[NTG-context] present state of critical editions with ConTeXt MKIV ?

Talal Al-Azem talazem at fastmail.fm
Mon Oct 4 00:14:20 CEST 2010

Dear all,

My apologies for flooding the mailing list as I try to come up to speed quickly with some of the perhaps more arcane usages of ConTeXt over the weekend. I have come to understand that ConTeXt MKIV can indeed produce beautiful critical editions (including those of Arabic texts). I've spent some time scouring the mailing list and wiki with things related to critical editions and Arabic (from the early 2000's until now), including the developing CitTeXt project. However, I have some questions.

From my (nascent) experiences and readings regarding critically editing texts, the following appear to be necessary tasks for any typesetting software used to produce critical texts [1] (I have placed an + next to those features which seem to already be implemented in MKIV, and a '?' next to those which I am unsure) :

1. Marginal line numbers   +

2. Keying lemmas to linenumbers   ?
	Footnote streams where the lemmas are referenced in connection with the  line numbers (and thus not by puting a footnote reference number in the body of the text after the variant). I.e., functionality similar to ednotes or Ledmac in LaTeX. From what I've read, it seems this might remain the most problematic matter currently.

3. Formatting the lemma footnote streams in paragraph/block form OR in columnar form   ?
	This mailing list provided direction to using \setupnote[footnote][n=x], where if x=0 makes the footnotes into a single paragraph, and if x=2 or more than 2 or more columns appear. I am unclear, due to my relative inexperience with ConTeXt, whether this is deemed robust enough as part of the solution of keying lemmas to linenumbers (#2 above).

4. Lemma abbreviations   ?
	When the lemma is rather long, it should be displayed partially only preceding the note at the bottom of the page

5. Nested or overlapping lemmas   ?

6. Cross references to lines   ?

7. Line number switches    +
	I.e. being able to turn line numbering on and off, restart, etc.

8. Multiple footnote streams   +

9. Parallel typesetting	   ?
 	I.e. It seems this was last recently discussed on this list in August 2010, and I assume it is naturally still in development, as these matters surely take time. 

Thus, the main issues seemingly remaining are related to lemmas. Issues number 2 to 5 are my main concern at the moment. Any advice on currently effecting these and other matters with a '?' after them (or being told that it is currently impossible) would be most appreciated. Alternatively, it would be nice just to know where things stand.

Kind regards,
Talal Al-Azem

[1] Further discussion of these (and further) tasks can be quickly surveyed in Uwe Lück, "ednotes — critical edition typesetting with LATEX" (ednotugb.pdf, 2005) -- which discusses in section 2.1 the task(s) of digitally-produced critical editions.

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