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Re: [Orgmode] A shorter manual


From: Carsten Dominik
Subject: Re: [Orgmode] A shorter manual
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2010 23:27:42 +0200


On Apr 29, 2010, at 7:23 PM, Dan Davison wrote:

Carsten Dominik <address@hidden> writes:

On Apr 28, 2010, at 8:43 PM, Matti De Craene wrote:

- 2.8 Drawers
- 3.2 Column width and alignment
- 3.3 The Spreadsheet (4 rather technical pages)
- 7.4 Property Inheritance and 7.5 Column View
(do beginners really need properties at all ??)


I would agree on this list (except maybe drawers).

If there is room for additional sections maybe:
- include the org ref card as an appendix (which in itself offers a
very good overview of org)
- include some pointers into getting emacs for different OSes and
getting started with emacs. If there would be an O┬┤Reilly book on
Org-mode this would be in the first chapter or so. For people who
started using emacs because of org (like me) the current Introduction
might still be too cryptic (?)

Hi Dan, Matti,

I think I agree, just cannot easliy let go of the spreadsheet
as a core feature - you caught me there :-), and you are right, also

I would be very glad to hand over the control over this document
to either of you or to another volunteer.

Hi Carsten,

I'm afraid I don't want to take responsibility for this (a predictable
position).

Sure, I understand.

Apart from anything else there are several areas of Org
that I don't know enough about. If there isn't a volunteer, perhaps we
could place this document on Worg, and someone could periodically review the changes and judge whether they should be applied to the master copy on the Org website? We could request on this list volunteers for someone to make specific entries (e.g. adding a "Further reading" section for a
specific chapter).

Hmmm, I am not sure how efficient this would be.

I have it now down to 40 pages, with live links to the manual and to tutorials at the end of each chapter...

http://orgmode.org/orgguide.pdf

I guess I am done here - a volunteer con still take this up...

- Carsten


Dan


Maybe then we could
make something really nice out of this experiment - I will not
be able to spend much more time on it....

- Carsten



--

Matti




On Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 7:05 PM, Dan Davison
<address@hidden> wrote:
Erik Iverson <address@hidden> writes:

Carsten Dominik wrote:
Dear all,

with the Org-mode manual moving toward 200 pages,  I am
starting to worry that people with stop in their tracks
when considering Org-mode, just because of the sheer size
of the manual.

So I did a little experiment.  I took the manual and stripped
everything which could be considered advanced material, but
keeping all features and all basic commands and customizations.

What remains are about 50 pages.  A document with the same
structure (even the same chapter numbers) as the manual.
I am wondering if it would be useful to have this as a beginners
document - or if the existence of this document would lead
to more confusion than relief.

   http://orgmode.org/orgguide.pdf

I don't see this a an alternative for the manual - just
as an additional, rather static document, with little need for
updates.  The manual would continue to be the comprehensive
and constantly updated document.

Comments are welcome.

Hi Carsten,

I think this would be a good thing to have.

It would be good to have active HTML links to the relevant main
manual
sections in PDF and HTML versions. (even if this is not encouraged by
texinfo format).

I'm tempted to suggest going even a little further than you have
done.
If you were to make it shorter, I would suggest removing the
following
sections, and to replace removed sections with very short non-
technical
advertisements for features that are covered in the main manual.

- 2.8 Drawers
- 3.2 Column width and alignment
- 3.3 The Spreadsheet (4 rather technical pages)
- 7.4 Property Inheritance and 7.5 Column View
(do beginners really need properties at all ??)

Dan


I think it's a great idea.  The R project has something called "An
Introduction to R" for beginners, separate from the complete manual.
I think that as a beginner, and wondering how to break into
learning a
new package, that "reading the manual" has certain negative
psychological connotations that "reading the intro document" does
not,
not the least of which is the length of full manual.

And since knowing just the basics of org can be immensely
beneficial,
I think it's even more reason to have a basic intro document.

--Erik


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- Carsten





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- Carsten







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