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From: "Juan Manuel Macías" <maciaschain@posteo.net>
To: Tim Cross <theophilusx@gmail.com>
Cc: orgmode <emacs-orgmode@gnu.org>
Subject: Re: Syntax Proposal: Multi-line Table Cells/Text Wrapping
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2021 11:40:40 +0100	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <87wnu2yuon.fsf@posteo.net> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <8735wqn55u.fsf@gmail.com> (Tim Cross's message of "Sat, 20 Mar 2021 08:33:04 +1100")

Tim Cross <theophilusx@gmail.com> writes:

> It has also been stated that the Latex exporter won't be a problem as
> tabularx (and other Latex packages) will just handle this. Sadly, I
> don't think it is that simple. I have used that package a lot over the
> years and there have been times I've had to render tables with
> multiple columns and rows. While the various latex table like packages
> do provide a much better outcome for tables with more complex cell
> structure, it is rare that you don't need to do a fair amount of
> tweaking to actually get good looking complex tables. Handling a cell
> with a couple of lines may be fine, but it is very easy to hit the
> limits of what the package can handle without some tweaking. This is
> where I think things begin to fall down. My suspicion is that the
> amount of work needed to make the Latex exporter handle the majority
> of common use cases for this new syntax is much larger and more
> complex than it seems and getting this to work reliably and
> consistently will be extremely difficult.

tabularx does a fairly acceptable job out of the box on tables whose
cells have complex or 'multi-line' content, such as paragraphs. But,
naturally, it all depends on the context and scenarios: table, page
dimensions, book type and many more factors. The typography, when
demanding, is the art of exceptions. And I think this is valid even in
such an 'automated' tool like LaTeX (fortunately, LaTeX and TeX are also
very ductile, if you know the code well).

In any case, I agree that it would not be a good idea to translate the
LaTeX tabular environment, with all its nuances, to Org tables. In
addition to the fact that Org would be burdened with a unnecessary
complexity, is the fact that the syntax of both types of tables differ
essentially. Org tables have a more visual character; the tabular
environment is a pure "what you see is what you mean".

In a tabular environment I see no problem in writing something like
this row (ugly, but acceptable) in 3 lines:

#+begin_src latex
  lorem & Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit.
  Donec hendrerit tempor tellus. Donec pretium posuere tellus. Proin
  quam nisl, tincidunt et, mattis eget, convallis nec, purus & ipsum \\

But in an Org table I don't see how it could be done without messing up
the spirit of its syntax ... that's why I think (IMHO) the least
traumatic option, in cases where cells have 'a lot of content', is the
possibility of edit cells in a dedicated buffer, like this proof of
concept that I did:


And if the table is very complex then I don't see any other option than
writing directly the LaTeX code (in case the intended target is only

Best regards,

Juan Manuel 

  parent reply	other threads:[~2021-03-20 10:41 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 33+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2021-03-17 20:29 Atlas Cove
2021-03-17 21:02 ` Daniele Nicolodi
2021-03-17 22:07 ` Juan Manuel Macías
2021-03-18 13:38   ` Atlas Cove
2021-03-18 14:04     ` Daniele Nicolodi
2021-03-18 15:15     ` Juan Manuel Macías
2021-03-18 14:19 ` Maxim Nikulin
2021-03-18 14:26 ` Timothy
2021-03-18 14:31   ` Atlas Cove
2021-03-18 21:58     ` Tim Cross
2021-03-18 22:41       ` Juan Manuel Macías
2021-03-19  8:08         ` tomas
2021-03-19  8:44           ` Juan Manuel Macías
2021-03-19  8:53             ` tomas
2021-03-19  9:22               ` Juan Manuel Macías
2021-03-19 10:14                 ` tomas
2021-03-19 10:53                   ` Juan Manuel Macías
2021-03-19 11:08                     ` Juan Manuel Macías
2021-03-19 13:43                     ` tomas
2021-03-19 15:07                       ` Juan Manuel Macías
2021-03-20 22:49         ` Samuel Wales
2021-03-21  8:43           ` Juan Manuel Macías
2021-03-19  2:27       ` Timothy
2021-03-19  3:50         ` Tim Cross
2021-03-19  4:02           ` Timothy
2021-03-19 13:33       ` Eric S Fraga
2021-03-19 21:33         ` Tim Cross
2021-03-20  9:19           ` Eric S Fraga
2021-03-20 10:40           ` Juan Manuel Macías [this message]
2021-03-20 13:41         ` Andreas Eder
2021-03-20 22:06           ` Tim Cross
2021-03-22 10:54             ` Eric S Fraga
2021-04-01  6:15       ` Tom Gillespie

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