[NTG-context] About Latex compatibility module

Wolfgang Schuster wolfgang.schuster.lists at gmail.com
Mon May 25 19:34:05 CEST 2020

Hans Hagen schrieb am 25.05.2020 um 17:54:
> On 5/24/2020 1:43 AM, Jairo A. del Rio wrote:
>> Hi everyone! I was reading some old posts on TeX.SX about LaTeX 
>> support on ConTeXt and I found the following:
>> https://web.archive.org/web/20110822085249/https://modules.contextgarden.net/LaTeX 
>> However, not only the module seems to be deprecated, but there's no 
>> more info about the module now (links are broken and the like). Btw 
>> the test file (latextest.tex) included fails to compile:
>>  > tex error on line 165 in file t-ltmsen.tex: ! Undefined control 
>> sequence
>>  >> \newskip\@rightskip \@rightskip \z at skip
> looks like someplace one has to define \z at skip to be 0pt (in this case 
> it's actually redundant code because a newskip is likely to be zero)

In many cases one can replace the old name with @ with current names, 
e.g. \z at skip will become \zeroskip.

>> Is it possible to make it work? I think it would be nice if some 
>> minimal LaTeX macros were supported. Thank you in advance!
> Depends. It's not that hard to define some basic 'handle some latex 
> cases' module but the question is "for what purpose?". When I look at 
> those decade old files in that archive I see a lot of messy code that 
> one needs to isolate and even then we can assume that users use more 
> than a few commands. When they only use the top-ten commands, no 
> problem, but when they start setting lengths or so ... why use context 
> then. I have no problem mapping a few commands so that new users can 
> cut-n-paste some code as a starter but somehoen has to come up with the 
> list of commands and minimal test files then.
> Apart from the (probably a bit boring) challenge I think it doesn't pay 
> off. Also, the systems are conceptually too different I think.

In the end you have to port the base commands of LaTeX which includes

- lists
- floats
- references
- font switches
- math
- etc.

and just another one (and another one ...).

It's just not worth the effort and we should spend the time to improve 
ConTeXt and add missing features.


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