[NTG-context] TeXLive and ConTeXt

Otared Kavian otared at gmail.com
Wed Jun 6 16:54:42 CEST 2018


Hi all,

I would like to report (with a rather bad humor) on an issue regarding the use of ConTeXt when one starts with TeXLive.

Last week I was at a meeting of mathematicians and several people asked me to explain why I am using ConTeXt rather than LaTeX, and show them some of the features which (according to me) are fundamentally better thought and better designed.

When some of my colleagues were convinced with what I showed them, since they had already a version of TeXLive installed on their computer, they wanted to try out ConTeXt on their own. So we tried to make some tests with their own installation of TeXLive and ConTeXt on their machine, and this is when the troubles began, because none of them could run ConTeXt out of the box…

I confess that I am not at all a geek and my knowledge of ConTeXt is rather elementary, and just sufficient for my own (elementary) needs, therefore I could not solve the problems preventing those people to use ConTeXt.
However, as those people told me, when using LaTeX they don't need any further technical knowledge, since any file can be typeset out of the box with an installation of TeXLive.

So here is my frustrated question: why we cannot typeset a file « test.tex » written in TeX and using ConTeXt commands just by saying
	context test.tex
in a terminal window (nor using a GUI front end) while one would be able to do that if that file were written using LaTeX commands?

I know that it is possible to search on the web and find an answer regarding the steps one should take to enable ConTeXt from TeXLive, but it is not natural to expect people come to ConTeXt if they cannot use it out of the box. By the way, just for testing I installed TeXLive 2018, and could not use ConTeXt out of the box… (and I don't remember what I should do to enable it…).

Indeed it is always possible to install a standalone version of ConTeXt on one's machine, but this pushes us to behave like a sect in the TeX community. 

I don't know to whom I should write to have ConTeXt enabled in TeXLive when one installs it: can anyone give me a hint?

Best regards to all of you, especially those who do an incredible lot of work to develop ConTeXt and, who deserve to be better known among TeX users.
Otared K.


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