[metapost] generic TeX interface?

Stephan Hennig mailing_list at arcor.de
Wed Dec 13 21:30:20 CET 2006

Brian Elmegaard schrieb:

> What are the needed features in the tex-pgf combination to do the same
> as tex-metapost?

I not sure if you meant what the pgf/TeX combination is missing from
MetaPost/TeX or vice versa.  When I had a look at pgf there have been
two things that i didn't get to work and then I stopped using pgf except
for tiny applications.

1. I haven't been able to draw a simple graph where numbers were in the
range (0, 2000).  I don't remember the exact symptoms, but somehow TeX
complained about too big numbers.  MetaPost has its own numeric
restrictions, but here at least I know how to deal with them.

2. When drawing graphs---the ones from graph theory this time---MetaPost
provides far more means to manually adjust the shape of paths (edges) to
avoid them running through unrelated nodes or crossing other edges,
still maintain fixed entry or exit angles etc.  Dealing with path
parametrically is another powerful concept in this area.  Though, I
don't know if pgf provides a similar concept.

Other advantages of MetaPost, most notably equation solving, have
already been mentioned.

One nice thing about pgf, IIRC, is its ability to "smart zoom", i.e.,
line widths and arrow shapes (a) can be scaled while scaling a
coordinate system and (b) they can be scaled at a different scale than
the coordinate system.

Best regards,
Stephan Hennig

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