This document has a standard, validated CSS2 stylesheet, which your browser does not seem to display properly. In a browser supporting web standards, this table of contents would be fixed at the side of the page for easy reference.

anastigmatix home
  • Topic surveys
  • Direct PostScript
  • Packaging PostScript resources
  • Tools for document processing
  • Import
  • Markup
  • PageNest
  • Hyphenate
  • Tools for programming
  • BinaryIO: ints, reals, arrays ...
  • MetaPre: staged programming
  • Order: sorting and order statistics
  • Packager: resource packaging
  • StreamIO: extensible filters ...
  • Unicode-related
  • encoding (resource category)
  • resources
  • unicodedata (resource category)
  • resources
  • Resources for the PostScript® language

    These pages collect some work that grows out of my interest in the PostScript language, designed by Adobe Systems—the versatile language for graphics, text, and page description spoken by a fine printer near you—and especially in what David Byram-Wigfield has called “direct PostScript”: PostScript used as the original language for text and graphical creation, and not an obscure end-product of giant design and layout programs.

    Giant programs have their uses; there are jobs they can make very short work of, where to pursue a direct PostScript alternative would impart a hint of masochism. But there are just as certainly jobs where the true masochists are found crouched over WYSIWYG programs, dragging them patiently by the mouse through work marked by obvious pattern and regularity. To advocate direct PostScript is not to advance it as the tool for all jobs, but to keep eyes open for the kinds of work where it is feasible and even attractive.

    Direct PostScript does not mean expressing every creative work as a sequence of lineto and curveto, but knowing where to find suitable PostScript resources, compact and reusable sets of definitions addressing different sorts of design, that when included ahead of a file create within PostScript a language congenial to the work. Existing examples range from a tightly targeted resource defining three dozen of the most common formats of barcodes, through tools for three-dimensional scenes or circuit layout, to environments for setting text complete with justification, pagination, word division, columns, tables, and the like. These resources can be tiny in the modern world of software bloat, small enough to include at the top of a file that uses them, making it complete in itself—it can be printed or distilled anywhere, and it is also the original form of the work. My Direct PostScript page has more information and a collection of links.

    My background in programming languages gives me an interest in techniques and tools that can simplify and assist the development of high-quality, robust and reusable, modular PostScript resources offering significant functionality with efficient, appropriate algorithms, data structures, and techniques, hoping to stimulate and support others in actively expanding the variety and sophistication of resources available for the PostScript language. These pages collect some efforts toward that end.

    Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS! $Id: index.html,v 1.14 2009/11/21 15:39:12 chap Exp $