Many years ago I used LaTeX quite a bit for academic work, including a
fair amount of Memoir class. Back then ConTeXt was quite new, so I
didn't mess with it much.

Now I'm back and sick of Word/etc for the documents I need to produce
as print/pdf and for interaction with colleagues. What I can't figure
out is if ConTeXt makes the most sense... and if it does, I have a few

1) My work is primarily in the humanities and end-user technologies,
with small amounts of coding. So mathematics isn't an issue. I do a
fair amount of highly academic writing (aka: many sections, citations
[handling this in a sensible way is really important], footnotes) with
the occasional need for charts, graphs, and photos. In other words,
I'm not doing the kind of layout one might associate with InDesign or
the like. I also write many paper letters (personal), poetry, fiction,
essays, and the like.

2) That said, I (obviously) have a keen interest in typography, and
that includes wanting to use some particular typefaces... I've paid
good money for many of them, so why not?

3) PDF is my primary medium of exchange, though I would like to
efficiently exchange docs with colleagues, which might mean getting
them into something they can open with their beloved Microsoft Word...
is there an RTF output for ConTeXt? this isn't super-high on my list,
but it would be nice.

4) How about X/HTML? this is my lowest level need but, again, it would be nice.

5) I generally use a Mac for everything, but I am pretty comfortable
in the shell. I've done a bit of programming in PHP. I don't mind
monkeying around, and I am interested in creating layouts that suit my
needs, but digging into internals is not for me. I used Emacs
extensively for years, now using mostly Vim (MacVim) and a variety of
GUI editors depending on what I had for breakfast that day.

So, do you think ConTeXt makes more sense than LaTeX? And *what* is
the deal with xetex? It seems to be the easiest way for accessing all
my fonts, but it also hasn't been updated for years and, since it is
tied to an old version of ConTeXt (as far as I can tell) it doesn't
seem like much of a winner.

Finally, if ConTeXt is the way to go, are there any fairly
comprehensive materials in one place for learning to use it? What I
find on the wiki seems to go from basic to advanced without a lot of
in between, and what I find on the web seems a bit fragmented. but at
this point my head is in a whirl, so I might just be missing some
obvious material.

Thanks in advance...

Chris Lott
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