[r-t] Attribution (was Seven Deadly Sins)

Mark Davies mark at snowtiger.net
Wed Nov 2 21:49:31 UTC 2005

John Goldthorpe writes:

> My view on composition attribution is that the composer should be
> able to explain to the smallest level of detail how the composition
> was produced.

That sounds like a recipe for preventing progress forever.

OK, it's good to understand what you're doing, and the tools you're using.
But in any field of human endeavour there comes a point when no one person
can understand the whole subject, and when any further progress must be
based on the work, understood in outline but not in detail, of people who
went before you.

I write a program. I'm the author of that program, I understand how it works
at a high level. I may have a reasonable understanding of the compiler it's
compiled with, the bytecode it compiles to, the virtual machine the
bytecodes runs on, the JIT that compiles the bytecode, the machine code that
the JIT compiles to, and the processor architecture the machine code runs
on; not to mention the many levels of software APIs that will be called
along the way. But there's no way I understand the "smallest level of
detail" of those things. Nevertheless, they are an essential part of the
creation and operation of that program.

I think to be honest that most composers are stuck in a selfish little
time-warp. Composition is still - just - at the stage where you can learn
pretty much everything about it, and do everything for yourself. And that's
where most composers seem to want it to stay. There is no willingness to
share work and credit, to communicate, to build frameworks for the future.

Sheesh. You lot are *rubbish*!


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