[racket] Poll: Does anybody besides Doug use 'plot'?

From: Robby Findler (robby at eecs.northwestern.edu)
Date: Sat Oct 1 14:16:04 EDT 2011

On Saturday, October 1, 2011, Neil Toronto <neil.toronto at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 10/01/2011 10:44 AM, Neil Van Dyke wrote:
>> Neil Toronto wrote at 10/01/2011 12:15 PM:
>>>> 2. Whether to call the new library "plot" (rather than, say, "plot2" or
>>>> "newimprovedsuperplot2000").
>>> Yep. That's part of the main question.
>> [...]
>>> If the answer to #2 is "the new library is called 'plot'", then the
>>> answer to #4 is "you have to change (require plot) to (require
>>> plot/compat)". And then everything should work.
>> Thanks, Neil T.
>> If that's a big point of contention, then would everyone be happy either
>> with one of the following?
>> 1. Call the new library "plot2", and make "plot" be a compatibility
>> layer for "plot2". Add pointers in strategic locations of "plot" parts
>> of documentation, saying telling reader probably want to use "plot2" for
>> new development.
> That's what Robby wants. I've tried it that way as well. It works fine.
> My main problem with it is when *future* users search for "plot" in the
documentation. They'd get the pointers in strategic locations, yes, but
users don't always read text. And the pointers would have to be in a lot of

Just to be clear I don't insist that it be that way forever. Only for a
while so people have tine to port according to their schedules as opposed to

That said, we definitely should still do a good job on the docs (explaining
how to port and what is deprecated). I don't think that this is really all
that bad; easier than what Neil T is contemplating below, I expect. :)

>> 2. Make the APIs for the old library and new library not conflict, by
>> making any necessary changes to the new API, and put both APIs together
>> in single library named "plot" that users get with "(require plot)".
>> Document the old API parts as deprecated.
> I had thought of this, but not seriously checked it out until you
suggested it just now.
> The main incompatibility is how "plot data" is represented. In the old
library, it's a function from a plot-view% (a descendant of image-snip%) to
void. There's no way for something like that to communicate its bounds to
'plot'. So in the new one, plot data is represented by a struct.
> That difference is okay as long as nobody peeks at the plot data, just
passing it off to 'plot', and combining them using 'mix'. I assume most
users have done that.
> There's wonkiness in the old API. The 'line' function, for example, plots
functions, parametric functions, polar functions, and parametric functions
with a polar mapping. Sometimes some keywords matter, based on the values of
other keywords. It's overloaded and messy.
> The 'plot3d' function has a keyword named '#:az', for "azimuth". No user
needs to know that technical term. It's just the horizontal angle at which
you view the plot. I called it '#:angle'.
> The 'vector-field' function has a '#:style' keyword that determines how
the arrows are scaled. I use '#:style' for pen and brush styles (dashes,
cross-hatching, etc.).
> There are quite a few little differences like that.
> But there are enough similarities that I think I could do this option. I'd
still want to have a compatibility module, just in case. The documentation
would be tricky. I'd probably document only new, self-consistent functions
and keywords, but have notes about extra keywords for compatibility, and a
separate section on backward-compatible functions.
> Hmm...
> Neil T
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