both for inevitable countless musical tweaks and for any
   places where Lilypond tweaking/trickery is going to be necessary;
 - after the majority of the previous changes have been made, then (and
   only then) do I worry about the beauty and correctness of the
   individual part versions.

I can't vouch for whether this scales up to large works or not, though.

I'd love to hear more about how other people work with lilypond, too.


Julian Squires

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