[XeTeX] which TeX-based software

r.ermers at hccnet.nl r.ermers at hccnet.nl
Tue May 1 15:39:27 CEST 2018

One other advantage is that Context works with xml quite smoothly, once you know how to set it up.


> Op 1 mei 2018, om 13:38 heeft Wilfred van Rooijen <wvanrooijen at yahoo.com> het volgende geschreven:
> Following Mojca's explanation, I feel I should switch to ConTeXt :-))
> Wilfred
> On Tuesday, May 1, 2018 3:43 PM, Mojca Miklavec <mojca.miklavec.lists at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 26 April 2018 at 14:20, Carrs wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > a newbie question. I would like advice on which TeX-based software it would
> > be best to learn in detail for my typesetting plans. So far, I have learned
> > a little TeX and a little LaTeX, but not enough of either to tell me which
> > will work best for me.
> You can also look into ConTeXt.
> It is based on TeX, so you get support for all the fancy math stuff
> and typographical quality.
> The basic syntax is not that much different from (La)TeX. Instead of
> \begin{itemize} ... \end{itemize} you use \startitemize ...
> \stopitemize for example, but syntax for math is mostly the same. The
> internals/programming is cleaner in my opinion (but much different in
> any case).
> It works well on all platforms you need (Linux, Mac, Windows, but also
> many others), like any other TeX flavour.
> It works with both Unicode engines (LuaTeX and XeTeX, even though
> ConTeXt's support for LuaTeX is much much more advanced nowadays). It
> supports more scripts than just Latin script and can also
> automatically compose characters for you even when some font of lower
> quality is lacking those characters.
> Its support for very different and very flexible styles is great and
> very well integrated into the package. Support for multiple columns is
> quite advanced and allows you to place pictures across multiple
> columns and across multiple pages if needed.
> It is of course completely free and opensources, no licences (that is
> also true for nearly all TeX anyway). There are TeX user groups around
> the globe (TUG in US, DANTE in Germary, as well as some others in
> Poland, UK, France, Italy, Denmark, ... ConTeXt group as well) where
> you can enrol as a member and support TeX development, but those are
> optional.
> Beginner manual is here:
>     http://distribution.contextgarden.net/current/context/current/doc/context/documents/general/manuals/ma-cb-en.pdf <http://distribution.contextgarden.net/current/context/current/doc/context/documents/general/manuals/ma-cb-en.pdf>
> along with a lot of other manuals. The only drawback is that there are
> so many different document spread around that it's sometimes tricky to
> figure out where to look unless you read them all.
> You can also get face-to-face help at the meeting:
>     http://meeting.contextgarden.net <http://meeting.contextgarden.net/>
> which is a great place to meet people, exchange ideas, learn about new
> development, get your questions answered.
> What I particularly like about ConTeXt is that:
> - it is very actively developed
> - it has a consistent user interface and no need to find a different
> package for every feature you need in your document
> - it has a very active mailing list and you can usually get your
> questions answered very quickly
> - new functionality is often added on user requests, sometimes within
> a few hours
> - it has a lot of amazing functionality with respect to new
> technologies (like fonts) that not even the expensive commercial
> products can offer
> - built-in clean programming language (lua)
> - ability to interface with external libraries (nearly built-in
> support for reading from databases)
> The only "drawback" of ConTeXt is that for historic reasons (ConTeXt
> is younger) LaTeX has more users, so if a complete newbie seeks help
> nearby (not online), it is slightly easier to find someone familiar
> with LaTeX. But as soon as you have some specific needs like advanced
> support for image placement and other trickery, the fact that your
> neighbour has written a paper with LaTeX some time ago will usually
> not help that much anyway.
> Mojca
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