Hello, My name is John and I'm a nearly brand new TeX convert. All it took was one letter I wanted to look nice and now I know I will never craft an important document in another format again.
Now, an obvious entry point is LaTeX, and indeed my first TeX document used this macro package. However, I couldn't help but stumble across the ConTeXt project in my investigation of the TeX landscape. The seemingly distinct separation of style from content, evidenced by the print versus the screen versions of some of the manuals, instantly endeared me. Within the same week, I found the comp.text.tex newsgroup. Lo and behold there was a quite active thread on LuaTeX, which I had just finished reading a presentation and a couple papers on the night before. On of the issues being discussed was the lack of a LaTeX document class for "thesis". This also involved discussion of LaTeX's shortcomings. I wrote into the thread that based on my (albeit completely theoretical) understanding, ConTeXt would be a wiser choice as a macro for any new department to begin requiring TeX documents. This was based on my vague understanding of the separation of environment from the content, as it were, and also on the multiple outputs available for the manuals. Since I see screen formatting as equally important, if not more, than paper formatting, it only made sense to me that the equivalent of a unversity specific documentclass in LaTeX would be a simple environment file in ConTeXt. This leads me to some questions I have about how great a fit for me ConTeXt actually is. 1) Can environment files be used across documents, or is it generally understood that every ConTeXt document requires its own environment formatting? (The latter is the view of someone on c.t.t, who said his perception of ConTeXt was that it was for typesetting individual documents and had less application beyond that domain.) 2) What is the state of XML output for ConTeXt files? I have to say I will find it hard to justify using TeX for documents if it means they are not translatable to XML easily. I'm also interested in any RDF support ConTeXt might have. I am just beginning my journey into TeX, and wish to learn the best macro package available. To me it seems like this is ConTeXt hands down, however the two questions above will indeed determine ConTeXt's actual utility in my case. Regards, John C. Haltiwanger P.S. For my first question, it seems easy to assume that if you can process XML files into standardized ConTeXt documents, the same would go for processing ConTeXt into standardized ConTeXt documents. But the question is too large not to ask.
___________________________________________________________________________________ If your question is of interest to others as well, please add an entry to the Wiki! maillist : firstname.lastname@example.org / http://www.ntg.nl/mailman/listinfo/ntg-context webpage : http://www.pragma-ade.nl / http://tex.aanhet.net archive : https://foundry.supelec.fr/projects/contextrev/ wiki : http://contextgarden.net ___________________________________________________________________________________