Question about ConTeXt

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Geico Caveman

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Sep 8, 2007, 5:53:18 PM9/8/07
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Hello,

I have used LaTeX for years (though not much for the past 2-3 years). Now,
since I am writing a book, I am looking at ConTeXt as an option due to the
pretty pictures (the proposed book, unlike most of my written work, is not
supposed to be a technical book, but a novel) on ConTeXt's webpage.

However, before I spend any time learning a new way of using TeX, I wish to
know if LaTeX packages can be used unmodified with ConTeXt ?

Thanks.

adi

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Sep 9, 2007, 5:01:42 AM9/9/07
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On Sep 8, 2:53 pm, Geico Caveman <spammers-go-h...@spam.invalid>
wrote:

> However, before I spend any time learning a new way of using TeX, I wish to
> know if LaTeX packages can be used unmodified with ConTeXt ?

No. You cannot use latex packages with context. However, in most cases
you do not need an extra package as ConTeXt has the equivalent
functionality See for example http://wiki.contextgarden.net/Latex_Packages
. If there is a critical package that you need, ask on the ConTeXt
mailing list to see if there is an equivalent, before you really make
the switch.

Aditya

Geico Caveman

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Sep 9, 2007, 3:08:32 PM9/9/07
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adi wrote:

Hmm. It might then not be much use learning ConTeXt. Way too much work.
Getting the same thing done in LaTeX might require some ugly hacks, but at
least I then understand (or at least I think I do) what is going on.

Then there is the question of the userbase. The time it took for your
response to get on the thread when compared to a similar question on LaTeX.

I think I will then stick to LaTeX.

Karsten Heymann

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Sep 10, 2007, 2:36:05 AM9/10/07
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Geico Caveman <spammers...@spam.invalid> writes:
> Then there is the question of the [ConTeXt] userbase. The time it

> took for your response to get on the thread when compared to a
> similar question on LaTeX.

I think most ConTeXt users are on the context-ml mailinglist, and not
here (maybe because most discussions here are about LaTeX---kind of a
chicken-egg-problem I think ;) ). The ConTeXt userbase *is* of course
much smaller than LaTeX, but the level of knowledge inside it is quite
high.

> I think I will then stick to LaTeX.

You're of course free to do that, but if I was in your position and
had a little amount of free time, I would give ConTeXt a try -- it
never hurts to know another tool, and ConteXt is really powerfull. I
found it really interesting to learn, although for my daily work I
mostly stick to LaTeX nevertheless, lazy guy I am.

Yours
Karsten
--
Karsten Heymann

Robin Fairbairns

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Sep 10, 2007, 4:46:21 AM9/10/07
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Karsten Heymann <karsten...@blue-cable.net> writes:
>Geico Caveman <spammers...@spam.invalid> writes:
>> Then there is the question of the [ConTeXt] userbase. The time it
>> took for your response to get on the thread when compared to a
>> similar question on LaTeX.
>
>I think most ConTeXt users are on the context-ml mailinglist, and not
>here (maybe because most discussions here are about LaTeX---kind of a
>chicken-egg-problem I think ;) ). The ConTeXt userbase *is* of course
>much smaller than LaTeX, but the level of knowledge inside it is quite
>high.

still? you've really not started attracting beginners?

>> I think I will then stick to LaTeX.
>
>You're of course free to do that, but if I was in your position and
>had a little amount of free time, I would give ConTeXt a try -- it
>never hurts to know another tool, and ConteXt is really powerfull. I
>found it really interesting to learn, although for my daily work I
>mostly stick to LaTeX nevertheless, lazy guy I am.

the impression i had was that geico believes he hasn't time to study
context sufficiently. there's no knowing which way would really be
better for him, short of cloning him and sending one version off on
each of the paths.

in his place, i would stay with latex. some day i'll learn context,
but it's unlikely to happen any time soon.
--
Robin Fairbairns, Cambridge

David Kastrup

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Sep 10, 2007, 5:06:32 AM9/10/07
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rf...@cl.cam.ac.uk (Robin Fairbairns) writes:

> Karsten Heymann <karsten...@blue-cable.net> writes:
>>Geico Caveman <spammers...@spam.invalid> writes:
>>> Then there is the question of the [ConTeXt] userbase. The time it
>>> took for your response to get on the thread when compared to a
>>> similar question on LaTeX.
>>
>>I think most ConTeXt users are on the context-ml mailinglist, and not
>>here (maybe because most discussions here are about LaTeX---kind of a
>>chicken-egg-problem I think ;) ). The ConTeXt userbase *is* of course
>>much smaller than LaTeX, but the level of knowledge inside it is quite
>>high.
>
> still? you've really not started attracting beginners?

The existing user level documentation is not DFSG-compatible (and thus
not in TeXlive or GNU/Linux distributions by default), there are few
documents giving a general overview rather than details anyhow, and
there is no introductory text/manual/whatever to be bought in
bookshops.

So where is the attraction to beginners supposed to come from?

--
David Kastrup

Boris Veytsman

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Sep 10, 2007, 12:00:29 PM9/10/07
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DK> From: David Kastrup <d...@gnu.org>
DK> Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2007 11:06:32 +0200


DK> The existing user level documentation is not DFSG-compatible (and thus
DK> not in TeXlive or GNU/Linux distributions by default), there are few
DK> documents giving a general overview rather than details anyhow, and
DK> there is no introductory text/manual/whatever to be bought in
DK> bookshops.

Exactly my impression. I tried to learn ConTeXt some time ago, and
since these days have a bookshelf of printed and bound manuals.
Unfortunately they impressed me as a bunch of disjointed writeups not
suitable for systematic learning. A good text like PSTricks User
Guide by Timothy Van Zandt is a must for a system of this size and
complexity.

--
Good luck

-Boris

If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?
-- Lily Tomlin

Leo

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Sep 10, 2007, 3:04:24 PM9/10/07
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On 2007-09-10 17:00 +0100, Boris Veytsman wrote:
> DK> The existing user level documentation is not DFSG-compatible (and thus
> DK> not in TeXlive or GNU/Linux distributions by default), there are few
> DK> documents giving a general overview rather than details anyhow, and
> DK> there is no introductory text/manual/whatever to be bought in
> DK> bookshops.
>
> Exactly my impression. I tried to learn ConTeXt some time ago, and
> since these days have a bookshelf of printed and bound manuals.
> Unfortunately they impressed me as a bunch of disjointed writeups not
> suitable for systematic learning. A good text like PSTricks User
> Guide by Timothy Van Zandt is a must for a system of this size and
> complexity.

Is there a book for metapost? I would like to learn it; it looks more
powerful than PSTricks.

--
.: Leo :. [ sdl.web AT gmail.com ] .: [ GPG Key: 9283AA3F ] :.

=> "(require 'cl) considered harmful" considered harmful
=> http://dto.freeshell.org/blog/blog-2007-09-07-2323.html

Boris Veytsman

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Sep 10, 2007, 5:09:10 PM9/10/07
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L> From: Leo <sdl...@gmail.com>
L> Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2007 20:04:24 +0100


L> Is there a book for metapost? I would like to learn it; it looks more
L> powerful than PSTricks.

Try the new (2nd) edition of LaTeX Graphics Companion. It has
extensive coverages of both Metapost and PSTricks.

--
Good luck

-Boris

He that composes himself is wiser than he that composes a book.
-- B. Franklin

Leo

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Sep 10, 2007, 5:25:49 PM9/10/07
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On 2007-09-10 22:09 +0100, Boris Veytsman wrote:
> L> From: Leo <sdl...@gmail.com>
> L> Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2007 20:04:24 +0100
>
>
> L> Is there a book for metapost? I would like to learn it; it looks more
> L> powerful than PSTricks.
>
> Try the new (2nd) edition of LaTeX Graphics Companion. It has
> extensive coverages of both Metapost and PSTricks.

Thanks.

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