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Re: Accidentals' font

From: Jean Abou Samra
Subject: Re: Accidentals' font
Date: Wed, 8 Jul 2020 12:13:10 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.8.0

Hi Paolo,

Le 08/07/2020 à 02:07, Paolo Prete a écrit :
I have to apologize for the tone I used.

Thank you. “Apologize” is definitely a magic word.

What was wrong was the fact that my words sounded like absolute blaming to someone/something. But please, even if I was wrong with this tone (and I can confirm this again and again):  understand that

1) My intention was absolutely not to blame anything of Lilypond: as I told before, I consider the "bold"/plate approach of modern engraving as a problem for the readability of *all* the music engraving of any software/company. Lilypond itself has nothing to do with this (nor Feta has to do with it: it’s simply a general rule, which I think derives from commercial reasons).

Well, in fact, LilyPond’s documentation claims the plate engraving approach to be the very specificity of LilyPond from the beginning. Looking at <>, I find the other versions much lighter than LilyPond’s. Perhaps the software involved in the contest have evolved since, I don’t know.

2) My intention was absolutely not to press developers/maintainers to develop anything. My idea was, instead, to show how good it could be to use what I consider an *impressive* work *already done* by someone else. Just link it, do not develop anything.

I would like to emphasize that this is not at all simple. I agree that the technical part is reachable. Yet, this has consequences on the organization of the LilyPond ecosystem that have to be considered with care.

Fonts external to LilyPond also have development cycles that are different from LilyPond’s. If Gonville or other fonts were integrated as built-in options, we would end up receiving bug reports or feature requests from fellow users about fonts which we are incompetent about. It would force the authors of these fonts to follow LilyPond issues and make changes in parallel with Feta, for example, make it SMuFL-compliant by the end of the summer, which is very demanding. When the original author will not be available or no longer willing to support it, users will complain about the font not working and other LilyPond developers will need to fix it, and first learn its generation system, which is a custom one entirely different from Feta’s.

In the end, the LilyPond team is responsible (or feels responsible) for maintaining a piece of software that typesets music, and one music font. Adding built-in support for more fonts means officially supporting them, which entails more responsibility for developers, a responsibility that they need to be willing to accept and competent for undertaking. It’s another area in the multitude of areas of knowledge required to make LilyPond work across releases. See? To each their own problems.

Fonts are undergoing a very serious effort by Owen Lamb as part of GSoC, which should make LilyPond comply with the SMuFL standard and thus facilitate the use of many different fonts, not only Gonville. In fact, it recently came to my mind that if Feta is to become usable in other notation software, it could be an idea to move it to a separate repository, distribute OTF files alone, and include these in the distribution, which should also adress the built-in handling of other fonts along the way. First, it’s urgent to wait for Owen’s project to be completed. Then, when the right time comes, reflect about wether the LilyPond team and community are ready to accept this reorganization.


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