[NTG-context] my new page on layout

Adam Lindsay atl at comp.lancs.ac.uk
Sun Mar 27 12:38:54 CEST 2005

Paul Tremblay said this at Sun, 27 Mar 2005 01:55:58 -0500:

>> Your prose is fairly clear, but the style tends to be a bit too
>> prescriptive for my tastes. I think a lot of it would be alleviated by
>> you setting up the context a bit more ("this is what I found works for
>> me, coming from the FO page model"). Still, you set out statements like
>> this without telling the whole story:
>I think that the first page makes my intentions clear. My audience is
>XML authors (though I think others will find the illustratons useful).
>I undertand that there are many ways of doing things in ConTeXt and I
>don't mean that ConTeXt authors should follow the advice. I think XML
>authors will want one clear way of doing things rather than confusing

I completely sympathise with that approach to teaching. Hearing "there's
more than one way to do it" at the start of a learning curve can be

I guess my gripe was with how web pages work, combined with your
prescriptive tone: I only looked at that page2.html, because that's the
one you linked to. Deep linking happens all the time, and Google only
multiplies the problem. People seeing only that page2 lose all context,
and as a result, many people who have nothing to do with XML will see
your page and think "oh, that's the only way to do it."

That, combined with some of your perceived limitations of the platform,
helps paint a more limited view of ConTeXt's capabilities.

>Thanks for yoru feedback. I wish I had understood the width=middle

Well, no problem. I feel like I'm still learning the intricacies of
Layout, but I do intend on documenting some hacks sometime...

A pair of "Tips":
* If you set cutspace/bottomspace to 0pt, ConTeXt automatically makes it
equal to backspace/topspace

Now that you have cutspace sorted, horoffset and veroffset don't seem as
necessary. (Especially as they don't seem to work with odd/even layouts,
at least as I've observed.)

There's something a bit too absolute and limiting about your statements:

>Unfortunately, the text width must be the same on all pages. If you
>change the width from one page to the next, the text will not necessarily
>line up.

Taken out of context, this sounds very dire for ConTeXt. Might I suggest
a qualifier "must be the same on all pages *that are part of the same
text flow*."
 Adam T. Lindsay, Computing Dept.     atl at comp.lancs.ac.uk
 Lancaster University, InfoLab21        +44(0)1524/510.514
 Lancaster, LA1 4WA, UK             Fax:+44(0)1524/510.492

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