On 10/10/2016 7:04 PM, Jean-Pierre Delange wrote:
Dear List,

This discussion (and proposals) is very interesting and I am afraid to say that all the points of 
view are relevant. But the core idea of Jonas is to get a kind of samples database where access is 
defined by key-word as "columnset" or "frame", etc. I don't know if making this 
kind of tool is as simple as it appears to be, but why not ? Surely, the individual (or group) has 
to be very devoted. Certainly it is possible to get code containing many errors, but Jonas would be 
inspired to get a further enquiry on this matter. Surely, there is a need to access quickly to the 
relevant information, but I don't know if it is possible to clear the way much more than the 
ConTeXt Garden wiki allows to do so.

I order to learn ConTeXt for my own purpose and work, I have begun to start a Wikibook, because a few months 
ago I simply didn't know the name of ConTeXt, but I was sure that it was a best way for me to use it than 
LaTeX : my aim was not to build a very well structured database, but to get some code with samples on the 
same page (as a quick first help), chapter by chapter, from simple to complex (e. g. "simple 
frame"; "frame in a column" etc.) in order to access quickly to my documentation, and to help 
beginners like me. I feed this "database" with ConTeXt Garden samples and with test samples from 
the mailing-list, as long as I can understand them (I am not a mathematician, only someone who needs to print 
classical texts) : https://fr.wikibooks.org/wiki/ConTeXt

A simple question : is it usefull to get a very quick access to a documentation 
where explanation is absent ? That's why the current explanation is very useful 
: even if you have to read full pages at length, the explanation given in the 
PDF documentation is an accurate information and oftenly says something which 
allow to lead to a solve your issue. So, it seems there is a conflict between 
the desire of a quick access to relevant information and the need of learning 
ConTeXt with patience !

One trap that a user can fall into is to make a complete style at once. because much works out of the box, one can delay styling and just define / setup things as the document evolves.

Another trap is to start with some existing complex style. If you look at the manuals you'll notice that there is not that much being set up. Of course there are complex setups possible and we need them for complex xml to pdf workflows with lots of different structural elements and designer demands and exceptions, but that's not that common i guess.

Your wikibook approach sounds useful. I often put examples i run into (or make when testing new code) in the test suite that can be downloaded but i wonder if many users can use that (too many files).

Some kind of "if you need this, look there" system would be nice. If you want keywords, the i-*.xml files are a good starting point.


----- Mail original -----
De: "Thomas A. Schmitz" <thomas.schm...@uni-bonn.de>
À: "mailing list for ConTeXt users" <ntg-context@ntg.nl>
Envoyé: Lundi 10 Octobre 2016 09:57:24
Objet: Re: [NTG-context] Ideas for improving documentation of ConTeXt

On 10/10/2016 07:43 AM, Jonas Baggett wrote:

Thanks for your encouragement ! Yes that looks like an interesting
challenge for me, but it is not something I am wanting to do alone
because of my lack of experience, at least I would need someone to coach
me. Actually I don't have really experience with web developpment and I
would at least need help for the technological choices. Having someone
that tells me that if I use technology X, there are module Y and Z that
will be a good fit is a good start.

Just two small remarks:

1. there are not that many modules in ConTeXt because most of the
functionality is in the core. If you come from the LaTeX world, you may
expect several hundred packages, each with their own idiosyncracies and
documentation. That's not the case here.

2. As for your documentation project, let me be honest: unless someone
very dedicated and very knowledgeable makes a long-term commitment and
looks after these examples, they are worse than useless. Unless there is
very tight control, they may contain bad and/or outdated code and lead
newcomers in the wrong direction. The context way has always been to
avoid boilerplate templates and let users roll their own styles. Which
makes sense since in context almost every detail can be changed easily
via dedicated setup commands. (This is again quite unlike LaTeX and its
document classes that predefine many details.) I have problems imagining
a collection of sample documents that will be more than a haphazard
bunch of fortuitous designs.

Thomas
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