[NTG-context] "Update ConTeXt" + standalone distr (Windows)
mari.voipio at iki.fi
Mon Sep 11 17:18:33 CEST 2006
With my new work computer I finally gave up on my old but working ConTeXt
in TeXLive2004 and upgraded for good to the standalone distribution, run
on hard disk. One of the new things I found in the Tools menu was the
'Update ConTeXt' command, so today, when I'm *not* in the middle of a
urgent project, I decided to try it out.
Good news: for the first time in my ConTeXting career, I managed to
update my system without reinstalling the whole thing. And the very new
ConTeXt version (today's?!) compiles my ever-important manuals without
Somewhat bad news: without fiddling, the updating gets stuck at unzipping
after downloading, because 'unzip' is not in the path and that's it then.
So it is not quite on 'Windows dummy' level yet, although real close.
Note, though, that the standalone distribution I use is about four weeks
old, I might be complaining about something that's already fixed!
How I solved it: just today, I dug out an old tool and learned that it
ain't gonna work without cygwin. Installed Cygwin, dumped the tool in the
bin directory - and realized, that my cygwin/bin also contained a file
called 'unzip.exe'. Putting it (cygwin/bin) into my Windows path didn't
help (not a recommendable operation for standard users anyway), but then I
realized that 'standalone' really is standalone and copied 'unzip.exe' to
where my ctxtools.bat lives, i.e.
\ConText\usr\local\context\tex\texmf-mswin\bin - and presto, the update
went through. It seems to me that it even generates formats on the fly, so
with one mouse-click I can get the most up-to-date ConTeXt.
How I think this might be solved:
In the texmf-mswin\bin directory, there is a 'gunzip.exe'. If I remember
correctly, gunzip is fairly simple to use, so this might just mean a
change somewhere in the stand-alone package so update would use gunzip to
unpack the update files.
Or, as it seems to me that different types of 'unzip.exe's are public
domain stuff, just include that in the standalone distribution and
everything works (no other changes were needed, just bringing 'unzip.exe'
into the correct directory.
I really like the standalone distribution. Of the many ConTeXt variations
I've used until today's date, this year's standalone has been the most
Windows-minded and most Windows-friendly in many ways. It works
out-of-the-box (has less options to uncheck than Word), seems to live
happily even under C:\Program Files and has a logic that I as a
non-programming Windows power user find easy to follow. I no longer need
to refer to the manual to get as far as to compile a test pdf with
standard postscript fonts, now I can concentrate on the layout, not the
innards of TeX.
So, even though there are slight blemishes and wrinkles to be ironed out
like this update thing, ConTeXt in Windows is definitely becoming a nice
package for those of us who find that Word just doesn't do what we want.
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