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Re: Converting Lilypond to ETF, Sibelius or Finale

From: François Pinard
Subject: Re: Converting Lilypond to ETF, Sibelius or Finale
Date: 10 May 2001 13:57:01 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.0806 (Gnus v5.8.6) Emacs/20.3

[Henrik Behrens]

> > Does commercial software interact with good free software? :-)

> No, but why must free software be as bad as commercial software?

The debatable question is to know if it is good or bad that free software
eases the life of those developing or using commercial software.  From my own
viewpoint, I do not see nothing inherently bad in Lilypond not supporting
other formats.  If I use another format, for some other free software,
and want exchangeability, I could dive in, produce some tool or patch,
and suggest it for inclusion in the GNU Music project.  It is likely
(yet not guaranteed) that it will be integrated.

Supporting commercial software is more a political attitude than a
technical problem (unless the commercial software uses formats which it
wants proprietary).  If someone produces an exchangeability tool or patch
for Lilypond, between Lilypond and some commercial software, the Lilypond
team could accept or refuse it according to its political views or agenda.
Lilypond would not be `good' or `bad' because of such attitudes.  What makes
Lilypond good software is that it reaches its goal.  That is, from my
viewpoint, allowing me to produce high quality scores.  Being related or
not with commercial software is not a strong point in the global picture.

> Yes, but you don't support them, if you support their file formats.
> Instead, you make it easier for people to switch to free software.

Maybe then, that Lilypond could read commercial formats, and not produce
them.  That might help people switching to Lilypond :-).

For a long while, I was taking care of a few free software packages, and
even after years, am still astonished when I think of many requests we
got from people having bought commercial operating systems, begging us to
adjust our things to cope with their O.S. bugs, explaining they felt they
would have more luck with us, than with their vendors.  Free software is not
primarily meant for helping users and vendors towards an happier marriage.

Of course, collaboration always has better taste.  However, some effort
is needed, that may be non negligible at times.  Decency puts limits to
the efforts to be asked on the free software side, when the other side is
just not willing to contribute anything.

> SAMBA wound not have been as successful if it didn't cooperate well with
> Windows, Solaris and other commercial operating systems!  Therefore,
> I vote for export filters in Lilypond!

Import filters, maybe? :-)

François Pinard

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