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Re: Consistent vertical alignment of annotations, disable time signiture

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Consistent vertical alignment of annotations, disable time signiture
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2018 10:37:51 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Andrew Bernard <address@hidden> writes:

> Hello Robert,
> Speaking as a programmer myself with over forty years of experience,
> and an advanced lilypond users, I can categorically assert that
> lilypond is not trying to be 'clever'. This is an utter
> misunderstanding. Lilypond is however trying to engrave music to the
> highest possible standard, and this is an immensely difficult
> programming proposition, hence the complexity under the hood, and the
> slight difficulties in the syntax. It's not meant to be simplistic or
> easy like ABC.

I hate to waste a good defense, but you are talking about its internals
here and Robert was arguing about the input layer with me.  Different
beasts.  It's akin to discussing plain TeX vs LaTeX based on the quality
of the output.  The point of LaTeX is to provide an input and
abstraction layer, the typesetting remains the job of TeX, the program.
Now LaTeX is indeed bleeding complexity when you poke it too hard.

LilyPond's input language is intended to be expressive and convenient
but a whole lot of pain goes into assuring that it bleeds in concordance
with both reasonable and unreasonable expectations even when you poke it
too hard.

As an example, compare the 2.19 version and interaction of of #{ ... #},
$, and # with the 2.12 one.  The current version is quite "cleverer",
going to large pains to make sure that closures, error messages and
whatnot reliably point to where you'd expect them to be.  This is a much
more thorough layer than LaTeX provides around TeX, and yet people feel
much more comfortable using LaTeX than plain TeX.  The LaTeX layers fall
apart when problems occur and you have to debug.  LilyPond layers tend
to hold up even under debugging.

Robert may be speaking from experience, but experience without actual
knowledge can win over knowledge only when that knowledge in return is
lacking significant amounts of experience.

And I'd argue that dismissing my experience in designing, managing,
maintaining, and explaining complex systems as insignificant does not
likely make for the best fitting working hypothesis.

David Kastrup

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