[plt-scheme] ICFP videos now available

From: Felix Klock's PLT scheme proxy (pltscheme at pnkfx.org)
Date: Tue Oct 13 14:59:58 EDT 2009

Matthew (cc'ing PLT Scheme)-

After hearing Matthias make various references to "Princesses" and  
"Wishing Wells" to his students, and then watching the video of  
Matthew's talk about Scribble [1] (and thus resolving the previously  
"unbound references" introduced into my life by Matthias), I was  
dumbstruck a day later when I happened to leaf through the paper  
"Breaking Paragraphs Into Lines" [2] (which documents TeX's algorithm  
and gives an interesting retrospective on the history of line-breaking).

Why was I dumbstruck?  Well, I discovered that Knuth and Plass used,  
as a running example of paragraph layout in the paper, a story that  
immediately starts off discussing Wishes, a Princess, and a Well (!!!).

The paper [2] does not seem to be freely available online, but the  
running examples have been transcribed at the following URL, so that  
you can see (a prefix of) the story for yourself.


(For the whole story [3], I guess you'll have to find the paper, or  
snag someone's copy of "Digital Typography.")

It is this sort of subtle detail that turns a cute analogy into a  
strange loop worthy of Douglas Hofstadter.

Bravo Matthew, bravo!


[1] http://www.vimeo.com/user2191865/albums

[2] Donald E. Knuth and Michael F. Plass, "Breaking Paragraphs Into  
Lines," Software: Practice and Experience 11 (1981) 1119-1184.

[3] Then again, the "whole story" is not really worth reading, IMO.  I  
don't understand the moral of "The Frog Prince" (at least as rendered  
in Knuth's version).  Maybe Disney will explain it to me later this  
year, but I doubt it.

Posted on the users mailing list.