SIP Newsletter #3

Brussels, August 13, 2002

- Red flag alert Control Center
- Control Center updates
- SipSib added features and fixes
- SipLedgr to shorten ledger lines in SCORE output

Dear SIP customer,

Red flag alert:
Some of the utilities need to consult to members in LIB (for DRW, PSC, PREference file) and since there can be more than one SCORE library on your system, you need to tell SIP which one is current.
One customer found out that even when SIP had properly defined the path to LIB, it would not recognize it as a valid library. What was different in his situation was that he had set one of the user attributes (read-only, archive, hidden). When any of these attributes were set, SIP would not recognize the directory as such.
The work-around is simple: reset the attributes. The fix is in SIP build 026. When this situation applies to you, request it as an email attachment.

SIP refers to LIB and to PREF(-4)

When setting up SIP for first use, it asks for the path of the PREFerence file which in SCORE is PREF.SCR while in SCOR4 it is PREF-4.SCR. Then the user must also define where the current LIB is which is done via the 'set project options'. Until now the default was C:\LIB but this has been changed to be the path prefix of PREF.
While in most user environments, PREF is in LIB, it does not have to be for SIP.
What is new in SIP build 026 is that after every update of the project options, a check is done if there is a potential conflict between these two definitions. Also it will check whether the LIB and the PREFerence file really exist.
While the LIB definition can be updated by a panel, the path PREF must be modified with an editor. Even if you modify those parameters by playing with SIPCNTRL.INI and SIPPROJ.PRO, the check is performed.
Why does SIP need LIB and PREFerence?
There are at this moment three utilities which refer to these sources: (SipAnlib, SipXref, and SipSib).
SipAnlib reads all PSC files to make an index list with the names of the fonts. Then it reads all DRW files and makes an index of those. The graphic index also shows the five letter acronym for each symbol. It does not look at the PREFerence file.
SipXref checks for every Code9 and Code11 item if the corresponding DRW exists, shows the library name (LIBxx, SYMxx, ..) and for Code11 items shows the member number (0-9) and the five letter acronym. SipXref also consults the CODE9.DAT file for which it needs to know the LIB where this is to be located. You can ask SipXref to pick up the LIB and CODE9.DAT path from the PREFerence file. If you don't then it will use those from the project options.
SipSib uses PSC, DRW, CODE9.DAT and PREFerence. Why it needs these is explained in the user guide. Note that SipSib does not pick up the LIB and CODE9.DAT path from PREFerence.

SipSib news

New user, new features
Not surprising, SipSib is particularly popular in the United Kingdom, the cradle of Sibelius. A new user in England reported problems which needed immediate upgrade of SipSib to level 022 and this release now supports narrow staves of 58 points as well as barlines with a width of .26 as set in the House Style. Currently, SipSib support barline widths .15 and .26.

Those ledger lines
Sibelius has its little tempers with ledger lines. When notes are so close that the ledger lines touch, it will (sometimes) make one line in EPS for horizontally separate notes which is a situation SipSib could not handle yet. The result was usually a warning to the effect that a note could not be linked to a staff.
Then, on the other hand, Sibelius will occasionally generate two ledger lines for two notes in a chord which are a second apart.
Ledger line processing has been reviewed and most situations of touching ledger lines are now properly handled by SipSib. There are still some irregular situations which SipSib does not do well yet but it will generate all notes now. In the case that SipSib interpretes a ledger line as a normal line it will now provide a warning to that effect and manual intervention is required on the SCORE level.

Filename sorting
From one Sibelius file you get as many EPS files as there are pages. Sibelius gives these files sequence numbers, so the Bach fugue from the sample collection become 'Bach fugue_1.EPS' and 'Bach fugue_2.EPS'. Since SCORE does not work with long Windows names, SIP uses the DOS equivalent filenames which in this case are BACHFU~1.EPS and BACHFU~2.EPS.
Now when you have a whole bunch of files it can happen that the numeric part in the filenames is 8, 9, 10, 11, etc. and then the order of processing gets clobbered because the file selection works in alpha order where 10 is less than 2!
As of build 023 of SipSib, the filename in the names file are now sorted in numeric order, even if alphabetically they are not. SipSip looks at the number following the underscore or the tilde.

One more character
SipSib tries to translate all characters but there is no 100% coverage of the uncommon symbols. When an untranslatable character comes along, SipSib issues a warning and replaces the offender by an X. One character has been added to the translatable category in SipSib build 022. It is the middle dot which now translates to !0 in SCORE.

Regional date format setting
To stay on friendly terms with the British, I have added support of the 'short date' format of dd/MM/yyyy.


This week, a SCORE user asked on the forum if he could shorten the ledger lines in a MUS file. It would indeed be a 'nice to have' for those cases where the notes are so close together horizontally that the ledger lines touch or overlap.
There is a SIP utility which was never announced because I did not think anyone would need it but which I have used occasionally to manipulate SCORE EPS files to do just that. If there is someone willing to spend US$ 50.- for it I will include it as a licensed option into the SIP Control Center. It will then become a supported product.
The user selects the EPS file(s), then defines the minimum horizontal space between ledger lines (in points). Ledger lines which need to be shortened will undergo this equally on both ends as to keep a balanced view. You can also set a new (shorter or longer) length of ledger lines that do not hit. The output overwrites the input since there is no need for backup as SCORE can remake the EPS file in a cinch. A report summarizes where ledger lines were changed.
(If you didn't already know: SIP maintains the original filename prefix when SCORE makes EPS files!)

Long live SCORE!

Jan de Kloe