Steve Carter on Software Development

Software Development weblog. Mostly about my THoTH Music Learning Software.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

THoTH resurrected yet again

After a long hiatus, I'm back to work on this blog. More importantly, I'm back to work on THoTH.

I'm planning to release a Beta version to a few testers in the next week or two. It won't include the analytic engine, but it will provide a pretty good database, and a few analysis examples.

THoTH uses a very simple database, just one table for tunes. In the previous version, which I used in my teaching for several years, I used a Paradox table, and the Borland Database Engine. For the upcoming release, I've switched to a Firebird (Interbase) table, using the embedded Firebird server. So the end user will not have to bother with database installation. Just fire up the program, and all the data is available. I will have to include a backup menu option, so that the THoTH.fdb Firebird database gets backed up properly.

The Tunes table contains one row for each tune. It's completely denormalized. Each record has one field for each of the seven modes for the three scale types, one field for each of the 23 chord types, and so forth. For my purposes, this works fine. The display values for mode names, chord names, key names, style names are all stored in the ini file. An end user can change them -- I'm not sure at this point whether that's a good idea or not.

My analysis engine, up to this point, worked with MusicPrinter Plus files. The next version will work with MusicXML files. I haven't implemented that yet, though I've done some work on it. For the first Beta, I'll take a couple of dozen of my existing analysis output files, which are plain text, format them for HTML (as I do on my web site), and include them.

I need to start on the help files. Very little help is needed for the actual program operation; it's pretty simple. But I want the help to include explanations of the music theory behind the system. I need to give more thought to integrating this.


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