11th ConTEXt Meeting: Maibach, Germany, September 11–17, 2017


New proposals should be addressed to Taco Hoekwater or Hans Hagen.

variable fonts

Hans Hagen

Last year OpenType introduced the concept of variable font, a technique that reminds us of MetaFont. This new technology is supported in ConTeXt but is still experimental. More and more example fonts show up on the web. In this presentation I will show what we're dealing with and how you can use these fonts. We can discuss possible user interfaces and extensions.

synctex redone

Hans Hagen

Some users like to enable syntex support. However, for ConTeXt this feature is far from optimal (even the synctex source code mentions this). I will present an alternative for the built-in method which is conceptually more reasonable and also more robust for the way ConTeXt deals with source files (tex as well as xml).


Hans Hagen

Recently a new table mechanism was added (frametables) which is suitable for tables across thousands of pages. In this presentation we will cover the fundamental differences (possibilities and shortcomings) of the table mechanisms in ConTeXt.

color fonts

Hans Hagen

Do we need color fonts? If we do, what techniques are available for us and which one is the most promising? I will give an overview of the way this is done in fonts. I will also give an update on support for (colorful) emoji fonts.


Hans Hagen

Occasionally I get complaints about performance, interestingly not from ConTeXt users. We can discuss the relevance of this aspect and possible explanations of performance hits and what can be done about bottlenecks.

adding features to fonts

Hans Hagen

The mechanism for adding your own features to fonts get extended stepwise. I will give an update on what is possible now. Feel free to come with feature requests.

css selectors in xml

Hans Hagen

We can do quite powerful filtering in ConTeXt when dealing with xml. A while ago the filter mechanism was extended with css-like features. I will give some examples of this trickery.

„Drucksachen gestalten mit ConTeXt“ (Designing publications with ConTeXt) – a book for beginners

Henning Hraban Ramm

I’m writing a book in German, to be published within the Dante series at Lehmanns. The focus is on beginners, and the book will also impart some general knowlegde about typography and design technology.
I hope to finish it in 2018 and wanted to present and discuss the current state – e.g. should I try to include as much as possible, or should it just become the first of a series? (XML processing and scientific work come to mind as subjects for their own books).
I’m also looking for contributors, since I cannot tackle all subjects on my own.

Text analysis of classical authors with Lua and ConTeXt.

Thomas A. Schmitz

When you harness the power of Lua, ConTeXt can do much more than merely typeset xml documents. In this talk, I will describe a digital humanities project that I have developed to provide lists of vocabularies for my classical authors that I hand out to my students to facilitate reading Greek and Latin texts. ConTeXt stylesheets and and some Lua magic use xml documents, sort, analyze, and present the data in an attractive and useful format.

Marx and Engels in Italian

Massimiliano Farinella

I think of a short presentation, followed by more insights at request; possible topics of discussion are: - use of XHTML as format for texts, their editing with CKEditor and typesetting with ConTeXt - ConTeXt inside a Docker container - multi-format conversion with Pandoc

History of spacing

Taco Hoekwater

to be written ...

Bibliographies (and other uses of databases) in mkiv

Alan Braslau & Hans Hagen

The bibliography handling system of mkii has been completely re-written, entirely from scratch, in mkiv. It no longer relies on or uses the external bibtex program, although bibtex databases can still be used. Rather, data is parsed directly in lua, and the handling and formatting of this data, bibliographic or other, is managed in ConTeXt through setups and makes heavy use of parameters.
The publications sub-system has been included for some time in the base distribution, and will now be officially released including a very detailed documentation manual. This will once again be presented and discussed.

Using drawing nodes in ConTeXt

Alan Braslau

I presented last year in Kalenberg a prototype of a new MetaPost based module for drawing commutative diagrams and natural transformations, for example. It can also be used to create tree diagrams, flow charts, and any graphic designed around placing text inside nodes. The MetaPost macros have been further developed and I shall present an outline through illustration of a ConTeXt macro (+ lua helpers) interface that can be rapidly developed, once we are satisfied with the proposed syntax and functionality.

Using ConTeXt with layperson collaborations, i.e. working with MS/Word manuscripts

Alan Braslau, Idris Samawi Hamid, and Luigi Scarso

In academic environments, in particular in the Humanities, as well as with most editors and writers, essentially one tool is available or widely used: MS/Word. Many journals and publishers require submissions to be made as a .docx file. In the other direction, although one can "train" collaborators to use their favorite program simply as a text editor, formatting ConTeXt source files in such a way as to render them readable, one can quickly reach the limits of their patience.
A much better approach is to supply a simple, MS/Word template to be used to produce structured xml files that can then be used within ConTeXt after treatment via xslt. Conversely, the ConTeXt xml export can be used to produce ooo.xml also via xslt, that can be used for submissions to publishers. A complete, full-featured system is not expected, only one that can handle standard functionality such as sectioning, footnotes and the like. More features can be progressively added and the template expanded as need develops. This project will be discussed.