Reading remote files

Won’t it be nice if TeX could pretty-print files hosted on github, e.g.,


or include a remotely hosted markdown file in your document


I wanted to add this feature to the filter and vim modules.
Although I knew that ConTeXt could read remote files directly, I thought that it would be hard to plug into this mechanism.

Boy, was I wrong. Look at the commit history of the change needed to add this feature.

All I needed to do, was add \locfilename to get the local file name for a file. If the requested file is a remote file (i.e., starts with http:// or ftp://), ConTeXt downloads the file and stores it in the cache directory, and return the name of the cached file. Pretty neat, eh?

With this change, \process<filter>file macro of the filter module can read remote files. Since, the vim module is built on top of the filter module, the \type<vim>file can also read remote files.

The above feature is currently only available in the dev branch. I’ll make a new release once I add hooks to force re-download of remote files. Meanwhile, if you have a ConTeXt macro that reads files, just add a \locfilename at appropriate place, and your macro will be able to read remote files


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