Thank you Aditya. All that makes sense to me. It is quite clear from
everyone's responses that the person on c.t.t who claimed ConTeXt is "only"
for one-offs was not correct.

On Mon, May 25, 2009 at 2:26 PM, Aditya Mahajan <adit...@umich.edu> wrote:

> On Mon, 25 May 2009, John Haltiwanger wrote:
>
>  unlike document classes), there are no pre-rolled environments available.
>> I
>> am thinking here of standardized thesis environments for universities, or
>> a
>>
>
> There are no standardized thesis styles for universities mainly because
> there are no consistent specs. Most univs want you to use times, double
> spaced lines, wide margins, and some formatting guidelines regarding the
> chapter headings, table of content, page headers and footers. Setting these
> are easy in ConTeXt (and also LaTeX if you know the relevant packages).
> Universities do not provide an official thesis style (either in LaTeX or
> ConTeXt) because in most cases they do not have the resources to maintain
> them. Students figure something out, and then pass along their styles to the
> next generation. If the formatting guidelines change, the burden is on the
> students to correct the style, rather than on the university.
>
> When I was writing my thesis, it took me about a few hours to understand
> the formatting guidelines, which were a jigjaw puzzle. Statements like:
> Always use Times New Roman at 12pt as the main font. ... two pages down ...
> The abstract can be in 10pt or 12pt ... a few pages later, use any of the
> standard fonts. It also used vague terminology. Statements like leave two
> blank lines after the title (blank lines, er... for what fontsize, the
> bodyfont or the title font?).
>
> ConTeXt makes it really easy to make the formatting changes. Once I
> understood the formatting guidelines, writing the main style was very easy
> (with a few trips to the manual, and a few questions here on the mailing
> list). Making sure that the resultant style looked visually appealing while
> not violating the formatting guidelines too a lot of experimentation.
>
> As Hans said, you can think of ConTeXt as the "standard" thesis style.
> Setup a few commands, and you meet your formatting requirements. Write it in
> an environment or a module, and you can reuse it.
>
> Aditya
>
>
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