[NTG-context] Wiki update

Taco Hoekwater taco at elvenkind.com
Thu May 30 12:07:57 CEST 2019

Hi all,

Not sure how many of you remember this, but at the Kalenberg meeting in 2016 there was this talk:


  Wolfgang Schuster (and Hans Hagen)

  The user interface is described in xml files but the actual descriptions lagged behind development. Wolfgang spent a considerable amount of time to describe all commands in detail and we updated the descriptive format in the process. The rendering was partly redone, as was the help system and scripts that use this information.

Since then, nothing much had been done with those updated xml files, which is a big shame considering the enormous amount of work that went into the process.

But recently we have been discussing the wiki and (especially) the sorry state of the reference portion of that. At some point, I realised that we could rather easily combine the new xml interface files with a small wiki extension, such that the wiki has easy access to the latest and greatest command list.


From now on, when you are editing the wiki (especially the /Command/CMD pages), you can use <syntax>CMD</syntax> to output the formal table of arguments
for that CMD (omit the backslash)

For example,


outputs a table with the formal calling convention(s) for the \section command. Multiple tables actually, as it also outputs the alternative calls with different arguments, and it outputs the definition of the internal \*section* command, of which \section is an instance. (The parents of instances are printed in a slanted font).

There are 2035 normal commands and 373 instances in the database, essentially covering all the style- and document-level commands in ConTeXt.
I’ve decided not to add the low-level system commands because (apart from perhaps a few special cases) these do not belong in general user documentation.


I have not auto-replaced any of the handcrafted command page syntax tables in the existing wiki pages, because quite often the current syntax table has manual additions explaining various options. In the formal version these are obviously not present, and I did not want to remove any of that extra information.  

Anyway, the nice thing about this new wiki plugin is that if you want to create a page for a specific command that is not in existence right now, it is a simple matter of going to the expected url, and creating a page with just a Syntax heading and a <syntax> tag. 

For example (created a minute ago):


  == Syntax ==


Thanks go to Wolfgang for all the hard work!

Best wishes,

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