[metapost] improving MetaPost documentation

Troy Henderson thenders at gmail.com
Mon Feb 18 00:01:43 CET 2008

> *  What is the preferred way of communication in/on/by/with a Wiki?

I'm no expert on working on Wikis myself.  I've setup several of them,
but I have spent very little time actually using (i.e., adding content
to) them.  Perhaps using the "Talk" feature?

> *  What is the preferred way to render bitmap graphics with LaTeX, e.g., formulae?

The wiki software (I am using MediaWiki) uses a TeX implementation
called texvc which can be called in the following way

<math> some LaTeX math code </math>

The server has default preferences in how this is rendered.
Furthermore, each registered user can change these preferences for
his/her usage.  The default seems to be to render things using plain
HTML for simple formula and convert to PNG for more complex ones.
MediaWiki also supports (I believe through texvc) conversion to

> On a second thought, did you do the obvious and render them by MetaPost + gs?

Well actually, I have been converting all of my MetaPost graphics
thusfar on the wiki to SVG.  MediaWiki supports SVG, and renders them
as PNG's.  But the original SVG is always available for download from
the wiki.  I think this is a pretty good way of doing it.  Up to this
point, I have been using my MetaPost Previewer, located at


to generate the graphics and grab an SVG (not SVGZ) version of the
graphic, and this is what I am providing to the wiki.  I plan to
*soon* implement something on the front page to allow users to convert
their MetaPost graphics (in PDF) to SVG so that these SVG's can be
used on the wiki.  I think a straightforward conversion should be
readily available to the wiki users, and I would really like to have
all MetaPost graphics on the wiki be SVG's.

> Well, I guess, most of the work to do before an 'official' start is to
> assemble some "How can I contribute stuff?" notes/invitations.

That sounds like a good idea.  I've already begun adding content, and
I know that at least one other person has as well.  It would be nice
to (like you mentioned) get a good foundation on the wiki before
opening it up to the "world".  However, for simplicity sake, I have it
currently setup so that anyone can setup an account.  Once an account
is created and email address verified, users can now add/delete/change
content.  Perhaps I should lock it down and only give rights to a few
users, but I don't know when the right time to do that is.  Is that
now?  Perhaps not.


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