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Re: Complex/Large Lilypond projects and build automation

From: Urs Liska
Subject: Re: Complex/Large Lilypond projects and build automation
Date: Sat, 07 Dec 2019 22:29:50 +0000

Hi Jim,

7. Dezember 2019 23:12, "Jim Duke" <address@hidden> schrieb:

> I have a large Lilypond project for several hymnals. The project is organized 
> into a subdirectory
> structure with each hymn in a separate directory. For each hymn I produce 
> several products: an
> 8.5x11 PDF, a 6x9 PDF, a set of images formatted for projection at 4x3 and 
> 16x9 aspect ratios, and
> a set of part dominant MP3’s for use in learning the hymns. These products 
> are then assembled at a
> higher level into a comprehensive PDF of the hymnal including front material 
> and index; and a
> package of the slide images organized to be compatible with a Slide 
> production product used at my
> church for assembling a song service; as well as assembling metadata files to 
> be uploaded into a
> website I maintain that provides access to these hymns and provides simple 
> search capabilities and
> internet access to these products.
> I use Make (that old workhorse) to automate the process; but that has some 
> distinct limitations. So
> I was wondering what tools others may be using to aid them in building larger 
> Lilypond projects.
> What, if anything, are you using? How well does that work for you?

Apart from Make (which I also use occasionally) I have gone in two directions 
for such challenges:
Controlling the process from LuaLaTeX, and adding functionality to Frescobaldi.

One of the characteristics of LuaLaTeX is that it can be used to make LaTeX a 
document generation
system (on top of being a typesetting system). (Note: This can of course also 
be done with ConTeXt)
It is sort-of straightforward to create functionality in LuaLaTeX to compose 
documents from various
materials, including LilyPond scores that can be configured and triggered from 
the document.
Depending on the needs lyluatex may be already sufficient for that part of the 
This may be a natural solution if the end result should be one big PDF with all 
the materials

For one project I had the task of managing 650 music examples and decided to 
add a tool panel to
Frescobaldi for that. Of course that's only realistic because I'm a Frescobaldi 
developer - but I decided from there to create a comprehensive Extension API to 
Frescobaldi, and now it is rather straightforward for someone with Python 
knowledge to create project specific functionality on top of everything 
Frescobaldi can already do. This may also be something to go after.

Apart from that there has been discussion to add more generic support for build 
tools to Frescobaldi (, 
that is of course dependent on developer time.


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