[metapost] re: non-deviant "deviates"

Larry Siebenmann laurent at math.toronto.edu
Mon Feb 28 02:09:18 CET 2005

Hi all,

Hartmut writes:

 > It's ok in mpost as of teTeX-3.0, which uses gettimeofday()
 > counted in microseconds. The decision which system time
 > function to use as seed seems to depend on configure before
 > compilation, see mpextra.c. 

Lucky teTeX-3.0 users!

 > Maybe somehow gettimeofday()
 > isn't available in OzTeX, or configure guessed wrongly.

The Macintosh has various sorts of time access with units as fine
as microseconds.

It would probably be sufficient guidance for distribution gourous
to read  a comment in "mpextra.c" stating that autoseeding of
the "...deviate" functions should use a time unit less than job
turnaround time. Use of mp's "time" primitive (which is in
minutes) should be explicitly deprecated.

Same for TeX of course, but I have almost never had occasion to
use randomization in TeX.

Hans Hagen reports something similar re windows and adds:

 > [in context i simply generate a random number seed using perl]

OK, but more of us need the improved feature than are willing and
able to roll their own mp IDE or mp binary.

Thanks to responders!


Laurent Siebenmann

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