SIP Newsletter #2

Brussels, August 4, 2002

- Red flag alert SipRenum
- SipXref font exception reporting
- The 32 staff limit of SCORE
- Warning to StuffIt users

Dear SIP customer,

Red flag alert:
There is an error in SipRenum (bar numbering) which is part of the SIP Control Center. It occurs in all versions when assigning an instrument id to a rest or to a staff. The problem is fixed in Build24 which I distribute for free as an email attachment. Please let me know if you want it. The zipped size is maximum 340k bytes.

Over to less dramatic news

The day after I published the first newsletter in which I wrote "SipXref […] It is not expected to undergo any changes", a user suggested I make an addition to it. And so it goes… Our first topic in this newsletter therefor is SipXref - the SCORE cross-reference utility.

SipXref font exception reporting

I am not speaking out of personal experience but many engravers export SCORE EPS files to other packages and sometimes encounter problems with font interpretation. One of the situations described on the forum last week was an 'outline' font which in EPS terminology is called 'unfilled' font. If by accident you specify a Code16 item with a double underscore and the size is rather small, you won't see it is outline when printed, yet the export of a file with such item can cause haywire. As one customer said, 'nothing can hide from SipXref' and the cross-reference does show the double underscore. But then, in between many items it can still be easily overlooked while it is (for some) an exceptional error. So the suggestion was to make such an occurrence visible in a 'more conspicuous manner'.

SCORE defines outline font in two different ways: for the Code16 text item, you specify the double underscore but you can also do outline on Code10 items: When setting Par7 to 1102, this would correspond to __02 in a text item.

[For those not familiar with SipXref: it generates a sorted table of all visible and invisible SCORE items in a set of files with their occurrences per page (filename), staff, and Par3. The program recognizes inline font changes and considers the string '_01Johann _02Sebastian _04Bach' as three items].

It was quite easy to update SipXref. What in fact the update does is an analysis of the report and pick out the exceptions. While at it, I extended the notion of 'exception' to situations comparable to the outline issue. The following messages thus appear in a message box where the user can decide to find more exceptions or stop - and first correct the odd font definition:

- Found outline font on Code16 item (prefix xxx). Inspect cross-reference report.
- Found outline font on Code10 item (p7=xxx). Inspect cross-reference report.
- Found unsupported font on Code10 item (font xxx). Inspect cross-reference report.
- Found empty Code16 item. Inspect cross-reference report.

The explanations seem clear. An empty Code16 item is one that has a font prefix but no text. An unsupported font is a value that occurs in a Code10 Par7 which Score does not signal. You could put 999.9 there without SCORE protesting.

Be aware that SCORE allows Code16 items without a font prefix. It does this to be compatible with previous versions. When SCORE makes an EPS, such text receives the same font as the previously output text or number, so it depends where in the item sequence it is. If it happens to be the first, it assumes Times-Roman. SipXref outputs the text item 'as is' so without any prefix, where it alphabetically belongs in the sorted cross-reference table.

When typing lyrics, you only give the font once and it will be replicated for each syllable. Never mix typing lyrics with text of other fonts - SCORE will use the last font you defined and it cannot see what is lyrics and what is not.

If in your case, outline font is not an exception, you do not want to be told about this so an option in the SipXref panel can be set to bypass the analysis.

Everyone will be happy with this exception reporting - however, I have to disappoint the DOS user of SipXref. What is described here you only get when using the SIP Control Center, meaning the Windows implementation. The generated report is however identical in DOS and Windows.

Staves beyond 32

SCORE is limited to 32 staves and will not even let you change any Par2 to a value beyond it.
Gradually I am preparing the SIP utilities to cater for more than 32 staves per page for two reasons:
- Sibelius files can have more than 32 staves and converted files can serve as input to SIP utilities;
- One day there may be a SCORE version with a more relaxed staff limit.
When you try to read a file with a staff number higher than 32, SCORE currently gives the message '*** Error reading file'. There is a global option in SIP where you can set the maximum number of staves to the Score default or to the SIP allowable maximum. Currently there are some SIP programs where this is implemented and at this stage already useful:

(1) SipSib
There is no restriction to the number of staves on input. A mechanism is foreseen to define a staff range so that the user can select groups of adjacent staves for conversion if he wants to process the converted files with SCORE. SipSib will generate MUS files with more than 32 staves - there is no practical limit. When the global option for SIP says that the maximum is 32 however, a warning will be given (as of SipSib build 22) so that you will not attempt to read the file by SCORE.

(2) SipXref
Same story, though 99 is the maximum staff number that will be properly displayed. So this means that Sibelius users can make a cross reference of their work even if they do not have SCORE! One thing worth noting is that before v9.16 of SipXref, the generated summary may give the following error message in Phase 0: Invalid keyword parameter in SIPPROJ.PRO ignored: StaffRange=32 Other than the message, there is no effect. If you are a licensed SipXref user you can request the free update per email (zipped 97 k bytes).

(3) SipRenum for bar numbering
There is no practical limit to the number of staves either. With this program you can assign instrument id's and cue references to staves beyond 32 so the output of SipSib can be used as input to SipSplit without using SCORE. Instrument id's are invisible things in SCORE so errors are easily made and hard to locate. SCORE does not check any abnormality and only when you do part extraction you will know that there is something wrong. With SipRenum you see the instrument id's left of the staff and as a purple cue reference with whole rests. SipRenum is an intelligent editor for instrument id's since it will check for errors: - you cannot assign an instrument id to a staff in a system if that number is already assigned; - it is not possible to reassign a staff's instrument id when there are cue references to that staff; - you cannot make a recursive definition (a whole rest cue reference in staff x pointing to staff x); - only existing cues in the same system can be assigned to whole rests. Furthermore, assigning cues is matter of point and click - you only get to chose between the instruments which are defined in the current system.

Warning to StuffIt users

Users of StuffIt Expander™ for Windows by Aladdin Software are advised of a potential problem which caused one of the SIP users to contact me for support. I distributed a new version of SIP4.EXE as a zipped file and he used StuffIt to unzip it. However, when StuffIt already finds a file by that name, it makes SIP4_1.EXE apparently without informing the user. So the installation had no effect. Make sure that you erase old version files first, or erase/rename afterwards.
WinZip© by Nico Mak Computing does not check if the file exists. If it does it will be overwritten.
You can always check if the unzip/overwrite worked by looking at the version numbers which are displayed in each unit.

Long live SCORE!

Jan de Kloe