[r-t] classification (was Blocks to be renamed as methods)

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Thu Apr 20 22:37:13 UTC 2017

On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 5:07 PM, Richard Smith <richard at ex-parrot.com>
> Alliance methods should consist of just hunting and dodging. (I'm of
> two minds whether to go further and just say single dodging, but
> probably not.) Gluon should not be an alliance method.

‚Äč‚ÄčThis seems to me to be veering into the "make a tidy classification,
regardless of how it accords with common practise" mindset you're wisely
arguing we get away from.

Things with treble paths like Yorkshire Alliance and Akley Little Alliance
seem quite popular (by alliance method standards), at least on eight. I've
not done an exhaustive analysis, but randomly auditing a handful of the
performances of alliance major reported so far this year it appears perhaps
half of them use such a treble path. If that audit translates into reality
it would seem likely that a majority of actual performances of alliance, at
least above minor, wouldn't fit the category you want to define alliance to
be. This doesn't seem right.

If you further limit it to single dodging, as you toy with half-heartedly,
it will further leave out, among others, Cantuar, which I'd guess is
historically the most frequently rung alliance maximus method, though no
longer fashionable these days.

I can see that some crazy, though symmetrical, hunt bell paths would have
little in common with what we think "alliance" means, but limiting it as
you've suggested is a baby with the bath water sort of solution. I'm not
sure how one might write a definition that limits it to what Potter Stewart
would recognize as an alliance method, but I suspect something better than
"hunting and dodging only" could be done.

Perhaps it's something where half the path looks like half a treble dodging
path, but with some blows excised? That wouldn't solve the Cantuar double
dodge issue, but perhaps thinking further about something like that might
provide a solution?

Or, more likely, it's not really a problem worthy of solution, and the
existing alliance definition is good enough, so long as it's not forced on
methods that probably don't want it, like Gluon.

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"With her foot on the threshold she waited a moment longer in a
scene which was vanishing even as she looked, and then, as she moved
... and left the room, it changed, it shaped itself differently; it
had become, she knew, giving one last look at it over her shoulder,
already the past."       -- Virginia Woolf, _To the Lighthouse_
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