[r-t] Blocks to be renamed as methods

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Thu Apr 20 14:35:40 UTC 2017

On Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 7:55 PM, Mark Davies <mark at snowtiger.net> wrote:
> Yes. We did consider trying to introduce single-lead methods this
> year, but I think it needs to wait for the proper job in 2018. There
> are some conceptual difficulties. For instance, the difference
> between hunt bells and working bells breaks down in the single-lead
> case, but this distinction is currently fundamental to our
> classification system. How to best resolve this?

I've been thinking a little further on this. And it seems to me there is
little difficulty. As near as I can tell the whole, existing classification
scheme seems to me to hold together apart from one, or possibly two, nits.
Or, at least, holds together as well as it does for other methods. Can you
provide some concrete examples where there are problems?

In particular, in a one lead method all bells are hunt bells. Nothing
ambiguous about that. In the cases most likely to come up in practice (e.g.
2nds place versions of 'm' methods or hunt versions of 'a' methods, I
suppose) only one, or a small number, of hunt bells will be principal
hunts. And classification goes on as usual. And even in the more artificial
cases where all hunts are principal, most likely hybrid, alliance or treble
place, I don't immediately see any looming difficulties in classifying
them, if classify them we must.

One nit is that according to the current scheme all single lead methods
will be categorized as differential hunters (an awful name -- do they chase
after infinitesimal foxes?), which doesn't seem right.

A second nit that may or may not be present is slow course methods. From
the wording of that special case it isn't clear if the secondary hunt
making seconds over the treble is the only secondary hunt, or if there can
be others. It is ambiguously worded. If it is read literally, and not
interpreted as "there is only one secondary hunt, and it...." then all 2nds
place versions of lead end m plain methods would be slow course methods,
which might be a bit odd.

Are there any other issues you foresee here?

I'm not asking because I think it should be tackled sooner, or in the ad
hoc, piecemeal way that has traditionally been The Way We Do Things; I'd
rather this all be cleaned up as part of a through revamping, radical
simplification, and descriptivisation of things anyway. I'm just curious
what difficulties you're seeing.

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"Historians and storytellers don't have much in common, but they do
share this: the past, once it gets hold of you, does actually come
alive. For scholars, this is troublesome. For writers, it's the
good stuff."        -- James Goldman, Preface to _The Lion in Winter_
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