There are several more techniques and improvements we haven’t added, but that could be easily accomplished if the need arose. This is Open Source, so if they sound useful, they probably will be done by somebody by the time you read this.
The PIDDLE team is working on the “next layer up,” which
will hopefully be available by the time this book is printed. This
consists of two ideas. First of all, frames identify regions on the
page into which drawing may take place; users may specify one main
frame per page, or as many as they wish. Second, we create a
hierarchy of drawable objects, allowing a high level of reuse. These
objects know their size and can wrap themselves to fit a frame if
needed. They can be “poured into” a frame until it fills.
Table object might be initialized with an array
of data and draw default table cells by itself; named styles allow
quick and easy formatting of large tables. A
Paragraph object, again tied to a list of styles,
allows rapid formatting of text. Individual PIDDLE drawings can also
constitute drawable objects and define their own coordinate systems
for their contents.
The example script runs at about four pages per second, a lot faster than any printer, but nowhere near the speed limit. A large amount of processing is going into generating a text stream, which is almost the same for each page. You can generate the page once ...