[NTG-context] cont-enp.pdf on lulu
Gerben.Wierda at rna.nl
Mon Jul 28 14:48:22 CEST 2008
On Jul 28, 2008, at 12:46 PM, Taco Hoekwater wrote:
> While most of what Gerben states is close enough to the truth to
> be a matter of opinion, I really object to the tone of 'there is no
> documentation'. There is, in fact, a whole lot of documentation.
> It may be incomplete (especially when it comes to recent
> but that is quite different from not having documentation at all.
> There are thousands of pages of documentation on pragma-ade.com,
> and pretending they are totally inadequate by not even asserting
> their assistance is unfair.
OK Taco, that is a fair point concerning my pov. To answer it: I have
made my comments knowing quite well what documentation there is and my
*personal* (your mileage may vary) experience is that it hardly helps
me. My personal experience has been with a result of close to 100%
that if I want to do something / find out something I am unable to
find it in the docs. Also, depending on what doc you take, I recall
getting different solutions (I am reminded of the various incompatible
ways to do tables) and if I recall correctly some of it had to be
hunted down in MAPS articles and such. Maybe the answers of my
questions are there. But in that case the documentation is such that I
consider myself in the situation that I am unable to get my help from
And the documentation is not just incomplete for recent developments.
I have an idea. Why not have a live ConTeXt manual.pdf where you add
something in the proper location and compile the document every time
you answer a question from a user? As you are the person answering
anyway, it should be little extra work.
For instance: I have put out a question about the (afaik completely
undocumented, incomplete and certainly not recent) endnotes feature.
Why not take the manual now, add the info in and recompile and do that
every time a question arrives that is not in the manual or that is
maybe unclear in the manual? I would suggest looking at ways to make
it as easy as possible (that is, as little work as possible) for
yourself to keep a user&reference manual up to date. Something simple
and fundamental as endnotes should not be undocumented. And
limitations (like what to do if you want images in endnotes) should be
available in documentation.
In fact, you need only maintain one single integrated document en keep
it up to date with the current ConTeXt version. Then, when you make
MkIV the current ConTeXt version (and not a beta using a beta of a new
compiler) you freeze the old and move to the new.
Is it perhaps the case that the source of the manual is so old that
it will not compile with a current ConTeXt anymore? If not, why not
update it so it is less than 7 or 9 years out of date? If so, what
does that possibly tell you about how valid the contents itself still
PS. To my own surprise (as I am a TeX fan) I have recently started to
think about researching non-TeX alternatives.
PPS. Before pressing send I just had a look at what is there on the
pragma-ade site: http://www.pragma-ade.com/document-1.htm. I do not
see any documentation other than the 1999 excursion and the 2001 'all
of ConTeXt' manual. Maybe I am looking in the wrong place for
More information about the ntg-context