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Re: Not Nice Review of the LilyPond

From: J Martin Rushton
Subject: Re: Not Nice Review of the LilyPond
Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2018 11:01:36 +0000
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I'm not sure the single critical paragraph is that unfair.  I've turned
the tables on the reviewer and added my own comments as an amateur who
came to Lily only a few years ago.

I did try to send a copy of this email to the company as a courtesy, but
all company information on their website is "Under Construction" and all
personnel pages seem to be family pictures or missing.  Make of that
what you will!

A review of the review.

"The documentation is voluminous, but difficult to penetrate."
- Accurate, but slightly unfair.  The 'Learning Manual' is straight
forward even if pedestrian at times.  'Usage' is good.  'Music Glossary'
is excellent both with Lily and stand alone.  The 'Notation Reference'
is a comprehensive reference guide and is emphatically not newbie friendly.

"I found it difficult to find out about such simple features as the
overall structure of a LilyPond source file."
- I found the same.

"Many commands and features are described without any context
whatsoever, and it becomes a matter of trial and error to determine
exactly how they should be integrated into a source file."
- A consequence of comprehensiveness.  The feature is described and a
snippet shown, but fitting it into the complete structure can be
confusing at first.

"And some features that one would expect to be quite simple, seem to be
achievable only by complex and obscure "commands" or "variables".
- I'm not sure I quite follow his argument here.

"One is frequently tempted to attach multiple features to a single note
(e.g. sharp/flat, duration, pitch, slur start or end, phrase start or
end, dynamic mark, crescendo/decrescendo start or end and text are a few
examples!), and it typically requires trial and error to determine which
of the particular orders is the only one that LilyPond accepts."
- Fair comment.  As a programmer I'm used to critical ordering so just
accept it.  Someone unused to working with source code might get into

"LilyPond source files appear to be written in a custom programming
language whose grammar is never discussed."
- I'm afraid this one is bang on target.  However compare the situation
to other systems and at least you can programme rather than just
accepting a proprietary black box.

On 02/12/18 02:43, Reggie wrote:
> Has anyone else seen this do you know who the author is? Some complaints
> about gibberish and documentation and God knows what else. Is this a joke
> one or seriously critical of the program? Or in cheek.
> --
> Sent from:
> _______________________________________________
> lilypond-user mailing list
> address@hidden

J Martin Rushton MBCS

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