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Package and Revise the Musicians' Guide



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Greetings to the list:

==== Packaging ====
The Musicians' Guide has been published since Fedora 14. I think, when
Brendan says he wants to "package" it, he wants an RPM version that
users can download and access without an active Internet connection.
Nobody has done this yet.

For most of the Guides, this isn't particularly useful. That's why (I
think) only the Release Notes are packaged. Theoretically, everybody
should read the Release Notes. For most of the other documentation,
it's not as useful to have an RPM package. I'm not even sure whether
the Release Notes are packaged any more.

The Musicians' Guide is a little different. There are a lot of extra
media files that go along with the tutorial exercises, and it would be
handy for users to download all the media files at once. I'm not sure
of the best way to deliver these files--maybe even separately from the
documentation, or separately from each other--but RPM packages would
be useful.

I would really appreciate somebody else's help in taking care of the
packaging issue, so I can spend my time on the list below.

==== Revising ====
These have always been problems, but they're more prominent if an
Audio Spin or RPM package draws attention to the documentation.

1.) Official Fedora documentation shouldn't recommend and provide
instructions for installing non-Fedora package repositories. There's a
chapter about the real-time kernel and the Planet CCRMA repository.
This is also an issue because it involves/recommends a lot of manual
tweaking that tends to break between releases. I'm fine with just
leaving this, but it must be tested.

2.) Related to the previous point, Qtractor and SuperCollider are only
available from the RPMFusion and Planet CCRMA repositories,
respectively. Depending on what we do about point (1), we could just
remove those chapters until the Qtractor and SuperCollider make it
into the official repositories. Ideally, only the rt-kernel would live
at Planet CCRMA (as far as "things in the Musicians' Guide" go).

3.) I didn't finish some of the tutorials, so they don't have examples
of the completed project. I want to rewrite a few of those with new
content anyway. The Ardour tutorial is particularly questionable; it
doesn't have a completed version *and* I don't know if the setup
process even works for other people.

4.) The Qtractor tutorial relies on a copyrighted sound recording that
isn't freely available on the Internet. It's also not included. Easy
fix: adjust the tutorial to use a recording, even of the same music,
that we can redistribute.

5.) Here's the best one! The Audacity tutorial is made with fragments
of a copyrighted sound recording that *are* included. My understanding
of copyright law at the time suggested it would be okay, because the
fragments are short, because it is impossible to reconstruct the
original content from the fragments, and because it is intended merely
for private, educational purposes (learning how to use Audacity).

I have since realized that, even though these factors may apply, it
won't necessarily stop an organization from filing a lawsuit.
Packaging these fragments makes it worse, and including them on live
media for a Spin makes it worse still. This point also has an easy
solution: start with fragments that we can redistribute. We wouldn't
even have to rewrite the tutorial... just do all of the same things
with the new fragments.

6.) There's a "to-do" list in the comments at the bottom of the
Revision_History.xml file of the Guide's repository.[0]

7.) There are also a few issues on Bugzilla, including some patches
that should be incorporated.

8.) Then of course I complain about my writing quality. Everything
needs to be copy-edited.

In short, other contributors' help would be greatly appreciated. Let's
get crackin'!


Christopher.

[0] https://fedorahosted.org/musicians-guide/
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