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From: William Rankin via "General discussions about Org-mode." <emacs-orgmode@gnu.org>
To: emacs-orgmode@gnu.org, emacs-devel@gnu.org
Subject: Re Org 9.4 is out. Can you help? // breaking apart Org Mode
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2020 20:05:20 +1000	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <m2imcfmk2n.fsf@bydasein.com> (raw)


At the request of Bastien I'm sending on these ideas regarding the 
future of Org Mode development. I'm also copying emacs-devel since they 
might be interested too.

Org Mode and Emacs would benefit greatly from the codebase being broken 
apart, not unlike how an antitrust suit breaks apart a big company for 
the good of society!

It is my view that many parts of Org code could be implemented as minor 
modes or independent libraries. This would encourage cleaner, more 
modular and more easy to understand code. It would provide an 
exponential benefit for other elisp programs. And by splitting up the 
codebase you allow contributors more a sense of ownership and emotional 
investment in the things to which they provide their time/effort.

A few suggestions...

* outline

Org Mode builds on top of outline, but those improvements are isolated 
to Org, e.g. Org has wonderful outline cycling, but if someone wants 
outline cycling in another major mode they need to implement this again 
(likely just duplicating Org's existing code). Ideally all of this could 
be ported back to outline itself. This would slim down the Org codebase 
while benefiting all other outline-based major modes.

* orgtbl-mode

This is a good attempt at implementing some of Org's functionality as a 
minor mode. Ideally orgtbl could be ported back to table and enough 
flexibility added to make it compatible with Markdown Mode tables 
(currently implemented with its own table stuff).

* source blocks

Org's source block functionality could be spun off into its own library. 
In theory it could work just like outline (where a major mode defines 
its own heading regexp). A major mode would define its own source block 
delimiter regexpes.

Ideally any major mode writing for a plain text markup format would 
  (require 'source-blocks)
then have all the same functionality of Org source blocks. Any 
improvements would then benefit everyone.

* org-toggle-time-stamp-overlays / org-toggle-link-display

This functionality, although small within Org, could be very nice as 
their own minor modes. Displaying dates/times with custom format is easy 
enough... URLs a bit harder.

I went so far as to try this with varying degrees of success:

* org-link

I see a lot of interest for that Zettelkasten method, with many 
different implementations. What's stopping Org's cross-linking being 
implemented as its own global minor mode, independent of .org files?

* electric-pair-mode

Org currently uses org-emphasize for its emphasis pairs, but could it 
just use electric-pair-mode? Would this prompt some improvements to 
electric-pair-mode? This would benefit everyone.

I don't mean to suggest that the above ideas are things I'm particularly 
hanging out for, I'm just trying to sketch an ideas of beneficial ways 
Org could be broken apart.

Finally, I'm pretty sure breaking apart Org will mean it will be much 
easier to maintain -- it will be far easier to find one or two people 
passionate about maintaining perhaps a source-blocks library than the 
entirety of Org. If Org's development takes this more modular direction, 
where libraries are designed to work independently of the rest of the 
code, then it won't need an elite few people who understand the whole 

I hope some of these ideas were either valuable or provide valuable 

William Rankin

~ The single best thing you can do for the world is to delete your 
social media accounts.

             reply	other threads:[~2020-09-15 10:19 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 9+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2020-09-15 10:05 William Rankin via General discussions about Org-mode. [this message]
2020-09-15 13:00 ` Re Org 9.4 is out. Can you help? // breaking apart Org Mode Nicholas Savage
2020-09-15 13:49   ` Russell Adams
2020-09-23  8:28     ` Bastien
2020-09-23 14:44       ` Dr. Arne Babenhauserheide
2020-09-23  8:25   ` Bastien
2020-09-23  8:21 ` Bastien
2020-09-23 13:03   ` arthur miller
2020-09-23 13:27     ` Ihor Radchenko

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