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[Orgmode] Re: [PROPOSAL] Quick and easy installation instructions

From: Carsten Dominik
Subject: [Orgmode] Re: [PROPOSAL] Quick and easy installation instructions
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2010 11:55:54 +0200

On Sep 27, 2010, at 11:00 AM, Dan Davison wrote:

Carsten Dominik <address@hidden> writes:

On Sep 26, 2010, at 3:33 PM, Dan Davison wrote:

I think that the documentation concerning installation should be made
more user-friendly. My impression is that the Org manual makes all
sound much harder than it needs to be, and I suspect that this is an
entry-barrier for new Org users. For example, the first thing users
encounter in the manual section is an instruction to edit a Makefile.

I suggest we provide a "quick and easy installation" section to the
manual, that shows people how to start using the latest version of
Org-mode without messing about with compilation and installation (I
rarely compile and have never "installed" Org-mode). It would also be
helpful to include notes on how to find your ".emacs" file.

This would involve the following changes to section 1.2 Installation:

1. The first thing it should say would be along the lines of
 "A reasonably recent version of Org is included in Emacs. Are you
 sure you need the latest version of Org?  If not, skip to the
 Activation section and start using Org!"

Hi Carsten,

I do agree that we should have this sentence, but maybe modified like

If you have a recent release of Emacs, a version of Org-mode
sufficient for all basic use is already included and you may
skip the installation instructions and continue with section xxx,

However, Org-mode evolves fast. Therefore, we do recommend to install
most recent release.


Maybe we could actually have an Emacs command that will insert the
basic stuff
into .emacs and optionally compile the Lisp files.

The installation would be:

- download and unpack tar file
- emacs -l path-to-org.el
- M-x org-install

org-install would figure out where org.el is, add to .emacs and query
for compilation.  This wouod make things independent from make and
other tools.

Yes I wondered about making something like that yesterday (would it make
sense to have emacs do everything, including the download?

This rings a bell - I think Sebastian Rose implemented that already. Let search!

- Carsten

org-update-org?). But then I started thinking that we should
investigate/rule out the ELPA possibilities before creating a new
install function for Org. Maybe some people on this list have experience
of maintaining packages on ELPA and will be able to give an opinion.


Just my 5c

- Carsten

2. Then we should lay out an easy route and a full route:
 1. Quick and easy
    Download, set your load-path and (require 'org-install)
    Optionally compile (within emacs[1]?)
    Suggested text below.
 2. Full install
    Based on existing instructions

What do people think? Is it just the info files which are the issue?
What does a single-user machine gain from installation other than info



[1] How about including in Org-mode a function `org-compile' based on
and `org-reload'

Example quick and Easy installation text:

1. Download the latest version
 .zip and .tar.gz version are kept at

2. Extract the archived files
 This will create a folder called "org-mode". Let's say that the
 location of this folder is "~/path/to/org-mode" (for Windows see
 footnote [1])

3. Add the following lines to your .emacs file (note that we're
 to the "lisp" folder *within* the main "org-mode" folder):

 (setq load-path (cons "~/path/to/org-mode/lisp" load-path)
 (require 'org-install)

That's it. However, this will not install the latest info files, so
these will be out of date (corresponding to whatever version of Org
shipped with your emacs). See XXXX for instructions on installing the
info files.

Now, Emacs should load whatever version of Org-mode you put at
"~/path/to/org-mode". So to update Org in the future, simply delete
folder and replace it with a new one (steps 1 and 2 above).


[1] On Windows, this path might look something like

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