[NTG-context] State of documentation of ConTeXt?

Gerben Wierda gerben.wierda at rna.nl
Tue Jul 15 11:59:32 CEST 2014

On 14 Jul 2014, at 19:29, Hans Hagen <pragma at wxs.nl> wrote:

> quite some sub-systems are described in their own manuals (fonts, tables, xml, ...) and these manuals are quite up to date (and easier to maintain than one big fat manual
> also, additional documentation is something that users need to participate in (just pick a topic)
> even if it has high priority, that doesn't mean that those involved have much free time left to do that next to their regular work (as usual most development is done in spare time)
> so, patience is needed,

I like ConTeXt (still do, I liked its approach when I first encountered it). But the project is more the ongoing private tinkering of a small in-crowd (that communicates with some followers).

ConTeXt is managed a bit like a small group of researchers sharing a couple of complex and undocumented models/programs and tinkering with them as they go along. It’s an activity without formal design, but with a lot of trial-and-error/testing.

Given that status (and the fact that it has had that status for over a decennium), I don’t expect it to ever become a serious product that is (semi-)professionally managed. I prefer content over management every day, but something like this needs some minimal management. That requires both time (=money) and capabilities. Besides, the tinkering researchers may not be inclined to do that, they want to tinker.

BTW, you can’t be serious asking the users to provide the documentation, can you?


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