[NTG-context] general suggestion for ConTeXt documentation

Pablo Rodriguez oinos at gmx.es
Wed Aug 8 17:28:45 CEST 2018

On 08/08/2018 03:30 PM, Robert Zydenbos wrote:
> On 8. Aug 2018, at 00:54, Alan Braslau wrote:
>> tex/context/interface/mkiv/i-context.pdf
> Thank you! I didn’t know I already had this updated version of a
> document I’ve already been using. But however useful this document
> already is, it does illustrate some of my problems. For instance, in
> the entry ‘\setupnote’ I see:
>> indicator: yes no
> distance: dimension
> Surely this is fine for those who have been working on ConTeXt for
> years at a very low coding level.

Hi Robert,

please, don’t consider me among those who have been worked on ConTeXt at
a very low level (even for milliseconds).

> But I see this and ask myself: “indicator of what? distance to what?” etc.

Indicator that the note goes to the following page. But I don’t know
what "distance" in \setupnote does.

> (Sometimes, when confronted with such information, I just play
> around a bit with changing parameters and see what happens: sometimes
> I discover the meanings, sometimes I don’t.)

Lucky you, I have to play all the time to see what happens. I only learn
by doing.

> ‘\setupnote’ inherits from ‘\setupframed’. There one finds
>> profile = NAME
> empty = yes no
> and similar questions arise: “what kind of profile?”, “what is empty
> or not?” etc.

The note zone is a frame. Empty or full is the text in that frame. In
that case (if this frame is empty), it removes the footnotes themselves.

I don’t know what are profiles. But I never needed to use them.

> Unfortunately the source browser on the Wiki is out of order,
> otherwise that might have helped.

http://source.contextgarden.net/ does work for me. But it is better that
you search your distribution, since the sources from your computer may
be the latest beta. In the garden, they are outdated.

> Suggestion / request: all the ConTeXt source files are, of course,
> read and processed in a particular order. It would surely be useful if
> someone could indicate where this chain begins. Anybody who would be
> interested in sorting out the workings of ConTeXt and writing a manual
> (no, I am not making any promises yet :-) ) could then trace how one
> command leads to another, another, another… and how the entire system is
> built up.

I wonder how many participants in this list might be able to do that
(Hans, Wolfgang and Taco excluded, of course).

No doubt that you are way smarter than me, but let me say a word on your
approach to ConTeXt.

Typography is a craftmanship. I don’t think it is totally different when
it is digital. Learning by doing is a good approach.

Of course, you may afford to learn from the source. But after all,
ConTeXt knowledge is relevant to typeset texts.

I might be totally missing your point here, but it seems to me that you
try to know what can be achieved in general with ConTeXt, even before to
learn how to use ConTeXt for your typesetting needs.

I hope it helps,


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