[metapost] MetaPost 0.9 announcement

Taco Hoekwater taco at elvenkind.com
Thu Apr 28 17:58:01 CEST 2005

The MetaPost team is happy to announce a new release of MetaPost:

MetaPost 0.9

The sources and a win32 package can be downloaded immediately from


The source package should compile normally on all systems that are
capable of compiling a modern web2c-based TeX distribution.

The win32 package is intended for fptex or a similar web2c-based
installation, and has been tested only with TeXLive 2003. These
executables will *not* work for miktex, sorry.

Of course, we welcome any comments (either good or bad) that you may
have. Simply replying to this message is fine, but see the bottom of
this message for a more formal way to report bugs and feature requests.

For those of you who have noted the large gap between 0.641 and 0.9:
We have deliberately chosen to step over some minor version numbers,
such that the first major release by the current team (this release
is planned for the autumn of 2005) can become version 1.0 without
causing additional confusion.

What is new in version 0.9:
1. There is a new internal quantity called mpversion that reports the
    current metapost version, and the version information is also written
    to the PostScript file.
2. The LaTeX sources of the mpman, mpintro, and mpgraph manuals have
    become part of the distribution package.
3. TEX.mp now has TeX format support through a pair of macros called
    TEXPRE() and TEXPOST(). This llows you to process the contents of
    the TEX() macro with, for example, LaTeX (instead of plain TeX).
    An example is given in the manual.
4. metapost now writes a %%HiReSBoundingBox comment
5. The EPS output no longer contains actual spaces within PostScript
    strings as for example output by label("a space"), but their
    octal escape (\040) instead.
6. The EPS output now also has a %%BeginProlog DSC comment
    as well as %%EndProlog
7. The comments in the Web source have been changed to point out
    that on modern machines, acquiring the random seed has actually
    become a system-dependant operation (a granularity of whole seconds
    is not small enough on new machines).
8. The 'newer' command now accepts more than 2 arguments, testing
    each of the files in turn.

Bugfixes in version 0.9:
1. Documentation improvements: all known errata and typos have been
    removed, better explanations of e.g. dash patterns and dotlabel have
    been provided, and a number of omissions has been rectified.
2. The BoundingBox was not computed correctly when a filldraw command
    with a noticeable pen size was used at the edge of the picture.
3. Paths starting with degenerate constructions like (0,0)--(0,0)--(0,0)
    could overflow memory.
4. The PostScript output could accidentally contain 8-bit characters
    within PostScript strings in previous versions because a test was
    shared between terminal printing and PostScript printing.
5. A bug has been found in the assignment of serial numbers to
    independant variables in metafont 2.71828. This bug affected MP as
    well, and the same patch has been applied.
6. The turningnumber was sometimes wrong in unexpected ways. The new
    implementation is still sometimes wrong (when there are strange path
    segments involved), but in a much more predictable way: the new code
    always draws straight lines between the actual points, and calculates
    the turningnumber based on that path instead of the actual path. The
    effect is that cusps and loops within segments are now completely
    ignored. A more thorough fix of turningnumber is planned for the
    next release.
7. There was an 'off by one' error in dvitomp wrt. the interpretation
    of virtual fonts.
8. mpto uses a new TeX macro for the generation of labels, making it
    more robust wrt. strange user code within the actual label text.
9. A missing colon in boxes.mp has been added
10. A missing save in mfplain.mp has been added
11. The generisize in boxes.mp has been fixed so that it now accepts
    [[ as a valid variable name

Legal notice / license / bug reports
MetaPost is a system for producing graphics developed by John Hobby
at AT&T, based on Donald Knuth's Metafont.  The MetaPost home page
is http://tug.org/metapost.

MetaPost and related programs are in the public domain.

The MetaPost development project is currently hosted at Sarovar,
http://www.sarovar.org/projects/metapost; please report bugs and
request enhancements through there if possible. Alternatively, you
can reach us through the <metapost at tug.org> mailing list as well.
(Please do not send bug reports or feature requests directly to
Dr. Hobby any more)

Have fun!

Taco Hoekwater, for the MetaPost team, April 28, 2005

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