From Wiki
Revision as of 14:40, 8 June 2020 by Garulfo (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A poem about documentation

"Yet another context user" posted this poem to the mailing list

If you were surprised, like me
Fifty emails, in your inbox to see

    Let me help you with a summary
    Of what happended, using a poor excuse for poetry 

It was the day of fools
When Arthur tried to be cool

    In ConTeXt mailing list he shouted, "Look
    I am going to write a ConTeXt book!"

Everyone was happy and had a thrill
Till Martin said, "it is the first of April"

    His joke ruined, Arthur was sad
    He said Martin, this is bad

Other users were also upset, taken for a ride
The lack of a book, is not a matter of pride

    There were cries and a big fuss
    I was just getting started, said Russ

After that comments did pour
Its not even funny, said Gour

    All of us would be out of luck
    If Hans were to be hit by a bus!

Citing Douglas Adams said Taco
That will make the bus, a shamed loco

    In time back it 'ill go
    And slam its breaks, like a pro

Writing documentation is no fun
It that the reason it is shun

    Even if you do write something
    Does anyone even read the damn thing?

Taco lamented all he hears is that 'it sucks'
Demotivated, he may just pass the buck

    "Oh please, don't let the project slack
    If you write something, we will give you feedback"

This circle of arguments is always repeated
Whenever the question of documentation gets tweeted

    A new conspiracy theory was added this time
    "They want to keep it a secret," it's a crime

I am sick and tired of all the pretext
Why do you think anyone should write a book on ConTeXt?

    Taco and Hans, their hands are full
    Everyone else is just using a tool

(Actually when I was writing this chronology
Irdis was thinking about a typographical ontology)

    If you think that the documentation is lacking
    Do something, rather than grumbling

Here's a suggestion, if I may give to thee
Follow it, and you'll be a ConTeXt prodigee

    Pick up a pen and go 'n write
    On any part of ConTeXt that you like

A wiki article, a blog post, are good places to start
People reading them will relish the knowledge it imparts

    Write an example, show how things work
    Don't just hide there and lurk

If nothing else, write about what you find confusing
Others writing documentation may find it motivating

    On this note, this summary I'll end
    You were not offended, I'll pretend

Finally a request, if I may
Let me be anonymous, please, I pray

    A promise in passing, I'll also make
    Someday a ConTeXt book or tutorial, I may bake

I am waiting for time and a muse
At least, that is my excuse

                            -- A ConTeXt User

  • Later in the thread Idris told how his name should be pronounced
>>> (Actually when I was writing this chronology
>>> Irdis was thinking about a typographical ontology)
>> Who is this Irdis?

> Oh, my heart now bleeds
> That I couldn't spell the name of Prof Hamid

Our anonymous YACU ran, slipped and had to skid,
Neither did (s)he know how to rhyme with Hamid

Accent in Hamid is on the first syllable,
Otherwise pronouncing it will be untenable

Not a poem, but well written: by Arthur

What if Hans were hit by a bus

  • Taco's brilliant answer to this question
> This raises another concern and that is: what is the future of ConTeXt
> is Hans "get hit by the bus"? (Of course, we even do not want to think
> about it...)

The answer to this question is quite obvious if you have read Douglas
Adams' books: the bus will think about the impact of its actions on the
universe for a moment. Then, deeply immersed in gut-wrenching shame,
it will travel back in time half a minute and push its own breaks for
an emergency stop.

latex and LaTeX

Taco Hoekwater explaining the similarity between latex and LaTeX

Creating beautiful latex garments is at least as challenging as creating beautiful LaTeX documents (I tried, in earlier days). And just like in LaTeX, the problem areas are glue control and insert placement. Selling latex garments is also similar to selling LaTeX books: it is quite a niche market and your clients are considered fetishists by most other people.

ConTeXt logic

Steffen Wolfrum bewildered at ConTeXt syntax:

Sometimes ConTeXt's syntax looks kind of "female" to me: It certainly has an inner logic, but this is far more ... rich and varied as my single-minded, male structured mind would expect -)

Where is my update?

Vnpenguin was confused why he was not able to update ConTeXt, until Hans resolved the mystery.

> Since one week, I update my minimal ConTeXt almost everyday (Win32
> version), but the version is alway the same:

sure, as i didn't update context for a week

Can you run it for me?

Peter Rolf asking R. Bastian not to be afraid:

> Does this work in Mk II ?

You can set your mind at rest and test it yourself. The 'nuke_my_computer_by_running_context' module is no longer part of the official distribution ;-)

Finite Life

The following exchange between the Philosophers Ludovicus Scarso and Ioannes Hagenius could be observed on the mailing list[1].

> Live is too short to learn all those languages and stay
> fluent in them, i.e. one simply forgets a lot when usage zeros.
we should start to think how to to become immortal.

Installation chant

Patrick shared this conversation on 2011-12-21:

Hello Marek,

>  Hi Mr. Gundla
>  Just want to say Im very dissapointed that no installing package of ConText exist. 
>  I mean like you install things in Win – two cliks and Done!
>  I was studying ConText whole afternoon and i liked it – But – im very very sick of this kind of installing. 
>  It just makes people like me to hate the whole thing about trying something else then MS Word. 
>  I was eager to learn this  ConText ant than BIIIIIIG! Frustration cause i could not run it. 
>  All those versions of packages - i wanted to shoot myself.

>  Yea, i know you dont get paid for this,  BUT -  come on Mr. Gundla. 
>  Is it that hard to make one ABSOLUTE DUMMY PACKAGE (you geeks can call it 
>  how you want i know you like to use word dummies for people who are lesser geeks than you :) )  
>  two cliks and lalala! 
>  Hello Word! You save afternoon to many other people :D Just think about it, ok?

Well, ConTeXt _is_ hard to install. First you have to sacrifice one of your family members. 
Afterwards, you need to hum the magic chant in order to open your spirit. 
After you have done that, please draw a circle around your computer and put candles on it, making the shape of a pentagram. 
Now, and this is important, go six times clockwise around that circle, six times counter clockwise 
and then six times clockwise again. 
After that, turn on your computer and start your webbrowser and go to

and download the installer.

Sincerely your Mr. Gundla

Wolfgang Interface

   > Gosh this list is nice! Reminds me of the "good old days" when we
   > used UUCP, bang-paths and C-News to communicate (or the early
   > ARPANET days): polite, expert, very willing to share knowledge &c.
   Wolfgang is ConTeXt's natural language interface.
   In fact, with careful use of the filter module and a couple of mail
   programs, it should be possible to create something like:

       [filtercommand={ ... code to send email and fetch reply ... },

Hello list,

I wonder if anyone could tell me how to implement the following in

... description goes here ...
   It's important to include the cache=yes, so Wolfgang only has to reply

Comparison between various TeX and GUI systems

William Adam on the difference between TeX and other GUI document design systems

Arthur about poor documentation

Arthur posted this message to the mailing list:

For what it's worth, I agree with you, Michael.  ConTeXt developers seem to be
unable to express their ideas clearly.  It's sad to see such deficient
communication skills, and it's to be expected that if they go on all their
knowledge is going to be lost.
You're right, again, and I thank you for pointing this simple fact that, alas,
only a few have noticed until now.  Hopefully we will see better than
unintelligible scribbles being passed out as documentation in the future.


Here some preceding messages to see the context:


Future ConTeXt Users

Future ConTeXt Users

Super Wolfgang

A cartoon by Duane Bibby at the Fourth ConTeXt meeting

Common errors

Common errors


  • MWE for the creation of the Most Minimal Working Examples