[metapost] pdf output and extensions

Taco Hoekwater taco at elvenkind.com
Sun Mar 13 11:01:01 CET 2005

Larry wrote:

 > In this vein, what is the priority you assign to
 > providing direct PDF output for mp?  It is harder to
 > accomplish, but the payoff is more substantial.

It is much harder to accomplish, in fact, because MP doesn't
even produce valid EPS files at the moment. Font inclusion
needs fixing first, and that is quite an undertaking.

There are usable external solutions available to convert
the output to pdf, and at least some of these converters
implement features that are currently not doable without
some form of postprocessing (like PDF transparancy and
pattern fills). Because of this, direct PDF output is
extremely low on the list right now.

A quick look at the future plans:

We had a BoF session at euroTeX2005, and lots of informal
talks as well, and all of that together produced the
tentative list below:

A beta of the bugfix release will be released asap, with
only one extra item compared to what is in the source now:

0. an |mpversion| primitive.

The top of the rest of the wishlist is as follows:

1. create an independant packaging system
2. remove |emergency_line_length|
3. fix the still present envelope bugs
4. allow these new features:
    <path> := envelope <path> withpen <pen>; % non-cyclic
    <path> := inner envelope <path> withpen <pen>; % cyclic
    <path> := outer envelope <path> withpen <pen>; % cyclic
5. allow EPS inclusion.
6. implement something that is like TeX's \special
    (that ends up in the middle of the PS output, not at the
    top only)
7. perhaps some improvements to string handling are possible
8. implement edge structures and their primitives, as in MF

The rest of the list remained unorganized. I will write a more
precise report on later.

Greetings, Taco

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