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Re: Program structure of Pstricks, what is its basic structure?

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Program structure of Pstricks, what is its basic structure?
Date: 24 Feb 2004 10:20:45 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3.50

address@hidden (Crashedandburnt) writes:

> David Kastrup <address@hidden> wrote in message news:<address@hidden>...
> > address@hidden (Crashedandburnt) writes:
> > 
> > >     effort. I help anonymously. We all know that there are numerous
> > >     unsung heros of free software movement. Certainly, it is
> > >     impossible to refer to them individually and it is easiest to
> > >     give credit to them collectively by naming Stallman. But to ask
> > >     me to write the doc by figuring it out is plain mischief.
> > 
> > Even Stallman himself would call this nonsense you write preposterous.
>                                    ^^^^
> what nonsense? If you quote rather than using pronouns, you would be
> better understood.

All five lines I quoted.  Every single one of them.

> > He is not out for recognition of himself, but for the GNU project.
> > And not for some general goodness or whatever, but for recognition
> > where it actually employed, namely in GNU/Linux systems.
> What did I say that is in contradiction to your above para
> beginning, "He is ...." Don't put words in my mouth, please.

You are equating free software with GNU, you say one should not
credit its authors, but instead credit Richard Stallman.  RMS would
be appalled at such a request.  I don't need to put words into your
mouth, you are clearly capable of making a fool out of yourself
without my help.

> > And how do you think documentation comes into being?  By writing
> > itself magically?
> The easiest way is for the author or those who understand it well to
> document it at the peak of their understanding.

Easiest for who?  Certainly not for the author.

> > > But the point is that when one spends so much time on writing a
> > > package, refining it and then writing about 76 page pairs of
> > > user manual, it is not much effort to document the workings of
> > > the package for others to learn and benefit from, since it was
> > > put in the public domain.
> > 
> > Good, then write a pstricks replacement, 76 page pairs of user
> > manual and document the workings of the package for others to
> > learn and benefit from.  Blessings, honour and power be unto you.
> > 
> > Until then, shut up.
> Mr. Kastrup:
> I am a free man and cannot give up my right to speak.

But you need not exercise it by talking silly.

> Answer this: How many visitors, or posters on ctt or clp do you
> think will understand the code when they ask such basic questions
> daily that you have to explain, even though they are all explained
> in Knuth's book or code?

Well, so what?  What skin is that off Knuth's nose?  How many
listeners accustomed to popular music do you think will understand
the depth of the B minor mass of Johann Sebastian Bach when they
can't even follow the beat of techno music and one has to explain to
them the difference of major and minor modes?  Is that a deficiency
in the B minor mass?

> I think, I have a valid point. The documentation needs to be
> improved.

That was not your point.  Your point was that it is Timothy van
Zandt's responsibility to improve the documentation (which you have
not even bothered looking at up to now) without recompensation.  And
that is completely silly.  And even if one would want to be as foolish
as to deny that, this would still not justify the personal attacks you
felt fit launching against him.

> It is incomprehensible to the majority.

Everything except the trivial is incomprehensible to the majority.
That's not criterion.

> And since you are one of those who explains tex, most posters will
> not come out to dispute with you, but they secretly agree with me
> that documentation is not good enough.

I never said that documentation is good enough.  It often isn't.  But
that's no excuse not to first consult that which is there (which you
have abjectly failed to do, even claiming that pstricks.doc was
probably a Word document).  First read, then complain.  The other
order makes you look like a preposterous fool which I am fully
confident you can perfectly manage without resorting to that
particular trick.

And it gives you no right to demand that any other person should
amend that which you find not suitable for your taste.

> That is why I argue that if the regular stream of posting consists
> of simple questions, it is impossible that they would understand
> this code in a reasonable time.

Well, so they won't.  What of it?  Whose duty should it be to turn
the world into TeX and PostScript programmers, and for what reason?

> I might give an analogy. It is a class in which few students
> understand the prof. The rest are afraid of criticising. Most don't
> know if it is their fault, or that of prof.

When have you paid your tuition?

> In the coming days, the ability of people to explain the subject of
> this thread will itself testify how well it is documented.
> In the coming days, the ability of people to explain the subject of
> this thread will itself testify how well it is documented.

How about repeating it a third time?  It's nonsense anyway since I
doubt anybody knowledgeable would feel compelled to particularly
placate you, given your attitude.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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