SIP Newsletter #28

Brussels, February 21, 2007


- Freeware Service Pack 006
- Escrow 2007
- New utility SipVert
- New utility SipProof
- The Score path length restriction
- SCORLAS4 keyboard simulation restriction
- How big is SIP?
- SipSib updates

Freeware Service Pack 006
All users: Install FreewareServicePack 006 which includes a new version checker. After installation hit the 'Version' menu on the main panel to check if you are up-to-date with everything.

Dear Score user,

A lot has been done on the front of conversion from XML to Score, mostly on script related issues. There are not many engravers using Cyrillic or Hebrew script but those who do deserve our complete attention. As a matter of fact, SIP has always been ahead of Recordare in this respect as we keep working around Dolet's script problems.
Converting from other packages (Sibelius, Finale) is now the major focus, and surpassing sales of all other SIP utilities. Thanks to our users for a continued interest in the conversion tools. Keep hitting us with new requests!

Escrow 2007
For the third time, a complete copy of SIP source code was deposited with the agent.
I do this at the beginning of a every new year. You should know that I think about the things that could happen - if for some reason (fire, dementia, death, winning the Florida State Lottery) I do no longer maintain SIP, there is at least the source code which becomes available for those who want to continue maintenance and development.
The policy of Escrow is explained in Newsletter #21.

New utility SipVert
If you want all your pages have the exact vertical staff positions this utility can help.
Select a sequence of files, minimum two. Then let this program pass the Code8Par4 parameters from the first selected file to the subsequent ones. This guarantees that when you flip through the pages, you see that all staves are exactly on the same height.
The program first checks if pages are conform (same number of staves, same sizes, etc.)
Optionally it can pass Instrument Id's from the first file to the subsequent ones.
Freeware for licensed SIP users!
Included in Freeware Service Pack 006. User guide downloadable.

New utility SipProof
After proofreading, there are corrections. Then you need to proofread again... This tool compares the old with the new files and tells you where the differences are. You gain valuable time as this program indicates what does not need to be checked again!
Even when staves have been horizontally readjusted because of removal or insertion, this tool knows.
Freeware for licensed SIP users!
Included in Freeware Service Pack 006. User guide downloadable.

The Score path length restriction
SIP works very nicely around this SCORE restriction but it is a nuisance that it tells the user each time that a long path was detected. When you install the current level of SIP (FreewareServicePack 006) there is now a user option (global options, panel >SCORE) where you can decide for yourself if you want this warning or not.
I know - I should have done this ages ago...

SCORLAS4 keyboard simulation restriction
Making EPS files and moving those to graphic packages is a regular activity for most engravers. SIP (on XP machines with QWERTY keyboard, meaning most of the customers) has this feature to do that for you without hitting any key in SCORLAS. This is called keyboard simulation and you will see this when you open the SCORE interface from the main menu.
I just noticed that it does not work for SCORLAS4 so if you want this I will make it. Let me know.

How big is SIP?
Well it is big. In fact, SipSip main module with 40k lines is the biggest program I have ever written in my +40 years as a professional programmer.
How can the size of software be measured? By LoC or Lines of Code as this is called in the industry. Some use terms like SLOC (source lines of code), KLOC (thousands of lines of code), etc.
There is an unverified quote by Bill Gates saying that measuring by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building by weight. Effectively, the LoC says nothing about complexity, or about the design which is done before the very first line of coding. Also, some computer languages require more or less lines for the same problem than the next language. Yet it is some measure in absence of something better. SIP today with the freeware and the released licensed product adds up to more than 233,000 LoC and it is expected to reach a quarter of a million LoC by the end of this year.
There is an industry standard for programmer productivity that says that a programmer produces 15,000 lines of code per year. By that standard it would have taken me 15 years working 40-hour weeks. Evidently there is something wrong with that standard (or with me).
Look at Wikipedia "Source_lines_of_code" when you want to read more about this.
When you want details on SIP individual module sizes, look here: How big is SIP?

Bug in SipSkore
If you happen to run SIP with SipSkore, replace it by the current version as there is an error (in keyboard simulation).
Don't mix it up with SipScore (with a C) which is a different thing. Freeware Service Pack 006 contains a new version for SipScore and SipSkore.

Since the last Newsletter, users Peter Ballinger and Jeff Grossman have hit me with valuable suggestions for improvements that are now in Build 112.
Another change is to be implemented soon: proper ordering of notes in chords with seconds when the stem is up.

Long live SCORE!

Jan de Kloe