[r-t] The future of ringing.org

Ed Futcher efutcher at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 19 00:21:50 BST 2019

 Thanks Don. I still like looking through Comp500 more than trolling through complib, and ringing.org provides some of the same experience. If there were a way to reduce the endless compositions by one composer (I'm thinking John Hyden and Stedman) it would be a nice alternative to a novel at night...
    On Tuesday, June 18, 2019, 9:28:48 AM EDT, Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org> wrote:  
 On Sat, Jun 15, 2019 at 9:17 PM Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org> wrote:
> I’m interested in the opinions of folks who actually use
> ringing.org. Does having it available in addition to Composition
> Library still offer value to you? And if so, in what ways?

Summary for the TL;DNR crowd: ringing.org will continue indefinitely, and I will endeavor to continue making improvements to it. I may, naturally, revisit this decision some years into the future if circumstances change.

My thanks to the 47 people who filled out the survey or replied by mail. And to Graham, who kindly shared detailed thoughts of why he believes it would be good for ringing.org to continue to exist. And additional thanks also to the several kind folks who included thanks or praise in what they wrote. Here’s a summary of what I learned.

By the very nature of my request and how I formulated the questions I, of course, introduced a bias by encouraging responses from those who actually use ringing.org, so any ratio of folks saying “keep it” to those saying “ditch it” should be taken with a large dollop of salt. I continue to suspect that Composition Library may be used more than ringing.org, though both appear to be found useful by substantial portions of the ringing community. That said, 39 (83%) of the respondents said ringing.org was filling a need for them. It is worth noting that several of the respondents who don’t use ringing.org did encourage me to drop it, as they view having the two, different services as a distraction or detriment to the ringing community; my apologies to them that on balance I feel I must nevertheless continue ringing.org.

Unsurprisingly nearly all of the “I do use ringing.org” responses use either or both of the peal or quarter peal calling collections, and many kindly provided detailed descriptions of ways it meets their needs that Composition Library might not, at least in its current form. So continuing the calling pages on ringing.org seems an obvious choice.

Only a minority, albeit a substantial one, about 45%, use the methods presentation. However, several of them made arguments for why they prefer it to the many alternatives, not just Composition Library, for method information. So, while a less obvious decision than the collections of callings, on balance it seems worth preserving the method information, too.

Several folks stated that they typically, or frequently, start on ringing.org, and, after selecting a small number of callings to consider in greater depth, then move their activity to Composition Library for those specific callings. Based on this, it would seem to be of value for me to add links from the things in ringing.org to relevant pages in Composition Library. I’ve had a conversation about this with Graham, and believe I see how to make this work. I intend to add it to ringing.org. However, don’t hold your breaths for it, it will only be added as part of the substantial piece of maintenance I’ve started that will take me at least several more months to finish; depending upon my Real Life, and whatever unforeseen difficulties I encounter, perhaps a year or more.

But I do now intend to continue supporting ringing.org as long as I am able, though, of course, I might revisit that choice as things change in coming years. A long languishing TODO that I have at least made a bit of a start on is creating sufficient documentation, and laying other necessary groundwork, so that someone else might be able maintain ringing.org when I am no longer able to do so. Though, having promised this for longer than a decade, it’s another don’t-hold-your-breath item.

Again, thank you for your helpful, and often detailed, comments and thoughts. I much appreciate them.

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
“I would often run the first part of a quarter through Abel; sometimes
the whole quarter. At least then you know what it should sound like,
before the bells and ringers get hold of it.”
   — A J Barnfield, on the change-ringers mailing list, 7 January 2007

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