On 9/19/2013 4:25 PM, Lars Huttar wrote:
Hans wrote,
Columnsets are rather special and mostly meant for magazine like
documents, where content can span columns, images are explicitly placed
on the grid, etc. For that reason columnset soperate on a rather strict
grid that gets setup based in the lineheight and although content can be
larger, the grid dictates what happens. Balancing is semi automatic and
nearly always demands some tweaks.

In our use of columnsets, we do have content that can span columns (but
we keep it outside of columnsets). We also have images within columns
that are placed in the flow of text via hangarounds. We manually tweak
our column lengths on each page (e.g.
\setupcolumnsetlines[columnset10][1][1][42]), in order to avoid the
worst of the widows and orphans. As you say, balancing requires manual
tweaks too, but it's not that big a burden, since we're already doing
\setupcolumnsetlines for many pages.

Using columnsets for a large document that has to flow automatically is
therefore debatable. Regular multi columns or in mkiv mixed-columns are
a better choice then.

We have tried to port our code to mkiv, but have so far found been
unsuccessful. (But are trying again now, having found new success with
TL2013 mkii.)
Also, we've been unable to find any statement that mkiv is out of beta
status. Moreover, much of the documentation still seems to be oriented
toward mkii. So it's hard to justify much of a time investment in
porting production work to mkiv yet. Can you comment on the official
status of mkiv?

just as we had betas for mkii, we have betas for mkiv .. mkii is already frozen for years (apart from very few fixes)

i'm pretty sure that most context users use mkiv and here i only run mkii in old workflows that already have been running for years (and will continue to do so as long as no fundamental update is needed)

most mkii functionality is present in mkiv (of course some old font stuff is obsolete) although there are a few mechanism that due to extensions are controlled with different keys (mostly keys like 'alternative')

unless impossible (or messy) i try to keep mkii command compatibility but mkiv has already many more commands and mechanisms than mkii, so most in manuals still applies

official status: use mkiv as that's where it all happens

Regarding mixed-columns: I understand it's a rewrite of the old
"columns" model. My impression is that "columns" didn't support manual
tweaking of column lengths (like \setupcolumnsetlines). Does
mixed-columns support such a thing? That would be a critical question
for us, as it wouldn't be an option for us to spend time porting to mkiv
and using mixed-columns, if it doesn't allow us to tweak the height of
each column on each page.

i can probably add some height-per-column option but it also depends on what height is supposed to do but it's unlikely to happen the next few weeks

a mkiv columnsets implementation .. well, it depends on time and motivation (most of such mechanisms i don't use myself so i need good reasons to spend time on them, unless i'm looking for a challenge on a rainy day)

but ... \column works quite ok in mixed columns

Thanks again for your help and advice.

Hans

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