Emacs ringing system: Intensive teaching

The command M-x ringing:teach-each-lead-of-method-until-perfect, also reachable from mSiRiL-mode through the command i, gives you each lead of a method in turn, repeating each lead until you get it right.

This is a complex command, with many stages and many variables that control it (hence it having a documentation page of its own). (For a complete list of the control variables, see emacs-ringing configuration.)

First it previews the whole method.

Then it gives you each lead in turn (you can do individual leads from keyboard commands using M-x ringing:teach-lead-until-perfect) until you've got it right some number of times (set in teach-ringing:required-perfects-seen, initially set to 2), then gets you to ring it without being shown it before each lead, until you've got it right teach-ringing:required-perfects-unseen (default 2) times. Getting it right means not more than teach-ringing:tolerable-faults (default 0) times.

Because it goes through the leads in numerical order, you have to learn the line by place bells, rather than as a continuous line.

If the variable teach-ringing:test-previous-leads is non-nil, when it goes from one lead to another (except for from 2 to 3), it will take you through all the leads you've done so far, to reduce the chance of you forgetting a lead because of having learnt other leads. I find this makes a big difference to the thoroughness of learning methods; without it, you can get by with remembering just one lead at a time until you come to the plain course at the end (see below), when you suddenly find you can remember only the last place bell.

Finally, it gets you to ring a plain course of the method.

Learning in shorter bursts of activity

Learning a whole method at one sitting this way can take quite a while, and you may want to do it in several sessions (for example, for a couple of minutes each time while waiting for your computer to do a slow compilation). There are two ways of doing this, as described below.

Starting part-way through

If you give a prefix argument (Ctrl-U number) to the intensive teaching command, it will take that number as the place bell to start with, instead of starting from place bell 2.

Using the touch book

Once you've started to ring a method, for example through the intensive teaching routines, all place bells of that method will then appear in your touch book file (~/.touch-book.el). You can display your touch book, worst lead first, by pressing w in mSiRiL-mode; any leads which you haven't yet rung at all will appear at the top of the list, with 0 correct rows. In the touch book buffer, you can go onto the line describing a lead, and press return to run the intensive teaching on just that lead.

Here is what the top of the touch book buffer, *Leads in improving order*, looks like part-way through getting started on a new method:

0.000000: Cambridge Surprise Maximus(8)
0.000000: Cambridge Surprise Maximus(6)
0.938596: Tuckersgrave Bob Minor(4)
0.939394: Tuckersgrave Bob Minor(3)
0.939693: Highhalden Surprise Minor(2)
0.940476: Tuckersgrave Bob Minor(5)
0.940476: Bamborough Surprise Minor(4)
0.941667: St Clements College Bob Minor(6)
0.942187: Carlisle Surprise Minor(5)
0.942529: Tuckersgrave Bob Minor(2)
0.943122: Carlisle Surprise Minor(4)

Whenever you complete ringing a lead from the touch-book buffer, the buffer is adjusted so that the lead you've rung moves to the appropriate ranking in terms of how well you're doing at it.

Revision using the touch book

Within the touch book buffer, the command w gets you to practice your current worst lead; with a prefix argument, it asks for a pattern string, and gives you the worst lead matching that pattern, so, for example, you could restrict your revision to surprise royal. The command W from mSiRiL-mode also does this.

The command v from the touch-book buffer, or * from mSiRiL-mode, applies this repeatedly, and so will take you through your touch book starting with what you most need to practice and working through to things you're relatively good at. Like the command for practicing your one worst lead, this takes an optional pattern for choosing which ones to try you on. It also prompts, at each lead, for whether you want to try it, skip it, or quit the revision.

Since the state of your practicing is stored in your touch book, you can pick this up at any time for a lead or two, if you're fitting your method learning into slow compilations etc on your computer.

[John's ringing page] [John's home] Back to emacs-ringing index.
John C. G. Sturdy
Last modified: Tue Sep 22 09:07:11 1998