[r-t] Me

Mark Davies mark at snowtiger.net
Mon Oct 27 21:19:26 UTC 2014

Robin Woolley writes,

> I have asked this question before, and I don't think I
 > have ever received an answer: why are people
 > desperate for 'compliance' for everything they do?

Well, I've sure I've answered this over and over again. It's the method 
libraries, isn't it. They are the shared glossary of ringing. If you 
ring a new method, you want it recorded in the libraries. Secondly, you 
want it recorded in a sensible place - alongside methods it is similar 
to. Thirdly, you want to be able to go to the libraries to see whether 
something has been rung and named before.

People think it's all about "recognition" of peals, but actually it's 
the method libraries we should be worrying about.

> If they are that exciting, why aren't they rung more?
 > In short, my view is, why go through all the trouble of
 > finding a separate category(ies) to put something in when
 > the thing proposed proves less than popular.

I'm not entirely sure why a method has to be "popular" to be worth 
listing in the libraries in a sensible way.  But my favourite example of 
successful innovation is the Differential. Would anyone have predicted, 
after Upham and Double Helix were rung, that this new category of 
methods would prove popular? But look how many there are now:


Not only that, but the biggest growth area is Doubles and Minor. Who's 
to say that this isn't where the big application for methods with more 
hunt bells than working bells, or methods false in the plain course, 
will be? Not in the black zone at all.

The Differentials provide a good example in another way, too. Tony stuck 
them in a category of their own, away from normal methods and 
principles. But in fact this means that the natural extension of many 
Surprise Major methods, and the contraction of many TD Maximus methods, 
can't be rung to Royal since they break down into short courses - which 
Tony insisted were "Differential Hunters", in his view a completely 
different and presumably less worthy category of method. But that's daft 
- all that's different is the length of the course, not the structure or 
extensibility of the method.

This (originally the "Bristol 14 Little 16" debacle) was the first of 
the many horrors which have been inflicted on the categorisation of 
methods in the libraries. The rules have been grudgingly extended, but 
always in a way which attempts to keep the innovations out of the main 
categorisation of "proper" methods. We see the same again with methods 
false in the plain course: not even methods, but "blocks". The result is 
increasing lack of consistency and a bigger and bigger mess in the 
database at the heart of method ringing - the method libraries.


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