[dev-context] new MyWay about \sometxt

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Tue Jan 30 18:26:21 CET 2007

Mojca Miklavec wrote:
> Hello,
> instead of checking the problems with MyWay about database module, I
> created another unfinished piece about \sometxt (as promised already
> long ago):
>     http://dl.contextgarden.net/myway/sometxt.pdf
> \sometxt{...} should be used instead of textext("...") in metafun
> graphics whenever possible, since it's much more efficient. An average
> user shouldn't care about much more than that. The MyWay is devoted to
> the curious ones. I hope that I included all the major ideas which
> Hans implemented in Summer/Autumn 2006 on my request. Although not all
> of them are documented well enough, I tried to mention them at least.
the textext stuff is from far before 2006 -)

you say that's been buggy but that not really the case ... the problem 
is that we are dealing with a quite complex situation which has to be 
dealt with outside tex

- we need to recognize textext in order to force a tex run inside mp  
(inbetween mp in texexec)
- we need to make sure that env's get passed
- we need to make sure that no extra runs take place when nothing has 

etc. Combine this with users either or not having write 18 enabled and 
one gets a mess. The basic principles are rather simple.

The 'prefered-by-you' method is fast because mp never sees the text. The 
text is typeste in the current run and saved in a box. Mp only gets the 
dimensions and typets a reference in a monospace font (which then ends 
up in a string) the mp to pdf converter can recognize this label (text), 
and recalculate from that (+ the box dimensions) how things should be 
scaled. This mechanism is a spin of from experiments with piping data 
into mp (luatex exp long ago).

So, the other mechanism is rather robust because mp never sees any real 
complex text. This is also why things like color, graphics etc work well.
> 1.) wouldn't it make sense to use
>      \chardef\TeXtextcolormode\zerocount
> as the default value? I don't see any advantages of setting it to
> "one" (but I might have overseen something). Can you please take a
you oversee my local truckload of files that assume that behaviour and 
compatibility is what i want
> look at page 4 of the above listed MyWay and tell me if I forgot
> something?
> 2.) Why does \textext still rely on its older brother textext(...),
> when it could be a synonym for \sometxt{...} instead? I really don't
> see any advantage of \textext{...} over \sometxt{...}. \textext{...}
> canonot be used for concatenating strings or creating dynamic labels
> either. It's just a picture, just as \sometxt ... And it would
> probably also be more straightforward to explain to metafun users that
> textext("...") should now be \textext{...} instead of trying to
> explain them that it's best to use some completely new command.
dunno ... history ... don't change if you don't have too ... one never 
knows what surprised lurk .. users do tricky things so things may break ...


                                          Hans Hagen | PRAGMA ADE
              Ridderstraat 27 | 8061 GH Hasselt | The Netherlands
     tel: 038 477 53 69 | fax: 038 477 53 74 | www.pragma-ade.com
                                             | www.pragma-pod.nl

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