I understand that ConTeXt is a HUGE system, and it is impossible for Hans to
micro-test everything. However, it is not infrequent that upgrades by users
lead to sometimes days of lost productivity. For example, a recent change in
the indentation code ruined a 425-page manuscript and it took me hours to
identify the source of the problem. And that was only one problem.
Given the problems some of us have faced when upgrading, I think that we
really need a test suite of documents that provide some benchmarks for each
part of the system, from building supported format files to features to
supported output formats. Maybe this would take a long time; but perhaps the
task could be delegated among is. I would be willing to be part of that team
(including but not exclusively the aleph-dvipdfmx cycle).
When a new ConTeXt is released, Taco or someone else could then document which
bugs are fixed, features added, and, most importantly, what features are
changed or broken. That way, upgrading does not always have to be a leap in
the dark with fingers crossed.
The above is just an idea. I hope it can be developed into something actually
workable and useful.
A related point (disussed before) is that ConTeXt needs to become completely
independent of the TeX distributions. mswincontext.zip is a good start (I no
longer use fpTeX), but things like dvipdfmx and the plain format (for testing
purposes) need to be thoroughly supported and tested. Again, a support team
for Hans is needed (especially for Mac OSX and Unix), and I'm willing to help
as far as my skills will allow.
Professor Idris Samawi Hamid
Department of Philosophy
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523