Change Ringing Toolkit Features

Overview

The 'Change Ringing Toolkit' provides a rich set of tools for ringers that can be accessed directly from a modern web browser. In recent years there has been a steady migration away from the Windows operating system. The 'Change Ringing Toolkit' will work on any computer that has internet access and a browser that supports the 'W3C international standard HTML5.

Toolkit is designed to replace most of my bell ringing software that was available for download from this web site for the last 10 years. My downloadable programs only worked on the Microsoft Windows operating system and needed to be installed on the users machine. Often this wasn't possible especially when it is a public computer in a library or a computer at work.

The 'Change Ringing Toolkit' does not neglect ringers in the early stages of the hobby. It includes a screen to practice understanding called changes. The built in help defines the rules for called changes. The called change screen has a dual function of allowing more experienced ringers to compose a set changes for their conducting. Another screen assists learning to recognise rope sight.

Navigation

Navigation takes place from the Home Page, only that page http://www.ringbell.co.uk/toolkit/index.htm should be bookmarked in your browser's favourites list.

On the top lefthand side of each page (except this one) is a dropdown 'Actions' menu. Click the bar to drop the menu down and again to close it. All the other pages comprising the 'Change Ringing Toolkit' are accessed from this menu. If a method has not been selected some menu options appear greyed. Your current option in the menu is highlighted.

At the bottom of the 'Actions' menu is a page specific help option. This opens a small window giving help for the current page.

This editor is for Course based calling patterns of an observation bell who is not affected by the Bobs and Singles they call, therefore making repeated plain courses, so has one less thing to worry about. It is not a hard and fast rule that the conductor be an observation bell, they can also make calls that affect their work.

Course based calling patterns can be recognised by the use of a grid to present the touch in publications such as the Ringing World. Calling positions have names such as Wrong, Before, Middle and Home abbreviated to single letters 'W','B','M' & 'H' in the column headings. The use of course based calling makes it much easier to transport similar touches across different methods. For example: Wrong and Home twice works for Plain Bob at Minor, Triples and Major stages, as well as Little Bob both Minor and Major.

TOOLKIT allows the creation and editing of a grid containing the calls and proving the truth of the touch too. It can handle multi-part touches including peals. After the touch has been entered it can be viewed or printed with every lead expanded by using the Actions menu to switch to the Touch Print screen. More detailed examination can be achieved from the Touch Explorer screen described next.

Called Changes

Designed to help understand called changes with 5, 6, 7 or 8 working bells and create a string of changes for conductors to use. The screen enforces the rule of only changing bells that are ringing next to one another by having swap buttons aligned between pairs of adjacent bells.

The conductor's call for that change is added to the list. The wording of the call can be switched from calling up, calling down, both of these and also to include the bell who doesn't change place but has to follow a different bell. The list can be copied and pasted into a word processing document for printing.

Rope Sight Tutor

This screen replaces my downloadable program 'Ringbell' with a few enhancements. The screen demonstrates the view of ropesight in rounds and in methods too. The users may select any bell to ring and subject from the dropdown box, rounds and plain hunt are always available, but if Call Changes have been defined on the Call Change screen, these can be selected, otherwise the option is Greyed out. If a method has been selected on the Popular Methods or Library Screen, a plain course of this method can be selected, otherwise it is Greyed out.

The action may be repeated as many times as necessary before moving to the next stroke. Optional guide boxes over each ringer suggest which bell you are looking for.

Choose a Method

The 'Change Ringing Toolkit' has two ways of selecting a method for the diagram, touches and learn the line screens. Previously exported compositions can be imported too.

The POPULAR METHODS screen as its name suggests allows you to select one of a number of popular methods commonly rung in towers at the Doubles, Minor, Triples and Major stages. Popular Methods have one or more predefined touches associated with them. Further touches may be added using the touch editor.

The METHOD LIBRARY screen has an extract from the CCCBR Method Library containing all but the most obscure methods in the Doubles, Minor, Triples and Major stages. As the CCCBR library does not specify Bobs and Singles, these can be optionally added along with Waypoints, that guide you through the method. Calling positions identified by letters such as M W H for Middle Wrong and Home, used when calling touches, can be optionally added too.

To add or edit the optional features, return to this screen, omitting Stage 1 - do not select a new method but go to options 2, 3 or 4. Confirm any additions or changes at Item 5. 'Keep Changes'

Method Diagram

The Method diagram screen, does as its name suggests and displays the method diagram for the currently selected method.

You may select the bell to use as the Blue Bell, so you can customise the diagram for the bell you are ringing. There are a number of selectable diagram styles. This image shows three different styles applied to Plain Bob Minor.

Three further buttons enable the line colours, diagram layout and screen size to match portrait or landscape paper. The line colour control uses a click to select mode so line colours to be chosen individually or matched with the second's colour. The colours can be reset to the standard order.

Once selected, the colours are kept during the current browser session when switching between screens. The Blue Circle screen uses the colours selected here.

Roller Coaster

This is a different perspective on the standard method diagram. The lines are drawn horizontally for people who 'see' methods as an up and down line like a roller coaster rather than left to right. The bell's line goes up to the back and down to the lead.

It may help fix the idea of ringing slowly when the line goes uphill and speeding up as the line descends.

The roller coaster screen has the same options as the classic method diagram screen, line colours and blue bell are preserved across both screen. When printing it is probably better to select Landscape mode for the screen and printer setup.

Learn the Places along the Blue Line

This highly interactive screen helps the ringer to learn their places and work of a method. Once a bell has been picked, the user can recite their place and type the place number into the Keyboard or use the mouse if they prefer. Initially the screen gives a lot of help, but this can be reduced as progress is made. If the Blue line section is turned off, it can be quickly revealed in the case of difficulty remembering the next work.

The display is sectioned into three bays. The first being the Blue line, which moves as you progress through the method. The Red line is your current position.

The second bay is the commentary box, what is displayed is controlled by the options selector. In the verbose setting, your current position and the bell you are following is displayed. In the normal mode it just indicates whether you have made a mistake or not.

The righthand bay is the clock showing your position through the work of the Method. This is only displayed for inside bells, those in the hunt aren't working so can't be shown. In methods with two hunt bells such as Grandsire, then hand disappears when you are called into the hunt and reappears when called back out.

Touches

Before clicking the [Start] button, the touch selector box can be used to select either a plain course or one of the predefined touches.

When a Bob or Single is called, this is announced via the PC speaker and the Blue line is redrawn to take into account the call. This redrawing is similar to when ringing real bells as you don't know when the conductor will call so have to assume a plain lead until told differently.

Adapting to your Skill Level - User Preferences

A novice may wish to turn on the running commentary, to give a guide to your place and which bell you are following. Without the running commentary, so long as no mistakes are made the commentary box cycles between 'Yes' and 'Correct', if a mistake is made the PC speakers beep and the commentary box shows a red 'Error' message.

As your skill level improves, turn off the Preview. But should you need a quick reminder, click the display to turn it on for the next change only. Finally turn the History off too, and use the tutor blind.

Lead by Lead Touch Editor

The popular methods come with one or more built in touches but the editor allows further touches to be added. When selecting from the CCCBR library screen, there are no touches built in so you must first define Bobs and Singles, then use the 'Touch Editor' to create the touches. There is no limit to the number of touches that can be created.

The TOOLKIT website does not store any user information, so if you wish to keep any newly created touches, use the 'Actions' menu, selecting export, to save them to your hard disk. The touch data is stored as encoded text, so you can easily share them with fellow ringers using email.

Course based Touch Editor

This editor is for Course based calling patterns of an observation bell who is not affected by the Bobs and Singles they call, therefore making repeated plain courses, so has one less thing to worry about. It is not a hard and fast rule that the conductor be an observation bell, they can also make calls that affect their work.

Course based calling patterns can be recognised by the use of a grid to present the touch in publications such as the Ringing World. Calling positions have names such as Wrong, Before, Middle and Home abbreviated to single letters 'W','B','M' & 'H' in the column headings. The use of course based calling makes it much easier to transport similar touches across different methods. For example: Wrong and Home twice works for Plain Bob at Minor, Triples and Major stages, as well as Little Bob both Minor and Major.

TOOLKIT allows the creation and editing of a grid containing the calls and proving the truth of the touch too. It can handle multi-part touches including peals. After the touch has been entered it can be viewed or printed with every lead expanded by using the Actions menu to switch to the Touch Print screen. More detailed examination can be achieved from the Touch Explorer screen described next.

Touch Explorer

This screen allows you to investigate how the bells are affected by the Bobs and Singles in a touch. There are three different views of the bells. A circle of work showing the coursing order. A coloured method diagram that adapts to display the work in a Plain, Bobbed or Single lead. A list showing the lead heads, the call, '-' for Bob and 's' for single and if calling positions have been specified, the position letter is added. Clicking on any line in the touch listing redraws the other two windows to show the work of the bells and the coursing order during that lead.

Placing the mouse over a line in the diagram shows the bell number for that coloured line. The colours match the coursing order circle. In the circle, the conductor bell has its number bracketed e.g. (7). The Blue line bell can be changed at any thing. Changing the conductor bell doesn't alter the order of the touch but the calling positions both in the list and on the bottom left of the coursing order reflect the conductors position at a call.

Touch Print

This screen displays a lead by lead breakdown of a touch. It is intended to be useful when conducting quarters and peals, avoiding the need to expand the touch manually. Long touches will spread over more than on page to keep the text at a readable size. To obtain a paper copy use the Internet Browser's print button / or print preview to check it fits the paper before printing.

In methods where the Course Based Calling Positions have been named, irrespective of whether the touch itself is lead based or Course based, the names of the calls will be shown for the bell selected as conductor. This feature allows a touch designed for a certain bell to be called by another without altering the music in the touch.

Exporting and Importing Compositions

These two screens allow you to save touch compositions between visits to the 'Change Ringing Toolkit' or share your compositions by email or other electronic means of communication. Simply copy from Toolkit and paste into a document. At the receiving end, select all the composition block then copy and paste it into Toolkit.

Now Try Out the CHANGE RINGING TOOLKIT

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Change Ringing Toolkit, at RINGBELL.CO.UK