[NTG-context] new debian context 2006.12.21-0.1

Idris Samawi Hamid ishamid at colostate.edu
Sat Dec 23 18:09:04 CET 2006

Hi Sanjoy and all,

On Sat, 23 Dec 2006 09:31:23 -0700, Sanjoy Mahajan <sanjoy at mrao.cam.ac.uk>  

>> It was designed with the same general-purpose aims as LaTeX,

> system.  It was designed with the same aims as LaTeX but,

This point is often mentioned in different ways, but it is quite vague,  
and on the surface it is also untrue. LaTeX was designed to save the  
writer from typography (Lamport is quite insistent about this), ConTeXt is  
designed to make typography easier: quite different general-purpose aims.  
LaTeX's emphasis was primarily articles and reports (memoir etc.  
notwithstanding), ConTeXt's is more general. Both are designed to make the  
TeX language more useful but above that their aims are different it  
appears to me.

The different philosophies of the author-typography relationship lie at  
the heart of the difference between ConTeXt and LaTeX IMHO. For example,  
in ConTeXt indenting is turned off by default and emphasize is set to  
slant. That is, ConTeXt starts off as bland as possible and the author has  
to make typographical decisions and engage in typographical design. In  
LaTeX everything is decided from the start and typographical flexibility  
kept to a minimum. Note that Hans for years has resisted passing out  
"recipes", preferring authors to engage and be original (much to the  
chagrin of many who migrated from LaTeX...;-)

One could write an article on the differences between Hans and Leslie in  
this regard.

All the best and Happy Holidays to the ConTeXt community (and LaTeX too)!


Professor Idris Samawi Hamid
Department of Philosophy
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523

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