[NTG-context] Manual (English) Update soon?

Aditya Mahajan adityam at umich.edu
Thu Dec 28 23:00:52 CET 2006

On Thu, 28 Dec 2006, Douglas Philips wrote:

> Hello again,
> I've just recently tried to "get up to speed" on ConTeXt by reading 
> what I could find on the web, including
> cont-eni.pdf (ConTeXt the manual by Hans Hagen, November 12th, 2001).

That is the most up to date manual and should get you started for most 
of the basic features. The features that are not in the manual are 
mostly related to specific needs, so you can get around even if you do 
not know about them. Some My Ways discuss some of these undocumented 

> Recent activity on this list, discussing the Debian packaging, says 
> (and I commented on this a few days ago in another thread):
> "ConTeXt is developed rapidly, often in response to requests from the 
> friendly user community."
> And so I am wondering if ConTeXt is still too fresh... and if I'll 
> have any chance of figuring out what/how to use it without having 
> been on this list for the past 4+ years...

Just give it a shot. The is "Latex in proper context" by Berend de 
Boer which can help in the transition. The general information on 
http://wiki.contextgarden.net/From_LaTeX_to_ConTeXt is also useful. 
Context is very stable, and much better documented than latex. You can 
start with small documents in context to get comfortable with it. The 
best documents to start are those where you do not have a strict 
formatting requirement, so that you do not need to worry if you can 
not get something working.

> (IIRC, Hans is also a core team member of LuaTeX, so perhaps I should 
> just suck it up with LaTeX until LuaTeX is viable?)

LuaTeX is not a replacement for LaTeX. It is a replacement for pdfTeX.

For the normal user, LuaTeX is not going to make too much of a 
different. It will make things a lot easier if you want to write 
really complicated macros. With context, the user will not even notice 
the change, other than some improvement in speed, and some of the 
pending feature requests getting implemented. So, if you are planning 
on switching to context, there is no real need to wait for luatex.

Read "Context an excursion" and "Latex in proper context" to get 
started, and keep scanning through "Context the manual". If you are 
stuck, search the wiki and the mailing list, and if you can not figure 
it out, ask on the list.


More information about the ntg-context mailing list