[metapost] Does MetaPost catch on?

Dan White dwhite at olp.net
Fri Sep 3 22:18:09 CEST 2010

On 03/09/10 21:39 +0200, Stephan Hennig wrote:
>Am 03.09.2010 02:28, schrieb Timothy Murphy:
>>On Thursday, September 02, 2010 09:53:34 pm Stephan Hennig wrote:
>>>I haven't find the time to learn troff, yet I think the learning curve
>>>is less steep than TeX's.  But to cite from documentation of troff's
>>>mathematics package:
>>I find your argument bizarre,
>Reading again, I think I missed one point in the argument.  Troff 
>might not necessarily be that much easier to learn than TeX, but much 
>more easy to try out if there were a small stand-alone distribution 
>of MetaPost + troff.  Talking more rubbish, couldn't troff even be 
>embedded into the MetaPost executable (only mpost, not mplib) so that 
>it's always available?  Reading the prevalent negative replies to my 
>idea I guess I have to recognize: it doesn't catch on.

If you'd like some feedback from a new user, the size of the distribution
really doesn't mean anything to me. It's just a matter of installing it
through aptitude. I had no difficulty at all.

I do find metapost to have a rather steep learning curve, particularly
because it has the feel of a real programming language. It understandably
follows that there's more than one way to do it (tm), so the examples I've
tried to learn from have varied quite a bit in complexity and uniformity.

As to the primary point of the thread, where I've needed to typeset text in
my diagrams, TEX.mp has worked perfectly. Even with my limited knowledge of
TeX, this example from one of my diagrams was pretty straight forward:

dotlabel.top(TEX(decimal(p)), (i*s,j*s));

I intend to use MetaPost for standalone diagrams or images, so my
texting needs are quite basic, but I don't mind doing a little learning
with TeX since I figure I'll probably use that knowledge down the road. I
doubt I'd ever get much out of learning Troff.

Dan White

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