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About a year ago, I decided that I'm going to learn Postscript for no other reason than to say that I know Postscript.

Coming from a functional background, the point-free nature of it wasn't too confusing, and I actually grew to really enjoy it.

I never got too far into that quest largely because I didn't have much of a practical need to be a Postscript expert, but it has since made me want to learn Forth, which I have been pushing off for months now.




I went through a similar journey a while ago, except I haf a semi-practical result to get at.

I wanted to draw an fairly detailed energy-level diagram for a particular atom and I wanted the it done to scale -- except for certain fudges made for clarity.

The amount of repetitive calculation and not-quite-trivial logic meant it made sense to use a a programming language rather than a "simple" document format. I chose hand-written PostScript mostly for fun.

But PS actually quite a nice language for the task -- no worse than the various Python libraries which would have been my main alternative.


> About a year ago, I decided that I'm going to learn Postscript for no other reason than to say that I know Postscript.

In case you're interested in having another reason, Bill Casselman does marvellous things with Postscript; e.g., http://www.math.ubc.ca/~cass/graphics/manual .


Between them, I liked programming in PostScript[1] a bit more than Forth. It had some fun clever stuff that was a bit easier to work with. I often wished for a Forth that was just the language from PostScript with some file add-ons.

1) back when I had a database (Foxbase, not FoxPro, Foxbase), Turbo C, and a PostScript printer, but no reporting tool and a requirement to generate some graphs.


I too recently got the itch to learn Forth. So I went forth and implemented a very simple interpreter for a small Forth dialect: https://github.com/AZHenley/goforth

It was quite fun but I still can't say that I know much about actually using Forth :)


> So I went and implemented a very simple interpreter for a small Forth dialect:

You can't just write that. Chuck Moore, I assert with no evidence whatsoever, would require that you write "so I went forth and implemented …."


My apologies, I have corrected the mistake!


I've fallen into that trap on both forth and lisp. It's fun as it is to implement interpreters for both, and it does give a sense of their simplicity. But, when you implement X in Y, you're not really learning X, you're learning how to write an interpreter (or compiler) in Y.

Fortunately, the next step, which will teach you the language, is even more fun: Bootstrap your interpreter.


What did you do to learn Postscript? What sort of programs did you write in PS to practice?


Not parent poster, but I did graphs directly in PostScript. The simplest book to start with is the "Blue" book https://www-cdf.fnal.gov/offline/PostScript/BLUEBOOK.PDF (from the blog post http://blogs.adobe.com/CCJKType/2016/12/ehandler.html - that book has a lot of examples to really get your feet wet.


I was actually inspired by this blog post: https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/2fwy1y/a_web_s... (page appears to be dead but the conversation is still interesting).

I figured that web servers tend to be pretty fun to write and if someone else has figured out how to do one in PS, I would be clever enough to build one too.

I guess I was wrong about that because I didn't get very far.




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