The Central Council Methods Library is maintained using the Composition Library website, and that provides the easiest way to search for and view methods by their blue line or grid. You can also use it to find suitable compositions, classify new methods and check the validity of the proposed names.
In addition, files containing method lists to view, or download for use with spreadsheets or computer programs, are usually generated once a week, and are archived in a Central Council repository on GitHub for direct access through these pages. There are three different formats provided and these are explained further below:
Text format provides simple lists for browsing or pasting into a spreadsheet or database.
Separate files are provided for each Method Class and Stage, and these can be viewed directly in a browser by clicking on the link. They are presented as simple html files to ensure the browser does not wrap the text. In addition a single zipped file containing all methods (i.e. all Classes and Stages) is provided for download.
The single Class and Stage files are laid out in columns that are both tab separated and space separated to a fixed width. This means that the columns will be aligned when displayed in a browser or text editor, and will also paste or import correctly into the columns of a spreadsheet or database. The fixed column width means that the data in some columns has to be truncated, for example extremely long method names or references. The presence of an ellipsis (...) at the end of the column indicates where the data has been truncated. If full data is needed, use the all methods file.
For easy transfer to a spreadsheet in formatted columns, Select All (typically CTRL-A or CMD-A) on the web page of place notation and Copy (CTRL-C or CMD-C), then in the spreadsheet, click Paste Special and choose Paste as Text.
The all methods file is only tab separated, as use with a spreadsheet or database is assumed. No data is truncated in this file.
The files are UTF-8 encoded to support the limited range of Unicode characters used in Method names (see Method Name Syntax for details). UTF-8 is very widely supported by applications, but if you require a simpler encoding, try the MicroSiril format as that is restricted to the ASCII character set.
The data is laid out in columns as follows:
The MicroSiril format has been used to import methods into computer programs since the 1980s and although it has limitations, it is still widely used. For example MicroSiril files can be imported by Abel, BelTower, MethodMaster and a number of other applications. Its place notation format is also widely supported, including the online peal prover of BellBoard.
Methods of each combination of stage and class grouping is held in a separated file in ASCII format. The files are named according to the convention below, where n is the Stage:
Each method is recorded on a separate line using fields as follows, separated by a single space:
The XML format is the newest and most comprehensive format available, and is ideal for use with any new ringing software being developed. As well as the place notation for each method, it provides method properties, such as False Coursehead Groups, symmetry and hunt bell path, as well as details of the first performance on tower bells and handbells. For full details of the format, you can download the Central Council's XML Method Specification.
Each method tag is given a unique ID corresponding to the method ID used in Composition Library prefixed by 'm'.
Version 1 of the Central Council Framework for Method Ringing became effective on the 1st June 2019, superseding the Central Council Decisions, which were last modified in 2017. Since then, methods have been classified according to the Framework and pre-existing method titles were updated where appropriate. In summary:
A full list of methods retitled by those changes can be found here.
Jump methods are defined using an extended place notation described in the Framework for Method Ringing. They are provided in separate text, microSiril, and XML formats, but have been excluded from the XML All Methods file to allow time for app developers to handle the extended notation.
Dynamic methods do not yet have an adopted notation. They are currently defined in descriptive form in the text format collection only.
If you have any queries or comments regarding methods, the methods library, or the Framework for Method Ringing, the CCCBR Technical & Taxonomy Workgroup will be pleased to answer them. Please email email@example.com.
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