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Re: Turing completeness and syntactic elegance; was Re (2): Proposal: Nesting SVG Graphics Elements

From: David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>
Date: Sat, 01 Dec 2012 11:34:05 +0000
Message-ID: <50B9EB2D.6090301@david-woolley.me.uk>
To: peasthope@shaw.ca
CC: SVG List <www-svg@w3.org>
peasthope@shaw.ca wrote:
> From:	"David Dailey" <ddailey@zoominternet.net>
> Date:	Thu, 29 Nov 2012 21:37:22 -0500
>> I think at the core of the debate is what sort of a thing we want SVG to be.
> A related question.  Two features of SVG and siblings are striking; 
> absence of capability for calculation and clumsiness of syntax.
 > In comparison, PostScript handles calculations nicely and syntax
 > is elegant.  So I've always wondered about a language combining the

I think you will find that it is generally only scientists and 
mathematicians who distribute documents in Postscript.  Most people 
convert them to PDF, which is Postscript with all the calculations and 
control flow resolved out.  PDF is a lot more difficult to hand code 
than SVG and hand coding of Postscript died out quite quickly (early 80s).

SVG's origins tend to be more in terms of declarative languages, whereas 
Postscript is procedural.  I think there has been a lot of mission creep 
in SVG, especially before Adobe bought out Flash, when my impression was 
that they were trying to make it into a alternative Flash. 
Unfortunately, it is the nature of standards that they end up trying to 
do everything.

The awkwardnesses in syntax probably arise from the fundamental policy 
decision to use XML (whilst its origins forced the use of XML, my 
feeling is that XML is much overused because it is fashionable, in areas 
which don't have a vested interest in its use).  Some of it is probably 
the result of mission creep.

Because it is not how arithmetic is taught in school, the RPN used by 
Postscript gives a steep initial learning curve.

> capabilities of the Web markups with the syntactic elegance and 
> Turing completeness of PostScript.  I guess the question has been 
> discussed but I've never encountered a mention.
> The above is slightly provocative, only for emphasis.

David Woolley
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Received on Saturday, 1 December 2012 11:34:49 UTC

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