[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
compilers? 
> 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. 
http://wexfordpress.com




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