[NTG-context] Textadept with ConTeXt

cryo shock axteffekt at gmail.com
Tue Aug 21 10:33:55 CEST 2018

Hi Hans,

Am Di., 21. Aug. 2018 um 09:36 Uhr schrieb cryo shock <axteffekt at gmail.com>:

> Thanks a lot!
> Am Di., 21. Aug. 2018 um 09:06 Uhr schrieb Hans Hagen <j.hagen at xs4all.nl>:
>> On 8/21/2018 1:59 AM, Lars wrote:
>> > Hi there, thanks for your interest in Textadept. It's a great editor
>> and
>> > I am sure that you won't regret testing it and using it in the future.
>> > Just have some patience.
>> i played with it a few times but its biggest drawback is the lack of a
>> fast and realtime console pane like scite has so i keep coming back to
>> scite (on the contrary scite has the lpeg lexer extern and its lua is
>> not shared with scites lua which is a drawback there) .. so currently i
>> see ta as a fallback
You mentioned that before at some point, and I wouldn't argue with that, as
you surely know best how to use an editor that helps you with your work. I
don't know enough about Lua programming, so it's hard for me to tell
whether the realtime console pane is realisable within TA. But I will ask
Mitchell on TA mailing list what he thinks about it. I think it would be
great if he could make a console pane possible, as I think that there is
nothing worse than having to switch between programs because of the lack of

in the context distrubution there are actually files for textadept but
>> because its (still?) a moving target with a changing interface i'm not
>> sure if it works with the latest (it's btw one reason why the files that
>> ship with context basically reset a lot of the fetaures because as usual
>> with editors, they tend to add lots of key bindings and stuff not needed
>> for tex and friends)
One month or so ago Mitchell released Textadept 10 which comes with some
API changes. He wrote a Migration Guide from TA9 to 10 which can be found
in the appendix of the TA online manual:


So when using the ConTeXt TA package with TA10, TA pops up with many errors
and is unusable until one deletes the files again. The files work with TA
v9 without a problem though. Still I'd suggest to users who want to use the
package to rename the init.lua that comes with CTX and then bind it within
their own init.lua with

require('context_init')      -- exemplary file name

If anything goes wrong then, users simply have to comment the line with
Notepad and TA should work again.

> anyway,
>> ../context/data/textadept/context/textadept-context.cmd
>> ../context/data/textadept/context/textadept-context.sh
>> still work on my machine so ... it's kind of providing the same
>> functionality as we use in scite.
>> > *Fifth, is your context lexer loaded when you compile the file?* Check
>> > the status bar in the lower right corner. If it doesn't say "context"
>> > but "latex" or "text" or anything like that, then choose the context
>> > lexer via "Buffer" -> "Select lexer...".
>> the lexer that we use in scite and textadept both use the textadept
>> lexer dll (which plugs into scintilla) but because the lua code that
>> came with it kept changing and i needed way better performance (for
>> large files like char-def) than was possible at that time i also rewrote
>> that code for our purpose (also because i wanted spell checking, utf
>> and such) ...
I am pretty sure that you know that already, but unexperienced readers
might want to know that there is a Spell Checking module for TA which can
be found under Modules in the TA wiki (it comes with only an english
dictionary though):


>> at some point the ta lexing method changed a bit so it became faster ...
>> all such such lexers sort of follow the same approach, mark regions and
>> associate them and we already had similar stuff on board in context so i
>> could combine things a bit
>> i think that the scite/ta lexers that we ship are quite ok (i've now
>> used them for years) and they are probably better than the context lexer
>> that comes with textadept, i.e. the context one supports a mix of tex,
>> mp, lua etc, knows primitives, commands, helpers, and follows up on the
>> way we have had syntax highlighting for decades which in turn closely
>> relates to the way the context user interface evolved
True indeed. I like your config settings when it comes to highlighting etc.
Also they come with a lot of keywords. That's a big plus as well. But since
the settings change a lot in TA, for example tabulation width, they are
pretty unfriendly to non-programmers. For example I tried to change the
behaviour of TA9 to wrap lines when a CTX file is loaded. I don't remember
in which file I changed the setting, but it didn't make a difference. Lines
didn't wrap, so I always had to change it manually. In the same file I
changed tab width, this change on the other hand worked. And there comes
the next tripping stone. The CTX settings come within many files with a
strict hierarchy, so that beginners will have a hard time to achieve
changes. The changes are overwhelming really, but it's worth getting used
to them.
So please don't get me wrong. I am thankful that CTX comes with settings
for TA at all. It's ofc better than nothing.

I just think that Lua makes it worthwhile for users to change settings by
themselves, so they know how TA works in it's core. I'd love to add, that
right now I am using one skin file, one custom CTX lexer (mod of the
original TA lexer), a snippets file and two init.luas of which one I only
load on my tablet to add some basic functionality to it's digital keyboard
(which wasn't necessary in SciTE btw.) I think it looks great so far,
although it surely could use some adjustments.
[image: TAlexed.jpg]

And I really miss your snippets amongst some other small things, but the
longer one tries, the further he comes with adjusting TA to his likings.

>> notepad++ does use the same scintilla editing framework but cannot load
>> the lexer dll; it does bidi a bit better
>> anyway, with both scite and ta i can gamble on two horses
Maybe in the future you'll have on horse that you can fully rely on. I wish
it'd be TA IMHO. :)

Just wanted to add my ideas to yours. Thanks for CTX, the TA settings and
for reading this mail.
Cheers, Lars.

>> 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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