[r-t] Yorkshire Surprise Minor, etc

Mark Davies mark at snowtiger.net
Sun Mar 19 10:59:13 UTC 2017

I guess the history of it is that method classification is a just a way 
of providing a tag which alerts people when a method falls into a 
particularly popular category. This is why we've ended up with more 
fine-grained classifications for the more popular types of methods 
(despite this, there are more methods in these categories than the 
wider, unpopular ones). Often we don't (or didn't) even have a name for 
the general case.

 From some perspectives, this is a strange way of doing things, and 
downright ugly if you're one of those people who thinks popular methods 
should be less popular. However, it can of course be very useful at 
times, such as when your village six augments to eight, you want to 
christen the new ring with a peal, and you discover some other band have 
already named Lower Snotscommon Surprise Major. But Lower Snotscommon 
Delight is free!

When it comes to extension, classification once again both helps and 
hinders. Where there are two reasonable-looking extensions, and one 
falls into the same class as the parent and the other doesn't, well 
perhaps there's a good argument that you should go with the first one, 
because there's a shared structural property. In the case of "Yorkshire 
D Minor" if you were to try and extend it to Major, wouldn't you want to 
keep the cross in the 3-4 section, and the external places in the 4-5 
section? Why would an extension introduce places in every cross-section? 
I haven't looked, but it seems likely there are false Major methods 
which look more similar to the Minor than Y8 does. Much as we'd like a 
Yorkshire on six, does it really exist?

But often the only reasonable-looking extension doesn't share the same 
class. Sometimes, to my mind, this means that the classification is just 
plain wrong. For instance, currently where a Major method extends to a 
short-course Royal method, the latter is classed as "Differential" and 
so is not accepted as an extension. Unlike the Yorkshire case, this is a 
problem which may prevent an otherwise perfect-looking extension 
applying on an infinite number of stages. Why is the number of leads to 
the course deemed to be such an important structural property? The leads 
still fall into the same group (the PB leadheads).

In summary, I think there is a balance to be struck between two much 
classification (harms extension, applies bias to method types) and too 
little (not enough namespaces). To my mind, the best classification 
system is one that works well and helps out method extension as far as 
possible. The worst failing of the current system is not 
TD/Delight/Surprise, but the separation of short-course methods into a 
separate class.


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