Just some thoughts

From: James Boyle <boyle5_at_nyahnyahspammersnyahnyah>
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 08:17:03 -0700

This post addresses some issues that I have discussed with more than a
few developers of graphics routines.

Examples are very good as an introduction to a graphics system. They
show capabilities and give a start to the basics.
However, it is essential to have the next step. The examples inevitably
lead the user to say ' That is just what I want to do but
with ......something different.' There must be another stage of
documentation or cookbook which discuss the most common variations
on the examples themes. In my case, I saw the contours over maps and
wanted to have the lat,lon ticks labeled at specific intervals.
The next step after the examples are lists of hundreds of resources
addressing the tick marks and labels and map plots, and the complex
interaction between the them.
I have used GMT (Generic Mapping Tools) for many years. It has a
cookbook and very well thought out man pages. The path from the
examples to custom plots is clearly delineated by the man pages. GMT
benefits in this sense by having less capability than NCARG.
I feel that there needs to be some intermediate description of 'best
sellers' of 'most used' resources. Some gradual progression of
complexity rather than a abrupt cliff.
 From what I can gather, this is what lead to the GSUN aspect of NCL.
Exactly analogous to pyngl, ncl exposed the complexity of the HLUs and
users recoiled in confusion. GSUN made life simpler. The parallels
between ncl and pyngl are quite close, except python's syntax is much
clearer and the language is far more powerful with tremendous support
from its standard libraries (for example there is built in RGB->HSV

So - what I see is that pyngl needs to reproduce gsun - this is an
unfortunate duplication of effort but the experience garnered by the
previous effort should speed things along.


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Received on Fri Sep 24 2004 - 09:17:29 MDT

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