[r-t] Method extension

Philip Earis pje24 at cantab.net
Tue Apr 28 03:33:55 UTC 2015

"What limitations? Can you give an example of something that ought to be 
considered an extension that is not covered, and does not introduce some 
obvious feature that is not present at the lower stage?"

I am not disputing that your algorithm can generate methods at different 
stages with close similarities.  I agree that such an algorithm has use in 
an advisory capacity if someone wants to generate methods.

But it is clear that no algorithm can (or should) produce a 1:1 mapping for 
(method at stage a : method at stage b).  You acknowledge this yourself, eg 
with Cambridge Minor possibly extending to Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, etc.

This, to my mind, makes the case for mandating the use of an extension 
algorithm very weak.

Why?  Well, say that you start with Oxford TB minor, and no 8-bell methods 
have yet been rung.  A band wishing to use your algorithm to extend this to 
8 could (with good reason) end up with the method known as Barry Peachey's 
Dog. A separate band, starting with Kent TB Minor, might chose to extend to 
what we know as Kent Major. Before long there would be a clamour to 
hard-code some arbitrary preferences (like the length of the lead must 
remain constant, or must extend with stage, or whatever) into the extension 
rules.  And before long you'd end up with a heavily parameterised mess, like 
the current Decisions, that would continually introduce new loopholes and 
problems (like with extending the method where the treble plain-hunts to 
n-1th place).

You will also end up under fire from the ringer in the street when you say 
that the method known as London actually shouldn't be as it no longer forms 
a valid extension, and myriad other examples of historical baggage now and 
in the future.

I don't really get Richard Johnston's point that a more liberal approach 
would lead to "poor extensions".  There's no shortage of terrible extensions 
at the moment that comply with the current Decisions, nor indeed or terrible 
new methods rung.  Why is this an argument not to trust bands?  I agree that 
a liberal approach could result in terrible methods being rung, but to my 
mind the status quo often mandates terrible methods being named thus.  It 
hardly seems like a better situation.

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