On Sun, May 24, 2009 at 2:35 PM, Henning Hraban Ramm <hra...@fiee.net>wrote:

> Am 2009-05-24 um 19:17 schrieb John Haltiwanger:
>  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.)
> Normally you use environment files for coherent projects (magazines, books)
> or sets of similar documents (letters, presentations).
> The difference in usage between a LaTeX document class and a ConTeXt
> environment is neglectable IMO. The real difference is that most LaTeX users
> just *use* some document class unchanged, because LaTeX doesn't encourage
> defining your own, while there are nearly no ready-to-use ConTeXt
> environments available and most ConTeXt users want write their own anyway.
> For one-off documents I put everything in one file (and perhaps copy setup
> bits from other one-off files or environments).
> If *I* require a special layout for a single document, I normally use
> InDesign. The effort of "programming" a setup or an environment pays off
> only if you use it more often IMO.

These paragraphs seems to contradict. ConTeXt is useful if you use an
environment more than once, but there are no ready-to-use ConTeXt

I am not averse to rolling my own, I am just confused why, if environments
are so powerful and flexible (flexible meaning one can easily change things,
unlike document classes), there are no pre-rolled environments available. I
am thinking here of standardized thesis environments for universities, or a
nice letter environment to demonstrate the beauty of TeX.

 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.

XML is no target format for any TeX implementation.
> XML is a source format, and a good one if you want to process (typeset) it
> with ConTeXt (and perhaps make HTML from the same source).
> What do you mean with RDF? This one?: http://www.w3.org/RDF/
> Or did you mean RTF?

Yes, I meant RDF. XML is a very important format. I find it odd that TeX can
generate PDF but cannot output simple XML. So in order to have a semantical
document I must write it in XML and then process it with ConTeXt? Is the
capacity there (through LuaTeX perhaps) to write an XML generator?

While I would expect the reasons for wanting XML output would be obvious, a
concrete example is that at least one journal is deprecating LaTeX because
it wants to archive all of its articles in XML.

John C. Haltiwanger
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