[metapost] Processing comma separated values

Nicola nvitacolonna at gmail.com
Sun Feb 28 11:35:12 CET 2010

In article <alpine.LNX.2.01.1002271718330.21623 at ybpnyubfg.ybpnyqbznva>,
 Aditya Mahajan <adityam at umich.edu> wrote:

> Is the METAFONTbook the only source to learn such tricks?

No, there is also this mailing list :)

Despite its title, The METAFONTbook is *the* reference manual on 
MetaPost, the same way as The TeXBook is for TeX. With the difference 
that, for TeX, there are other somewhat comprehensive sources, but for 
MetaPost there is none (to my knowledge), although there are several 
good tutorials about its most commonly used features (which suffices for 
most people anyway). Only a small fraction of the book is 
MetaFont-specific, and only the most recent additions to MetaPost are 
not described there (but they are explained in detail in the User 

I think that the book title misleads many people (that was my case, for 
example) and that's unfortunate, because many interesting MetaPost 
features and techniques are unknown to the masses. How many users do 
know about the 'flex' macro? How about 'tensepath', 'penpos' and 
'penstroke'? Who remembers that MetaPost has a 'solve' macro to solve 
some non-linear equations? Etc... Not to mention the insight one would 
gain on the power of equations (which, for me, is what sets MetaPost 
atop of other drawing languages) by reading the corresponding chapter. 


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