Software to write Theory book?

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etienne
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Re: Software to write Theory book?

Postby etienne » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:41 am

Thanks for the lively discussion everyone! I'm not kidding when I say that your input is really insightful! Time for a little bit of feedback from my side:
sciurius wrote:For publishable content tools like LaTeX and, sometimes, OpenOffice.org are great although the LilyPond integration can be tricky.

My thoughts exactly! I want something that is publishable, up there with the best of the best!

sciurius wrote:I you're going for a collaborative effort, the best (only?) option is a Wiki. Flexible, open, controlled, version control, it's all there. MediaWiki has a LilyPond plugin, you can read about it (and see it in action) here: http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:LilyPond
Moreover, the LilyPond folks are extremely helpful people (I'm one of them :wink: ).

A (Media-)Wiki is, obviously, the most obvious choice up front. I will definitely look into that before I carry on. The only problem, of course, is how to get it looking good like LaTeX, but make it easy to edit like a Wiki.And since you're one of the LilPond people, my thanks to you!

raboof wrote:I understand that. You could use a wiki (either WikiBooks or your own) as an editing/collaboration/version-control/web-access system, and generate the publishable result (e.g. PDF) from the wiki content. For example, check out the 'Create a book' feature of WikiBooks. It would need some tweaking, but I think the concept is pretty good.

A "Create a book" option on a Wiki does not give the best results that I am looking for. I would like little boxes with pictures and hints, and and all sorts of similar things one would find in a modern theory book. Basically, I was thinking of a customizable layout.

Thanks to all for your input so far! I will look into the Wiki option again, and come back with my feedback.

P.S. @sciurius:
sciurius wrote:Please do not get we wrong, I'm not tryin to discourage you. Au contraire! But if you're good at writing this theory book it would be such a waste if you got stuck in hairy typesetting details.

No worries! I understand. Thanks for the input - I need all possible sides of the story to make a decision.
Etienne Snyman
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http://octavepress.com

etienne
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Re: Software to write Theory book?

Postby etienne » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:29 am

So, I have had some time to think, and I have had an idea (probably ill-advised) based on editing the content in a Wiki. The content is edited in a Wiki, chapter by chapter, and then exported in some form (like XML?) to be further edited and combined in e.g. LyX.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:Export and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Export

Does anyone know if that's possible? I'm a musician more than a computer boffin, and I don't even know how to start a Wiki!

EDIT: Or possibly save/open the "Printable" content in LyX, or something like that?
Etienne Snyman
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etienne
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Re: Software to write Theory book?

Postby etienne » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:17 am

I have narrowed it down to two possible solutions:

1. Edit in LyX, with some sort of SVN revision management
It sounds a bit crazy to me, but treating the book like a software project, hosted on something like Launchpad, may actually work. Instead of files containing code, of course, the files contain the document markup.

2. Edit in a (media)Wiki, with DocBook/XML export
This might be a much easier option. I found this article on WikiMedia which explains how it could export the content of the Wiki to an acceptable markup, which could then be fine-tuned for PDF export.

If anyone is clever enough to know how to do either, or if you have a better/easier idea, please let me know! I will continue to research both paths, but I can guarantee that I will make many mistakes, and don't even know how to do half the stuff!
Etienne Snyman
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http://octavepress.com

etienne
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My Decision

Postby etienne » Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:19 am

I have finally made my decision! I have thought about all your comments, and decided against using a Wiki.

Thus, I will be using LyX to write the content, using Lilypond and Lilypond-book to insert the notation inside the LaTeX output.

I have not yet decided where to host the files yest, whether locally or online, but I will be posting it here as soon as I have made my decision.

The next step for me will be to write up guidelines for writing the book, as well as a table of contents.

If anyone wants to be involved, you are of course more than welcome, especially if you know how to use Lilypond and Lilypond-book, since I don't! (yet?) ... Just reply here and I will get back to you.
Etienne Snyman
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http://octavepress.com

drancope
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Re: Software to write Theory book?

Postby drancope » Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:23 am

I think Lyx is the best option.
I did use lyx as a basic user for two years, while using a standard word processor. I leave using lyx 6 years ago, and I cannot bear OpenOffice no more. Latex is the only way to get a well structured doc. Lyx is the way to handle latex if you know nothing about it.
I have made an example of use with jedit and lilypond. You can see how easy it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SdfzM-lVEk

And the best of it, the support that you can find in lyx documentation, and lyx user groups. One problem, one google search, that's all.

etienne
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Re: Software to write Theory book?

Postby etienne » Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:41 am

drancope wrote:I think Lyx is the best option.
I have made an example of use with jedit and lilypond. You can see how easy it is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SdfzM-lVEk
And the best of it, the support that you can find in lyx documentation, and lyx user groups. One problem, one google search, that's all.


Thanks so much, drancope. Unfortunately I do not understand the comments, since I believe they are in Spanish. But the video does help to consider the different ways of solving this problem.
Etienne Snyman
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http://octavepress.com

etienne
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Invitation: Be a part!

Postby etienne » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:07 pm

If you would like to be a part of this project to write a Creative Commons music theory book, please reply here or send me a private message. Although I would love to employ you, this will be purely voluntary. Your name will come on the list of contributing authors. That's about all.
:-)


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