[NTG-context] A new manual

John R. Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Fri Sep 29 19:00:19 CEST 2006

On Friday 29 September 2006 10:19, gnwiii at gmail.com wrote:
> On 9/28/06, John R. Culleton <john at wexfordpress.com> wrote:
> > What is needed now for greater acceptance of Context is not new
> > features but a new manual, perhaps a multi volume set with a
> > common index. The 2001 manual is great, but many of the features
> > discussed daily here are not in it. One must chase around the
> > wiki and the individual manuals like "details", and that is not
> > satisfactory from the point of view of the new user. Most of us
> > have memorized the locations of key information but newcomers
> > have not.
> I don't agree that lack of a current manual is a big problem for
> potential users of ConteXt. In my experience, the biggest problem is
> with the 3rd party tools (perl, ghostscript, ruby) on Win32 and legacy
> commercial unix (where ruby is not provided and the system perl will
> be a very old version).
Interesting. There are minimal Context distros for each of the
major platforms. Does the Win verson include the missing
> You can write simple LaTeX documents without working 3rd party tools
> (MikTeX-2.5 seems to provide ghostscript), but you need perl and ruby
> before you can format anything in ConTeXt.  There should be some tools
> to check the functioning and versions of ghostscript, perl, and ruby.
> A VMWare player appliacance might be helpful for people with current
> Win32 systems (e.g., ample CPU, disk, and RAM).
> > If a consolidated manual set were offered for sale there would be a
> > lot of customers. Or an abridged version, something like the
> > 1999 Excursion manual but expanded and updated, would be a
> > possibility.
> Any printed manual will soon become stale.  What is needed is an
> introductory manual
> for new users together with an ongoing process to provide current
> information.  The wiki is a good start, but there needs to be more
> effort to ensure that the sources can be used as the definitive
> manual.  The introductory manual should devote considerable space to
> explaining how to find current information in the wiki and or using
> the source files.

My preferences in order are printed book, downloadable source,
downloadable pdf and online anything. Information needs to be
structured, indexed, portable, easily readable. 

John Culleton
Able Indexing and Typesetting
Precision typesetting (tm) at reasonable cost.
Satisfaction guaranteed. 

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