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Re: Presentation: "Publisher-grade LilyPond" in Ottawa

From: Graham Percival
Subject: Re: Presentation: "Publisher-grade LilyPond" in Ottawa
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2010 16:50:04 +0100

On Sun, Jun 13, 2010 at 7:02 AM, Boris Shingarov <address@hidden> wrote:
> This is not what we are saying in our presentation and/or paper.
> What we are saying is: "We attempted a publication of a major critical
> edition through a major publishing house, using software from a volunteer
> open-source project with limited resources.  We first hoped that this
> software would be immediately (or almost immediately) suitable for
> critical-edition work.  We found issues blocking this work.  These issues
> are orthogonal to the main direction of the LilyPond project.  We fixed
> them, making the book possible.  Future work includes making these solutions
> useful for the wide LilyPond audience, not just for the immediate needs of
> this particular book".

That message is entirely fair.  Others have mentioned that this isn't
the impression the slides give, so let's drop the subject now.  I hope
that you've looked at Reinhold's LAU talks from last month; one of
them is quite relevant to this topic.

> Reason two, the cry for help was heard all over the mailing list starting
> many, many months ago.  Anyone with a LaTeX-based solution yet?  Anyone even
> *suggesting* a LaTeX-based solution yet?  After a year and non-trivial
> (thousands of Euros) bounties offered?

I really cannot recall seeing any offers of "thousands of Euros".  If
they're still valid offers, please send info to bug-lilypond.

> Simplest example: a patch fixes a bug (a Blocker for our real-life
> project).  The fix is used in production for some time, and seems to be
> working fine.  Code review on Rietveld, patch looks good to the reviewers.
> The only problem delaying its push, is the absence of a test case.

We now (in the past hour) have expanded documentation about test
cases; this might help:

> What I am trying to do, is create some sort of professional LilyPond
> ecosystem, where people would be allowed to spend serious amount of time on
> LilyPond work, but where problems would actually get fixed.  If a publishing
> project is willing to spend many thousand dollars to fix a certain problem,

That has been attempted before... hmm, 2007?  Han-Wen tried to work on
lilypond full-time, but there just wasn't enough people offering
bounties to be able to support his family (with a young child).  I
mean, think of what an average software developer earns in a month --
can the lilypond user community really come up with that kind of

In some ways it's a "chicken and egg" problem -- you need to have
highly skilled developer(s) to be able to respond quickly and
efficiently to sponsorship requests, but on the other hand, the best
way to get highly skilled developers is to have them working on code,
and bounties are a good way to motivate some people.
* note: they're only good for _some_ people.  Most of our programmers
already have stable, busy jobs (for example, a professor of mechanical
engineering).  Chasing a few 50-euro bounties often works out to be
less than their "real" job.

OTOH, if there's a consistent stream of many hundred-euro bounties,
this could dramatically change things.

- Graham

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