Older blog entries for laymusic (starting at number 0)

This is a ramble about the mess my music publishing site is in at the moment. Basically, the way I publish music is to enter it in ABC, which is typeable, and also can be installed fairly easily on all popular platforms, or any other platform with a C compiler. Then I use one of the tools that comes with lilypond, abc2ly, to convert the ABC source to lilypond source. Lilypond has the advantage over ABC of producing better output, with more options. If the options currently offered aren't good enough, there's always the option of learning metafont and creating your own symbols, or hacking the source code. But you can't tell your Mac-using musician friends to install lilypond so they can help you transcribe music.

There's an increasing amount of music that I've "published", but not uploaded to my website. This is because of a recent change to the lilypond input format, plus deficiency in my maintenance of my "source".

The input format change is that where you used to be able to specify certain identifiers with letters and numbers, they can now use only letters. The abc2ly converter (as well as many people who write lilypond by hand) used to name the lyrics for the first verse of a song something like "verse01". This no longer works.

This wouldn't matter if the ABC form of my music were still the "source", because I modified the abc2ly converter to call what used to be verse01 verseA. However, there've been several occasions where it's been either difficult or tedious to make the changes I needed from the ABC source, so the lilypond is now the actual "source" for those particular songs. And of course, I have a pretty complete list of cases where this is true, but I don't know for sure I can list everything.

Enough people are irritated by this change that one of them (Laurent Martelli) has posted the "fix". So short term I can get a current version of dowland.pdf up. But long term, if I want to publish the "source" as the lilypond, I will have to have it be lilypond that works without private patches.

Another approach to fixing the problem would be for the convert-ly tool to change the 1's to A's etc. I have suggested this on the lilypond developers' list, without getting a response. I took a quick look at the convert-ly source last week, but it would need a less quick look if I were going to do the job.

There are other problems with having the ABC be the source instead of lilypond, which I may address in another diary entry.

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