[metapost] [bug] documentation of length operator

Dan Luecking luecking at uark.edu
Mon Mar 12 17:41:26 CET 2007

At 07:09 PM 3/9/2007, you wrote:

>Dan Luecking schrieb:
> >
> > The metapost and metafont language are the same. The reference
> > manual for the metapost language is Knuth's "MetafontBook".
> > The file mpman is really a "Not so Short Introduction to Metapost".
> > I haven't read them lately, but mpman or mpintro used to say as much.

>But even if mpman is not a full MetaPost reference "length <string>"
>should be added at least to table 7 (or 8 in the upcoming version),

I certainly agree. That was an unfortunate oversight that must be

>since there is no point in an incomplete list of operators (that
>suggests by its length alone that it's complete).  IMHO, either it is
>complete or it should be completely left out.

That would be extreme. Even a partial list provides information that
can be useful (witness the fact that it HAS been useful for years).

>Declaring it broken by
>design is no satisfying solution.

I didn't mean to suggest it was "by design". I only meant to express
my opinion that, as things now stand, if you are serious about
understanding the language, the Metafontbook is almost a necessity.[*]
(A reference manual for MetaPost that is as complete as the Metafontbook
would probably be a couple hundred pages, with most of the material
duplicating what is in that book.)

[*]Also, a few years frustration (er, I mean 'experience') with the
ideosyncracies of that language is almost mandatory.


Daniel H. Luecking
Department of Mathematical Sciences
University of Arkansas
"I reject your reality, and substitute my own" --Adam Savage

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