[dev-context] A robust way of detecting ConTeXt from LaTeX3

Henri Menke henri at henrimenke.de
Sun Jul 17 19:59:02 CEST 2022

On Fri, 2022-07-15 at 18:37 +0200, Vít Novotný wrote:
> Dear ConTeXt developers,
> in the l3file module of LaTeX3, we need to detect whether we are
> using the ConTeXt format, so that we can correctly decide which input
> and output streams are reserved by the format, and whether we need to
> \relax a control sequence before using \newread and \newwrite with
> it.
> At the moment, we detect ConTeXt by checking that the \normalend
> command is defined. However, this can produce false positives outside
> iniTeX when LaTeX3 is loaded from the expl3-generic.tex macro package
> and a \normalend user command is defined. Furthermore, this can
> produce false negatives if a future version of ConTeXt does not
> define \normalend.
> Can you suggest alternative internal command(s) that we can use to
> detect ConTeXt? Here are the desiderata:
> - No false negatives: All past versions of ConTeXt define these
> commands. All future versions of ConTeXt are likely to define these
> commands.
> - No false positives: The commands are long / contain characters that
> don't have letter catcode in the normal regime and therefore are
> unlikely to be defined by users. The text of the commands contains
> ConTeXt-specific terminology that makes them unlikely to be defined
> by other formats.

How about \contextversion?

Cheers, Henri

> Looking forward to your helpful suggestions.
> Best,
> Vit
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