[NTG-context] general suggestion for ConTeXt documentation

Alan Braslau braslau.list at comcast.net
Wed Aug 8 18:12:02 CEST 2018

On Wed, 8 Aug 2018 17:54:34 +0200
Hans Hagen <j.hagen at xs4all.nl> wrote:

> On 8/8/2018 3:30 PM, Robert Zydenbos wrote:
> > profile = NAME
> > empty = yes no
> > …
> > 
> > and similar questions arise: “what kind of profile?”, “what is empty or not?” etc.  
> it's pretty safe to ignore keys like 'profile' (if you grep the 
> documentation tree .... it's just an example of a potential optimization 
> of the rendering which in practice no one will use because in the end it 
> makes no sense .... more fun feature i guess)

The philosophy has been to use keys that are generally pretty self-explanatory, such as title=, color=, style=, etc.

Secondly, the commands try to use existing key names if they are relevant rather than adding new keys, and this sometimes leads to key names that at first sight might seem slightly awkward (where a synonym or close synonym might be slightly better). Also, sometimes the context requires a new key, such as foregroundcolor= and backgroundcolor=, when color= for example would be ambiguous.

Thirdly, many keys are inherited and passed-on to an included command.

Finally, unknown or unused keys are simply ignored.

This has the advantage that often, just trying the obvious simply works. 

To quote Poincaré:
Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different things. It is enough that these things, though differing in matter, should be similar in form, to permit their being, so to speak, cast in the same mould. When the language has been carefully chosen, one is surprised to discover that all proofs developed for a given object, can be immediately applied to many new objects; there is nothing to be changed, not even the words, since all the names have become the same.


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