[r-t] Extension and Contraction

Mark Davies mark at snowtiger.net
Mon Jun 15 08:59:13 BST 2020

The Technical workgroup has been musing some problems in method extension.

There are some methods where either the path of the treble, or of a 
working bell, has "N" successive pieces of work in the plain course. For 
instance, Bristol has 1 wrong dodge at the Royal stage, 2 at Maximus, 
and so on; but none at Major.

Considering the N=0 case to be part of the extension sequence sounds 
logical, and indeed produces good "visual" results in many cases. 
However it seems to go against the precept that pieces of work cannot be 
invented by an extension, but instead should be generated from something 
already present on the lower stage.

Sometimes it might actually be possible to generate the N=1 work from 
the lowest stage - e.g. for Bristol by allowing half the middle section 
to expand. But this is probably not always possible, nor indeed the best 
approach where it is possible.

Instead I am wondering whether, in a method extension sequence, it would 
be better to identify an N=1 stage as the "root". The extension process 
would generate the N=1,2,3... stages in a similar way to what we're used 
to now, but the N=0 stage would be generated as a contraction, removing 
sections and contracting place notation. It may be that there are some 
methods where contraction to smaller (negative) stages may also be possible.

What do people think of this idea? Initially it seemed to me to be an 
unpleasant complication to the extension process, but I can see some 
benefits of it, particularly to allow methods on very small stages (e.g. 
Minimus) to be named as part of a visually pleasant sequence.

Thoughts please!


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