[NTG-context] documentation

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Tue Jul 8 09:57:02 CEST 2014

On 7/7/2014 8:51 PM, Yuri Teixeira wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm sorry this probably is a dumb question but I'm really lost in my
> searches. I'm new to context/tex and have been learning/finding
> information in the wiki at the contextgarden.net
> <http://contextgarden.net> for the past couple of weeks. Some of
> information there don't seem up to date but nothing unusual in an
> unofficial wiki. For some reason (isp/dns/something) the
> contextgarden.net <http://contextgarden.net> has been unavailiable to me
> since yesterday even though some verification sites show it up and some
> show it down (http://www..isitdownrightnow.com
> <http://www.isitdownrightnow.com> been one of the later). That got me
> wondering if there are easy official docs. I've seen the pdfs at
> pragma-ade.com <http://pragma-ade.com> but the most general ones I tried
> are from 1999 (ms-cb-en.pdf) and 2001 (cont-eni.pdf). Are these up to
> date with the current developments? I belive they are compatible but
> having seen examples of changes in the wiki I a little unsure.
> Furthermore, the parameter behavior description in the command reference
> seem a bit... dry. So here's my plea for a little bit more love for the
> documentation.
> In any way, thank you very much for an awesome language, I'm glad I
> researched thoroughly before jumping into latex.

When mechanisms in context are extended, we try to remain downward 
compatible, at least in functionality. Therefore the old manuals are 
normally okay (no need to fake updates with newer dates.) There are 
however a few core mechanisms that are obsolete and/or changed and those 
are input encodings (now always utf) and fonts (now always unicode - or 
mapped to unicode - using features cf open type and more).

In practice input encodings and fonts have always been complex: what 
input encoding to choose and what font encoding to use, then running 
into availability of fonts, differences per language, differences per 
user. A bit of installation nightmare and user support as soon as it 
became less standard. By the time that had become easier (tex gyre and 
lm project) the move to opentype was made so most of the documentation 
had become somewhat obsolete.

So, when using old manuals, keep in mind that encodings, regimes and 
fonts are less hassle now and no special commands are needed to use and 
combine these properties.

In addition some mechanisms were extended and improved in mkiv 
(sectioning and so) which means that there are additional ways to 
configure them.

That leaves mechanisms that are completely redone. One example is 
bibliographies, but users who need them will have no real problems 
adapting and these come with new manuals.

Stick to mkiv. It's the one where the action takes place.


                                           Hans Hagen | PRAGMA ADE
               Ridderstraat 27 | 8061 GH Hasselt | The Netherlands
     tel: 038 477 53 69 | voip: 087 875 68 74 | www.pragma-ade.com
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