[dev-context] context program, mtxrun question?

Duncan Hothersall dh at capdm.com
Wed May 21 11:45:06 CEST 2008

Oliver Buerschaper wrote:
> As far as workflows are concerned my opinion is that keeping things  
> *simple* should be the primary goal for any ConTeXt minimal  
> distribution. 
I think you may have misunderstood the purpose of the minimals. 
"Minimal" here generally refers to effort - both on Hans' side and on 
the user's side - rather than any notion of these distributions being 
stripped down. There has been some discussion on the main list of the 
stripped down distribution type that I think you're looking for, but 
it's important to know that the minimals are *not* it. The minimals are 
designed as an "unzip and go" *complete* package - "everything with 
minimal effort", not "the minimum you need to get started".
> Now this is my one and only motivation for getting rid of the shell  
> script "setuptex" and the need for all those environment variables.  
> There's really nothing more to all my questions about configuration  
> files ...
This is also illuminating. The concept of the setuptex script (as I 
understand it) is precisely to allow the minimals to operate completely 
independently of any other installed TeX systems. The point is that you 
only run the setuptex script in the shell in which you want to run 
ConTeXt. These environment variables aren't meant to be set globally 
(again, AFAIK), they are meant to be set for the session. To me this is 
what makes the minimals highly portable and easy to integrate into 
cross-platform scripts and applications.

Your issues appear to me to be rather specific to your own environment, 
which perhaps does not allow you to run in this way.
> One should agree on the simplest ConTeXt workflow  
> possible and then design the minimals primarily with that idea in mind  
> rather than trying to support each and every workflow under the sun  
> right *out of the box*. The most common scenario will most probably be  
> the average desktop user wanting to typeset a document interactively.
The simplest workflow possible is quite a different proposition, and 
should not be being addressed by the minimals. And the "average desktop 
user" is extremely difficult to define for ConTeXt - I suspect they 
don't use a Mac, for a start. :-)


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