Fellow forumite Stephen Taylor drew an excellent analogy with the editing of dictionaries, and the issue of prescriptive (i.e. what is “right” and “wrong”) versus descriptive (i.e. what do people actually do) grammar, and Dorico I think has to walk this line as well.
Gould is an excellent starting point, but it is by no means the only text we use as reference when planning how to handle various notational features. My desk is literally buried under all of the standard notation texts and dozens of scores by various publishers. We discuss at great length within the team everything that we tackle, and spend a lot of time researching different possible approaches. I also have a number of expert music engravers based both in Europe and the US that I am fortunate enough to be able to call upon when I need a third or fourth opinion.
And Dorico’s philosophy is not to hardwire things. If the plan was to hardwire everything, then we wouldn’t have bothered with the hundreds of engraving options that are implemented in the very first release of Dorico. The philosophy is to provide excellent, configurable defaults, and the means to override them if need be. I think those users who have actually spent some time with the software (and, with respect, I don’t believe this includes you, John) can see this very clearly.
However, writing software is not a zero-sum game. Adding options takes time not only in development, but also in testing, in localisation, in documentation, and it adds to the cognitive load on the user. We have a huge amount of ground to cover in continuing to make the software useful to as many people as possible. This is a daily balancing act, and I think the biggest challenge we have in front of us is effective prioritisation so that the software develops in the right directions quickly enough that it can continue to build its momentum in its adoption within the global community of musicians.
All of which is a long way to say that I’m sure we can and will provide options for this in future, but I can’t guarantee that it will be tomorrow, or the next day.