Date: 1993-11-14
From: John
Subject: Wishlist

My Dear Mr. Duk:

WOW! Actual color! Well done! But how foolish of you to ask "what's next?"

Improve Screen Quality

Before you get too excited, the attached screenshot is NOT a smoothed coastline (quite the reverse). It is, however, an example of a cleaner looking map. My top three recommendations have to do with improving the quality of the display.
  1. Add gridlines. We're going to have to do this sooner or later and, since it affects the formulas for coastline smoothing, I say the sooner the better. Fortunately, it is quite easy to do. Continue using your same 18x14 offsets for each coordinate, but draw only 17x13 pixels in each coordinate block - the gridlines will form automatically. If the odd numbers bother you, draw 18x14 pixels but offset 19x15.
  2. Lose the green dots. That circular brush pattern you used for the land coordinates simply doesn't work (from an aesthetic standpoint). Please color in the entire rectangle as you did with the sea coordinates. At some point we should probably play with different shades of blue and green (possibly using subtle patterns to suggest waves and forests).
  3. Better looking coordinate numbers. As you'll see in the attached screenshot, a black background with geneva or monaco 9 looks much more professional. Although these suggestions may seem relatively unimportant, its details like this that make all the difference.
As you work on the display perhaps you can also swat a bug or two. As you are undoubtedly aware, resizing the window or summoning and dismissing a dialog box totally screws up the display.

A Separate Worldview Window

Once the display is cleaned up and debugged, my next wish is for the ability to view the entire world at once - the so-called world view. The world view, of course, is simply the same map drawn using, say, 4x3 pixel coordinate blocks without coordinate numbers and with with gridlines every 5 coordinates. It would be nice to display this view in a separate window with the ability to have both windows open at once. This will involve adding extra menu choices.


I hope to have a new document on the smoothing algorithm and actual screenshots of a smoothed coastline by next weekend. The attached screenshot shows the shoreline area (in gray) with the initial set of land sparks in red. For my first attempt I am using one spark placed randomly along each edge of a seashore coordinate.

The Tape, Comdex, Etc.

I tried to time the tape so that it would land in your box on Saturday, but apparently the postal drones were either too slow or too fast. Either it was confiscated last Friday or will arrive (too late) on Monday. **sigh**

As for Comdex, I am curious about the new Quadra 610 with an onboard 486. You might also look for a monty python-related software release from a company called "The Seventh Level" - supposedly the new Microsoft of the entertainment multimedia world. And anything having to do with Newtons or other PDAs - I may be about to acquire one. Feel free to send daily bulletins!

Yours in haste,