OK, since this is a pretty vague and subjective question. I need to set up some borders around the discussion that I intend to benefit from. But before anything, I certainly do NOT want to excite the comparison frenzy and other ... I bet you can't do this with that... or ...Mac vs. PC... or ...vanilla vs. chocolate ... type of answers which can be carried over to What are the advantages of TikZ/PGF over PSTricks? (But best omitted).
I would like to ask for a lower level explanation of the differences that answers questions such as:
- Why is PostScript instruction access seemingly under the monopoly of PSTricks and others just envy it? Is it only the compilation engine that can interpret them? Is there any hope to get a natural hook to PS (MetaPost too for that matter)? For example, in TikZ there is a command
\pgfdeclarefunctionalshadingwhich evaluates a limited collection of PS commands. (An example : How to draw a shaded sphere? ) Why not more?
.pdf <=> .psfile conversion is possible, why can't it be done at the renderer level?
- Why can't PSTricks simply work with the pdflatex engine but rendering much of the goodies such as 3D capabilities etc. obsolete for the standard user via requiring an externalization? See also How to use PSTricks in pdfLaTeX?
- Are there any
.psfile format standards conflicts both protocol- and copyright-wise, that is beyond compatibility again at the renderer level?
This question was briefly mentioned in the interview with Andrew Stacey and Ryan Reich implicitly proposed a soft question to be asked. After wondering a bit, I found out that I have some big potholes in the story, though I vaguely know some of the answers to the questions above. It would be great if Herbert, cjorssen (as directly taking part in the development of these tools) and other experts can shed some light.
Depending on the users' opinions, I can remove this question which might be too subjective. There were even more questions but removed later (see the edits).
Mandatory Disclaimer I use TikZ a lot. Also I sometimes include pictures created with PSTricks (as long as I understand how to use the Klingon syntax). I really enjoy the convenience of these tools and don't want to choose one for the other. Why can't we just talk ?
An insider story complements the answers below towards the end on this video;