[squeak-dev] We need to talk about graphics

tim Rowledge tim at rowledge.org
Sat Jul 11 21:05:24 UTC 2020

> On 2020-07-10, at 1:12 AM, Craig Latta <craig at blackpagedigital.com> wrote:
> Hi Tim--
>> Seriously. We've been sitting around twiddling thumbs about better
>> graphics for decades now.
>     I'd like to see a concise description of the problem. You used the
> word "better", so I take it you find the current graphics deficient. How?

Well, at least in part the issue is that we collectively have been waffling on about 'making better graphics' for about as long as my email record has existed. So it's not solely about what I want, more as case of 'can we try to get something complete?'.

For myself, I'd like to see better rendered text and non-orthogonal lines. Circles, for example. My example here is the little collection of gauges I have for my weather station display. The round gauges as originally done looked terrible. Bob A offered a better circle drawing algorithm and with some over sampling it is a lot better  - but still ugly. 

Our typical fonts are ok but could be a lot better. Not to mention the slightly higher level issue of the font/style & tools. We made a few improvements in that area with the Sophie project, way back.

Not many things *I* want to do are very performance limited, so that isn't something that exercises *me* but I'm sure others have very different perspectives.

I have played a little with a Frank image to see if the Nile/Gezira system as-is does much better. For a circle, for example, it does do somewhat better *if* the stroke alpha is set to ~0.5. I'm way to out of the world of computer graphics to say more than that. 

I suspect that somewhat decoupling the graphics from explicit pixel considerations might help with handling super-resolution screens nicely. Vector graphics improvements to draw our tools would probably be nice.

As I said, it's not so much about what I want as a plea to see if we can actually get *something* done. Lots of us have ideas about what 'something' is. Let's hear some of them.

>     I'm interested in the topic, and have some time. At the moment, all
> my graphics energy goes into leveraging in SqueakJS what others have
> done for web browsers, which is quite a lot.

Yeah, and your demos are amazing.

tim Rowledge; tim at rowledge.org; http://www.rowledge.org/tim
Useful random insult:- The wheel's spinning but the hamster's dead.

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