[metapost] math resources for MP

Laurence Finston lfinsto1 at gwdg.de
Sun Jan 23 13:13:40 CET 2005

On Sat, 22 Jan 2005, Larry Siebenmann wrote:

> European intermediate math texts of a century ago contain
> chapters on plane curves and surfaces that may be more
> relevant than a modern work on NURBs.

Perhaps.  I should have mentioned that Jones, Salomon, and
Piegl and Tiller all cover Bezier curves, B-splines, etc., before
explaining NURBs.  That's why I recommended Piegl and Tiller.

> The fact that Knuth and Hobby used bezier cubics when they
> could well have adopted NURBs of arbitrary degree was a
> deliberate decision...

I have no doubt that you are right.  This relates to what I said about TeX
and MF doing a limited range of things very well.  However, it creates
work for anyone wanting to use MF/MP for 3D graphics.  I don't know
whether Taco, Hans, et al, plan to extend MP to 3D, but even if
they don't, NURBs might be quite useful because of the additional local
control they provide.  If they did decide to use NURBs,
they would be making it easier for others to extend MP to 3D.

I make no secret of being an admirer of Knuth, but I'm not entirely
happy with some of his deliberate decisions.  For example, I wish he'd
used C instead of Pascal.  This is a matter of taste, of course.  Also,
I think CWEB's memory limits are set a bit low.


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