[metapost] Does MetaPost catch on?

Taco Hoekwater taco at elvenkind.com
Fri Sep 3 09:19:31 CEST 2010

On 09/02/2010 10:10 PM, Stephan Hennig wrote:
>> I like to think the coupling is encouraging the
>> wider adoption of TeX distributions.
> Ha, ha! I really like the idea. ;-) But is MetaPost really visible
> outside TeX world so that it could indeed promote TeX? I tend to think
> it is not, unfortunately.

I wonder: is MetaPost viable enough such that if it was more visible,
it would actually be interesting to the outside world?

Unfortunately, I think not. Being a general picture programming
language, it has none of the specific strengths of the more field-
specific languages (R, GNUplot, graphviz, ...) and as a generic
language, it is quite limited compared to other offerings
(asymptote, PostScript, ..., even pic).

Metapost 2 should be a step in the right direction, but there is
much more that is missing if we want metapost to be interesting
to people that are not primarily into in TeX. Some areas that
could be improved, off the top of my head and in random order:

* inclusion and operations on (bitmapped) graphics
* animation
* transparency
* opentype font support
* more compact output for large graphics
* better path operations (intersection and other set operations)
* native bitmap output
* efficient large array manipulations

Unfortunately, all of these need programmers ...

Best wishes,

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