[NTG-context] roadmap

Fabrice L fabrice.alpha at gmail.com
Wed May 16 21:14:32 CEST 2018


Dear all,

> - Check what additional features users want (miss) and decide to what
extent and with what priority we will put effort in this.

As asked, I add a wish to the list...

One feature which I depend a lot on is to be able to do animations: I
actually use the Raw Steps module, by David Munger (dated from 2006), which
still worked, but in MKII only. This is essential for me for my teaching
and talks. During teaching, I have designed courses notes in ConText using
a lot modes of context: the notes are different for the teacher, are
available in two formats for the students (paper and for completion on
tablets), and there is a last version for use in the class by me. In class,
this is essential for me that the material is presented by steps, otherwise
students have a tendency to not listen, or to not try to solve a problem is
the solution is already on the screen. I can not use the animation
tools available in ConTexT using javascript, since I use to show notes in
class an iPad, and I use the stylus to fill blanks present in the notes
(which work great by the way !). The facility to use modes in the courses
notes like this have convinced several of my colleagues to use ConTeXt for
their teaching needs.

Following threads on this list on animations, my understanding is that Hans
is not a great supporter of the method of animations in the Raw Steps
module, for technical reasons.

I have switch to MKIV for others documents, but I'm still on MKII for this
reason for my courses notes, which are 90% one my needs in TeX.
Fabrice.

2018-05-14 11:17 GMT-04:00 Hans Hagen <j.hagen at xs4all.nl>:

> Hi,
>
> The ConTeXt meeting is - as usual - the right place and moment to discuss
> the roadmap. We never had real binding roadmaps, more informal ones.
> Anyway, here are some thoughts on the two main components: MkIV and LuaTeX.
>
> ConTeXt MkIV:
>
> - Check if some mechanism can (by now) be simplified due to LuaTeX
> extension introduced the last few years that can be considered stable by
> now. This has a low impact as we already use Lua a lot.
>
> - Figure out what mechanism in ConTeXt are bottlenecks in performance if
> there are such bottlenecks at all. We need user input on this.
>
> - Get rid of inconsistencies in the user interface e.g. by introducing new
> commands with settings.
>
> - Check what additional features users want (miss) and decide to what
> extent and with what priority we will put effort in this. We've reached a
> point where interference prevents more complex extensions.
>
> - Try to improve tricky mechanisms, like columns and tables. Improvements
> are of course always on the agenda.
>
> - We can add more trickery for fonts and scripts. There are some pending
> extensions.
>
> - Maybe we should provide a few more general styles.
>
> - Are there reasonable challenges left.
>
> LuaTeX 1.09:
>
> - This version is pretty close to what is the final version (seen from the
> functional point of view). We're still debating where to move after this.
> LuaTeX 2.0? A stripped down (lean and mean) version specific for ConTeXt?
> Keep in mind that we cannot fundamentally change something, even if we want
> to, because other macro packages use it and don't expect it to change much.
>
> - There will probably be some more options in controlling math (given
> issues with fonts). We have to accept that not everything has a generic
> programmable solution (which is why we have Lua on board).
>
> - There might be a few more callbacks but probably nothing fundamental is
> planned.
>
> - We keep cleaning up the code base (less code is better, less
> dependencies too, some documentation is missing or not yet adapted to the
> new code). For instance the pdf inclusion code will soon be redone (and
> then tested in the ConTeXt distribution as usual).
>
> - When possible we will try to improve performance but there is not much
> to gain to be expected there.
>
> - We will also keep up with Lua (currently 5.3, some day 5.4). It is
> unclear to what extent LuaJit follows. When it stays behind we need to
> decide if support in ConTeXt will stay (to some extent we can have dual
> code paths as we have now).
>
> - We expect the ffi interface to external libraries to become more stable
> over time. ConTeXt will not introduce dependencies (what can be done in Lua
> will happen in Lua) but on the other hand we might put some libraries in
> the distribution e.g. for database support.
>
> - We might add some extensions to MetaPost in MPLib.
>
> In addition we could formulate ideas with respect to the distribution,
> garden, documentation and so on.
>
> You can react on this list but if you come to the meeting, you can
> participate in discussions.
>
> So far for now,
>
> Hans
>
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
>                                           Hans Hagen | PRAGMA ADE
>               Ridderstraat 27 | 8061 GH Hasselt | The Netherlands
>        tel: 038 477 53 69 | www.pragma-ade.nl | www.pragma-pod.nl
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
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