[dev-context] context program, mtxrun question?

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Wed May 21 00:36:35 CEST 2008

Oliver Buerschaper wrote:

> Still I remember that from one MKII release to the next bugs kept 
> creeping into the code that suddenly broke everything. Wrecked font 
> handling in combination with XeTeX around the beginning of last year 
> comes to my mind as just one of the topics people were having trouble 

xetex is a moveing target too, and i think that in that respect 
latex/xetex users also have to update in sync with binaries; by now the 
xetex interface becomes more stable but it's still version < 1

> with. From personal experience in the middle of a project at that time I 
> also remember a few other problems with MKII ... besides I was having 
> the impression that for each new MKII release that didn't solve a 
> specific bug you'd have to adapt the original workaround.

depends, many parts are pretty stable but if you let a project depend on 
new features ...

> understanding is that many Perl scripts have been superseded by Ruby 
> scripts over time, still they're shipped with current MKII minimals. 

i'm not ure what you mean here; we only keep perl scripts around for 
stuff that is not yet redone in ruby or because soem workflows may 
depend on it; if a user uses "texmfstart somescript" he or she will now 
notice if a perl or ruby script is used; therefore we could make a 

> Unfortunately there's no documentation about whether they could actually 
> be deleted or whether there are still some (rare) tasks they're needed 

depends on what kind of workflows one has; also some scripts are shipped 
that probably are used as pragma but since we use the same zips for 
updating i keep 'm there

> for. And then they seem to access dozens of environment variables and 
> configuration files so you have no clue about whether those are needed 
> or not. You just have to know. Which I don't.

it all depends on your local system ... in the minimals 'setuptex' just 
plays safe ... it sets up all variables that can interfere with an 
existing installation

> When I was trying to put together a Mac installer for MKII a couple of 
> months ago I kept hearing the same definitely maybes about this 
> configuration data issue as the ones I'm facing now -- only at that time 
> the game wasn't called LuaTeX. Not having had the time to reverse 
> engineer everything I gave up then.

hm, platform issues .. each platform has its own demands too and we can 
only adapt

the minimals have been around for ages and not much changed for a long 
time; a few month ago we started thinking of and working on a garden 
based one and in the process of making engine specific variants (even 
more minimals) quite some experimenting is needed; these are not things 
that can be done in a few hours or weeks or months, especially not if 
you consider that tex distributions (and their contents, like fonts) 
change every now and then too

> Recently I had the chance to work on the Mac installer again and after 
> some progress I got stuck at the very same vital point called 
> configuration information and how it's accessed.

i wonder what configuration info you refer too; in a minimals setup 
there is only 'setuptex' and optionally one may want to adapt the 
cont-sys.tex file

>> I wrote that message yesterday to let you know that we are actively
>> working to make the situation better. It quite a cold shower to get
>> flamed for doing exactly that.
>> Taco
> Admittedly, I phrased my comment rather provocatively ... if you feel 
> offended personally I apologize. I appreciate very much what both you 
> and Hans do. Otherwise I wouldn't use ConTeXt at all and even more 
> certainly wouldn't be concerned with a Mac package for it.
> Still I find the current situation rather frustrating ... in fairness I 
> think this is also quite understandable from the above. Anyway, for the 
> moment I'll stay put and wait for the configuration mechanism to 
> stabilize. Once that has happened I'd be delighted to get to know the 
> details about how it works ... then the Mac installer could also enter 
> the stage finally.

as taco mentioned ... mkiv is for the brave ... we will cook up 
something that makes it usable for tex live but even then ... it will 
take a while


                                           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

More information about the dev-context mailing list