[NTG-context] Ideas for restructuring the ConTeXt garden?

C. metan0r at gmx.de
Sat Mar 12 21:08:09 CET 2011


I recently started using context. I migrated from latex to xelatex to
context. Mainly because of the better font support. I now value context also
for its superior abilities. I feel that I can do more stuff without the use
of \usepackage for this, \usepackage for that. When I read the
documentation, I get the feeling that a lot of thoughts went into the
options that are presented but it's still easy to customize (if you know how
to do it :D)
Here is my input to your questions.

1) why users are confused with mkiv/mkii?
The difference is not well explained. Also, mkii (which I don't use) sounds
like "the old version". When I first read about context, it was like "well,
we have this and that (mkii and mkiv)" but it should say "we have mkii,
[insert here: what can it do, for what users is it recommended, pros/cons]
and mkiv [insert info]. If you are not sure what to use, then you should use
mkiv, because that is the future." Or something like that.

2) why they my be reluctant to install the minimals?
Because they already have it in miktex, texlive. What they don't know is
that these versions are outdated and due to the heavy development pretty
far behind. Plus, it should say "Context Standalone" because that is what it

3) how to restructure the garden to make things clearer for newcomers?
I for one would welcome to see more guides like the "titles" guide. Nicely
commented and explained code, result as picture. For better structure it
would be an option to use code blocks that can be hidden, with a small [+]
in front that you can click to see the code.

4) how do users look for information and how to optimise the garden for
search engine requests?
I read the manual section, if that does not answer it, I google "<what I
want> context". Most of the time that takes me to the mail archive.

5) how to better promote context to new/latex users?
I don't know.

Maybe that helps.

> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: Florian Wobbe [mailto:Florian.Wobbe at awi.de]
> Gesendet: Samstag, 12. März 2011 13:21
> An: mailing list for ConTeXt users
> Betreff: [NTG-context] Ideas for restructuring the ConTeXt garden?
> Maybe we should start a discussion in a new thread to find out:
> 1) why users are confused with mkiv/mkii?
> 2) why they my be reluctant to install the minimals?
> 3) how to restructure the garden to make things clearer for newcomers?
> 4) how do users look for information and how to optimise the garden for
> search engine requests?
> 5) how to better promote context to new/latex users?
> Especially answers from new users to the first three points would be
> to answer the fifth point I guess.
> >> In general I find it difficult to differentiate between mkiv and mkii
> information in the wiki. How could we better structure the wiki to make it
> easier for the reader? Disambiguation pages, mkiv/mkii sections,
> independent pages with mkiv/mkii in headerline?
> > Just my 2 cents on this: difficult, because you won't be able to make
> everybody happy. Every now and then, I see a new user on the list who asks
> about "installing mkiv" and doesn't realize that it is not really
> which you have to install additionally. We shouldn't scare those users
> because in so many cases, mkii and mkiv are exactly identical, so that
> be an arguments against a too stric separation.
> I understand the problem.
> Having said that, pages like "Using Mark IV" or "Install Mark IV" should
> renamed to "installing/using context".
> Maybe it would help to include a little box "important things to know" on
> installation page and explain shortly that for historical reasons mkii and
> are distributed together and that the former is regarded deprecated.
> link to a new page: Differences between miiv/mkii and how both are invoked
> (context vs. texexec).
> Then I am aware of many people who are reluctant to install the minimals.
> now wonder why I (myself) was unwilling to install the minimals in the
> place, having TeXLive installed already. For one it was because of the
> effort. But I recall it was also the name "The ConTeXt MINIMAL
> that kept me. The name "minimal" somehow suggested something
> incomplete or minor to me. It took me a while to figure out that the
> is actually more than you get from TexLive. Therefore, I would suggest
> leaving out "minimal" and advertise the superior instead.
> > But of course you're also right that it's frustrating for users if they
can't find
> relevant information for the areas where the two differ. As long as mkiv
> hasn't settled, this is not easy...
> In deed. I guess this has most relevance for people new to context,
> especially those who know latex already and are used to find help easily.
> >> We should add criterium=cite and criterium=text to the Wiki
> MKIV page: http://wiki.contextgarden.net/Bibliography_mkiv).
> >
> > You are of course right, but I assume Hans is working on bibliographies
> now (he promised to finish something which I need for a project in March,
> that leaves him another two weeks ;-), so we should maybe wait a bit.
> OK, fine. I'm curious what new feature this will bring to us!
> > criterium=cite should work as well, but doesn't right now.
> >
> >> In the beginning it was not clear to me, that
> http://wiki.contextgarden.net/Bibliography refers to the MKII
> implementation of Taco. Therefore, I would suggest to rename Bibliography
> to Bibliography_mkii and create an alias Bibliography that redirects to
> Bibliography_mkiv instead. In the wiki pages Bibliography_mkiv and
> Bibliography_mkii the first sentence should state that the page is related
> mkii/mkiv only and link to the other page. Do you think this is
> >
> > I had begun rewriting the page. There is now
> http://wiki.contextgarden.net/Bibliographies which links to the other
> and which is linked to on the front page. But another context-related
> kept me away from this and I never finished this, so fell free to shuffle
> rewrite things!
> I see. I was not aware of this page. I usually find information on the
wiki by
> searching for: "site:wiki.contextgarden.net placepublications". So if
there are
> actually  disambiguation pages for mkiv/mkii it makes sense to include
> mkiv/mkii on both pages (not just one).
> >> I would like to add a section on customising bibstyle files and add
> for sharing reference styles of different journals. What do you think?
> >
> > Again, that's a very good idea, but we should maybe wait just a bit till
> dust settles a bit.
> All right.
> Best,
> Florian

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