[NTG-context] Improving Pandoc Support for ConTeXt

Andrew Dunning andrew.dunning at utoronto.ca
Tue Oct 20 03:47:09 CEST 2015

Dear list,

Pandoc, if you have not heard of it before, is a rather brilliant program for converting text between different markup languages: it allows, in essence, for technology-independent writing. It has been mentioned a few times on this list, with Pablo Rodríguez recently developing a set of templates for typesetting its XHTML output (at https://github.com/ousia/from-pandoc-to-context). One of its aims is to ease the process of producing a high-quality PDF; it has the strongest support for LaTeX at the moment, but it seems to me that ConTeXt would ultimately provide a more reliable and lightweight solution. The basic support is already in place; it only needs to be more thoroughly updated to take advantage of MkIV.

I am working on improving Pandoc's generic ConTeXt template, at <https://github.com/jgm/pandoc-templates/blob/master/default.context>; the initial proposal is at <https://github.com/jgm/pandoc-templates/pull/138>, which aims to show more of ConTeXt’s potential to the user through making variables available that configure its options. I am still new to ConTeXt (having used LaTeX for several years), and could not find a recent starter document. The example at <http://wiki.contextgarden.net/Detailed_Example> is from 2006, and clearly does not exhibit the system’s full potential. I would be grateful to know of any potential areas for improvement.

If you feel even more inclined to develop the Pandoc support for ConTeXt, its writer can be found at <https://github.com/jgm/pandoc/blob/master/src/Text/Pandoc/Writers/ConTeXt.hs>. In my experience, ConTeXt is much easier to use than LaTeX, but it is more difficult to get started with initially due to the lack of resources for new users; it is my hope that full support for it in Pandoc will provide one way of delving into it more deeply.

All best,

Andrew Dunning
PhD Candidate
Centre for Medieval Studies
University of Toronto

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