SIP Newsletter #15

Brussels, January 25, 2004

- Press
- SipSib
- SipText
- SipAnlib
- SipFind
- SipTab
- SipNames

Dear Score user,

The first Newsletter in this new year mentions a couple of stability improvements and new products on the horizon.


It is nice to hear that one of my programs is lauded by no less than Guitar World which sponsored the further development of SipEPS01 which is described in Newsletters #9 and #14. They were so impressed by what they call 'the invention' that they invited me to their offices in New York and presented me with a free subscription of the monthly magazine.
While there are currently only four users of this license (three in the USA, one in Europe), such words of appreciation makes it all worth it.
This is what they write in their editorial:
[…] the most dramatic changes can be found in our tablature. Music Editor Jimmy Brown has adopted a brilliant new notation program that will no doubt become the new industry standard. By using a slightly larger staff and creating a “pocket of air” around the tab numbers, Jimmy has created a new system that is substantially easier to read and which will save an incredible amount of wear and tear on your eyeballs. (Brad Tolinski, Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World, December 2003)


The bestseller SipSib for the conversion of Sibelius to Score underwent a number of changes:
- quality improvements (Incorrect setting of Par7 on some notes with which SipSib had problems connecting to the correct staff).
- added features (handling of uncommon size notes, clefs and key signatures - 112 and 122 points).
- more Sibelius 3 incompatibilities.
The latest update can be downloaded from this website for free. Do not send me money!


Signals from Score users are always the best motivation to develop software and from different directions came requests for easier text handling. I started this in November 2003 and this week one user starts beta testing. The program is SipText, a text editor for Score music files which will sell for 20 Euros (that is around 25 US$) including the free utilities. While I also got requests for kerning and support for visual Cyrillic text, I included these features as payable extensions.
The Cyrillic extension costs 175 US$, the kerning extension costs 75 US$.
So at this point you will probably wonder why the SipText base price is in Euro. Well, the way the dollar is developing against the Euro, I want to be sure that I get at least the cost of the medium and postage covered...

There are numerous valid arguments for using the text editor:
- Simple to learn - all functions are menu driven, require only a minimum of keys or mouse clicks while colors are used to distinguish the different items and their status on the screen.
- Copy and paste - copy text between Score music files and other Windows applications.
- Speed - walk through a series of files with one click, move text items by drag and drop.
- Proper visualization of typical Score combination characters - on the screen you see the real graphics for characters such as á, ć, ă for >>a, ?a, ~a, etc. as well as for octal representations.
- Visualization of special Score characters which do not have a Windows equivalent graphic.
- Width computation using Adobe Font Metrics (AFM) or PSC - used in centering, flushing and lyrics.
- Width computation of octal characters - used in centering, flushing and lyrics.
- Powerful lyrics entry and edit - assigning syllables to notes, alignment, centering, handling of dashes and extenders.
- Screen addressing - select items from the screen. See the parameters of a text item by just moving the mouse over it.
- Font selection - names of fonts are presented for numeric Score fonts.
- Profile setting - adapt the application to your project or your specific preferences.
- Status information and on-line explanation - most screen object have tooltips, view crucial environment settings, on-line help.
- Graphical keyboard - in addition to the physical keyboard use the screen keyboard for uncommon characters.

For kerning, the advantage really is that there is no alternative other than mixing Score's music output with the features of publishing software.

For Russian, the advantages are:
- See on the screen what will be in the music file. Score has no alternative for this.
- Support for several keyboard layouts and fonts (TimeScore and ScoreCyr).
- Copy and past with Russian word processors.
- Automatic font change within a text when the ScoreCyr font does not have a specific character to a font which does.

Orders for SipText will be taken as of March 1, 2004


Now that AFM files are (optionally) consulted by SipText for text width information, SipAnlib needed extension as to provide which AFM files and their font names are made known to SIP. When setting up SIP for first use, the path to the directory where you keep the AFM files are stored are linked to the utilities and kept in SIP's own registry file SIPCNTRL.INI. The version you will need for SipAnlib (phase1) is 2.01 while SIP supports this as of build 049.
SipAnlib comes for free with all licensed SIP products.


With Score users of the Cyrillic script, it was necessary to extend SipFind to locate character strings in Cyrillic. This is now possible for the Cyrillic TimeScore family of fonts as made available by Sergey Lebedev from the Moscow Conservatory.
SipFind is a free and downloadable product. The standalone version is available to non-SIP users and downloadable.


Let me give you a look in the kitchen where I cook all these SIP dishes. Especially for TAB Scorers I have this program called SipTab simmering. You input and edit TAB in a 'what you see is what you get' way and it generates Score with all those specific TAB intricacies. For details contact me.


All SIP utilities which select files use SipNames. It turned out that in particular environments, the advanced panel was hidden behind the task bar and made the lower few names invisible. This has been remedied. Download 1.18 if you want it.

SIP PowerPoint presentation

With those many new utilities and the recent increase of sales, the PowerPoint presentation had to be updated. It is downloadable and still the best introduction to SIP for newcomers.

Long live SCORE!

Jan de Kloe