[OS X TeX] metapost vs metapost

Robert Spence spence at saar.de
Sat Jul 29 16:59:14 EDT 2006

Dear Bruce,

Franck Pastor has just answered your question far better than I could  
have.  Just one additional point, though:  as an alternative to the  
mfpic package, which uses (La)TeX style commands with initial  
backslashes, there's the emp ("Encapsulated METAPOST for LaTeX")  
package by Thorsten Ohl, which allows you to write pure METAPOST code  
(no backslashes!) in a special environment within your LaTeX source  
file.  If you're interested in working through the examples in  
Hobby's manual, the emp package will let you do just that.  (On the  
other hand, you might not want to go too deeply into METAPOST, and  
might feel more comfortable with the mfpic syntax.)

You may already have the emp package on your system.  If not, you  
could check out the documentation on your local CTAN mirror.  For  
example, I was directed a moment ago from the central CTAN server to  
the following address:

Running METAPOST from within LaTeX using a package like emp is a bit  
safer than running METAPOST directly, in my opinion.

Also, if you're really serious about METAPOST, it might be worth  
checking out ConTeXt as an alternative to LaTeX (provided you've got  
the time to learn yet _more_ new syntax!)

Good luck,

-- Robert Spence
Applied Linguistics
Saarland University

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