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    So I am going insane. I swear that the original version of POV-Ray or its predecessor DKBTrace used “hither” and “yon” for what is now called “camera” and “look_at”. I remember reading that back in the early 90’s and thinking those terms were hilarious and well-chosen and that usage cemented my usage of those words in similar not-so-serious contexts.

    (This is distinct from the concept of “hither and yon clipping.”)

    I cannot find any evidence that this was ever true. I’ve gone to Aminet and downloaded the 1991 version of DKBTrace, versions of POV-Ray from 1.0 up to the early 2000’s…no mention of those words whatsoever. I’ve searched old Usenet postings.

    Someone help me out here, did I dream it?

    (I also remember some public acrimony in the early days of POV-Ray where there was some sort of trademark dispute or something and some new challenger appeared on the Amiga text-driven 3D raytracing scene based on older versions of POV-Ray or something…my memory is fuzzy, since this is like 25 years ago…)

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      You sure you’re not thinking of polyray, not POV-Ray? It’s been forever, but I think that one did indeed use hither and yon, the syntaxes were very similar, and so are the names.

      Edit: Bingo. And note that the author of Polyray contributed to POV-Ray, so there may even have been a very early version that did use both. http://paulbourke.net/dataformats/polyray/

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        Thank you! It’s possible. Polyray was never released on the Amiga, looks like, so it would have to be some old pre-1.0 version of POV-Ray that was on the Amiga but had Polyray keywords. So far this is looking like the best option, I think.

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        Spooky. Google shows that the book Physically Based Rendering: From Theory to Implementation from 2010 used these terms. Did you read that book?

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          Thank you for looking! “Hither” and “yon” are standard-ish terms in 3D graphics for defining clipping planes and camera position and stuff.

          But I remember POV-Ray supporting these terms as keywords specifically. I remember the documentation saying something like:

          set the camera position using camera<0,0,0> and where it's looking with look_at<0,0,0>.
          You can use the older hither<0,0,0> and yon<0,0,0> keywords if you'd like

          Something like that. They were supported as keywords in the POV-Ray language. I’m 99.9% sure.

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            You should be looking on povray repository

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              Thank you, but I think that’s not it I don’t think. Those appear to be talking about hither/yon clipping, which is something else and it doesn’t look like they were ever keywords in the language, just names of functions. It’s also the wrong year, from 2003 at the earliest (when OpenEXR was announced).

              So thank you, but I don’t think that’s it, unfortunately.

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          Mandela effect is a pain. My little two cents in the topic: back in the late 90s I spent some time playing around with POV-Ray and other open source raytracers and I don’t recall seeing those keywords used in any of the scene scripts I read.

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            I swear that the original version of POV-Ray or its predecessor DKBTrace used “hither” and “yon” for what is now called “camera” and “look_at”.

            Could it be that you wrote a ray tracer by hand and you chose the identifier names hither and yon in your own ray tracer?

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              Hah, that would be awesome but sadly no. I never wrote a ray tracer.

              (I am going to eventually do the Ray Tracer Challenge in my copious free time, though…)

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                Try one! A very basic one is really rather easy, and it’s very satisfying to get some real images out of a handful of math.

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              Admittedly, it was a long time ago, but I don’t recall this being documented in version 2.0, the first one I’ve used. I just tried it under Dosbox and I can’t get POV 1.0, the oldest version still available on the website, to play ball with me if I use hither, nor do any of the binaries contain this string (albeit this doesn’t mean much). Maybe this was supported in some version, but not documented?

              This is extraordinarily spooky because, now that you mention it, I could swear I remember it as well!