7th Context Meeting: Brejlov (Prague), Czech Republic, September 23–28, 2013


New proposals should be addressed to Jano Kula.

Depending on your interest and spare time some workshops will be added at Brejlov.

Luigi Scarso, Italy; Hans Hagen, Netherlands

Go Nuts

This is not the first story about speed and it will probably not be the last one either. This time we discuss a substantial speedup: upto 50% with LuajitTEX.

In an earlier stage we cooked up additional TeX–Lua interfaces and some of that might also make it into a next release. Again this might lead to some speedup, but as with the mentioned speedups, not necessarily to better looking code, so again it’s a trade–off. We might report on this effort too.

Swig it

The swiglib project was initiated shortly after the 2012 ConTeXt conference and is now reaching a beta stage. We’ve experimented with the methodology of making cross-platform libraries, locating them in tds, namespaces and more. We’re now in the process of wrapping up, documenting and initial release. Around EuroTeX 2014 we’ll present the results, but here we will give a beta view. We selected a bunch of moderately complex libraries to experiment with (assuming that anything after this will be easier.)

Some experiments with tex-lua-tex interfacing

We describe a SWIG wrapper to the Pthreads and ZeroMQ C libraries and how they can be used to add multitasking and multithreading features to the Lua interpreter of LuaTeX. Simple examples are shown.

Taco Hoekwater, Netherlands

MetaPost update

After lots of time, MetaPost 2 is finally going to see the dawn. Having taken much, much longer than planned, the program is now finally on the „home stretch“. A momentous occasion for me, but it is also the proper moment to call it quits. I have no plans for further developments to MetaPost, nor does it seem even remotely likely that I would be able to find the time to implement any such even if I did come up with something. This will be my final MetaPost presentation as the active maintainer.

Lua & TeX tokens

LuaTeX has had a token Lua library since the early beginnings, but it was more a proof of concept, and it has never worked really well at that. This talk presents a proposal for a better interface between Lua code and the TeX language parsing. There may be some code to show as well, but for the most part the talk will be a request for further comments.

Luigi Scarso, Italy

Experiments with multitasking and multithreading in ConTeXt MkIV

Alan Braslau, France

MetaPost 2.0 Double precision mathematics and John Hobby's graph package

A double precision number system was introduced to MetaPost starting with version 1.780 in February 2013. Whereas the scaled number system of standard MetaPost is generally sufficient for the production of graphics, the manipulation of numerical data, in particular, can greatly benefit from this improvement. John Hobby's graph.mp package has be adapted to use the double precision model and consequently expanded. This is available as a core module in ConTeXt.

The package will be introduced and discussed. The documentation has been re-written and will be published following this meeting. The current state of the new MetaPost implementation will be discussed and the future direction of the graph package will be debated.

ConTeXt, luatex and mplib

MetaPost is integrated into ConTeXt through the use of mplib. The exchange of information has been improved, opening up new possibilities for programming. As an example, the chemistry drawing package makes use of ConTeXt commands and parsing in lua, but relies on MetaPost for all graphical work. Indeed, chemical drawings can be entirely processed in MetaPost, yet one would probably never want to use it this way. Other examples are the production of flow charts (the chart module) or automata diagrames (finite state machines, graphs, trees, etc.). This raises the question of the opportunity of "luapost": should this be implemented and how?

A discussion between users and user/programmers on this issue will be initiated.

Jean-Michel Hufflen, France

All Roads Lead to (mlbib)context

LaTeX and ConTeXt are both built out of TeX but show significant differences. The font management is not the same, language-dependent features are not, either. When we began the development of MlBibTeX, our reimplementation of the bibliography processor BibTeX, we generated bibliographies suitable for LaTeX, but we succeeded in adapting our program for bibliographies suitable for ConTeXt. In addition, recent changes allowbibliographies for ConTeXt to take advantage of features related to the biblatex package, especially for person names and dates.

Mari Voipio, Finland

Learning and teaching (Con)TeX(t): a non-techie's view

Observations on how I learn ConTeXt and what it has been like to teach others to use the system. I discuss some of the challenges that arise when one has no background in TeX nor programming (nor structured documents). I also go through the problem of moving from other software to using ConTeXt as well as the advantages one gains in doing so.

Ulrik Vieth, Germany

Open Type math font support – where are we after 5 years?

It's been about 5 years since development of OpenType math font support in XeTeX and LuaTeX was started in 2008. Implementations of engines and macro packages have matured and font development is continuing. In this talk, we review what has been reached and what remains to do.

Jano Kula, Czech Republic

Database typesetting with NoTeX

Views on database typestting without TeX. Experiences, challenges, diffrences, solutions.

Wolfgang Schuster, Germany

Buffers explained

ConTeXt provides various methods to store text for later use, one of them are buffers.

This talks will explain what a buffer is, how you can use and manipulate and what are its restrictions. In addition the mystery why buffers don’t work in macros will be solved.

Writing macros in MkII and MkIV

There are often times when the functions which are needed for a document are missing in context, in this case one has to write their own code. The way how write a command has changed when we moved to MkIV because there are now a lot of new helper functions in TeX and Lua. The talk will show how to write a new command what are the differeneces when you would have written it in MkII and hiw it will look in MkIV.

Wolfgang Schuster, Germany; Hans Hagen, Netherlands

The state of fonts

The last year there has been some additions to the font mechanism, most noticeably an official interface to font dynamics. What are these and when can you use them. And, how do you set up a typescript for a yet unsupported font? Just collect your questions from last year and bring them to the table.

Update on simplefonts module and tutorial how to setup the typescript will be part of this talk.

Hans Hagen, Netherlands

About Nodes

When you use TeX, join the community, follow mailing lists, read manuals, and/or attend meetings, there will come a moment when you run into the word ‘node’. But, as a regular user, even if you write macros, you can happily ignore them because in practice you will never really see them. They are hidden deep down in TeX.

Some expert TeXies love to talk about TeX’s mouth, stomach, gut and other presumed bodily elements. Maybe it is seen as proof of the deeper understanding of this program as Don Knuth uses these analogies in his books about TeX when he discusses how TeX reads the input, translates it and digests it into a something that can be printed or viewed. No matter how your input gets digested, at some point we get nodes. However, as users have no real access to the internals, nodes never show themselves to the user. They have no bodily analogy either.

The next MP next challenge for Mari: megafonts

In this tutorial I'll demonstrate how you can make your own quick and dirty font using metapost. It's a nice way to enrich your document with weird symbols. Using a new mechanism it's even simple to do.

So much for structure in context

One of the reasons why context has an export to xml is that the amount of work to do that was not that extreme. Because many commands in context are built on top of others it helps if you know what these common elements are.

Math new style: are we better off?

In this talk I will summarize the state of upgrading math support in ConTeXt per mid 2013 in the perspective of demand, usability, font development and LuaTeX. Where possible I will draw some conclusions with respect to the engine. Some comments might sound like criticism, but you should keep in mind that I wouldn’t spend so much time on TEX if I would not like it that much.

I’m not referring to TEX the language and program here, but more to its use in scientific publishing: in an early stage standards were set and habits were nurtured which meant that to some extent the coding resembles the early days of computing and the look and feel got frozen in time, in spite of developments in coding and evolving typographic needs. I think that the community has missed some opportunities to influence and improve matters which makes that we’re stuck with suboptimal situations and, although they are an improvement, Unicode math and OpenType math have their flaws.

Context Lua Documents

Users know that they can mix Lua and Tex code. There are some modules in the distribution that demonstrate how to do this. In this tutorial we will discuss when and how to use Lua, what hooks there are and what more is needed.

Your style or my style

We invite (read: expect) users to bring their context styles to the conference. After a short presentation explaining their use, we can discuss if

  • we need more in the kernel (esp if hack were needed)
  • if things can be done easier
  • if the look and feel can be improved
  • how such a style can educate others