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Re: yet another todo editing system

From: Joe Corneli
Subject: Re: yet another todo editing system
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 2003 05:05:02 -0500

> If someone wants to give a concise description
> of how this mode differs from what we've already got,
> that would be useful for evaluating its usefulness.

Dear Richard,

I'll do what I can...

For whatever its worth I'll add a few things about what I'd like to 
have in my code but that I haven't added because of beginning to run 
out of steam with Bash.

      Let's tell it how it is, and how it could be
      How it was, and of course, how it should be

            -- From "Lets talk about sex" by  Salt 'n' Pepa

   *  Todo is a list-based hypertext system

   *  Unlike outline-mode, Todo only displays one "level" of
      text at a time.  If I want to write an outline of a paper in
      Todo, the top page would be a list of links to the

   *  Todo can be used to "mark up" text.  This is currently done
      by giving each list entry a one-letter tag.  An example
      of the source for a Todo list is:

         <m> Math <<math_hw>>
         <h> Physics <<physics_hw>>
         <h> Astronomy <<astronomy_hw>>
         <w> Hacking <<hacking>>
         < > Don't forget to sleep!

      The tags are useful for exporting to other document formats --
      for example, it would be simple to write a macro that would 
      export the above Todo list to HTML that looks like this:

                <a href="math_hw.html">Math</a>
                <a href="physics_hw.html">Physics</a>
                <a href="astronomy_hw.html">Astronomy</a>
                <a href="hacking.html">Hacking</a>
                Don't forget to sleep!

   o  I would like to have a simple system for people to specify
      their own macros for exporting -- but to date I have just
      written the ones I've needed into the code.

   o  By exporting all the lists in a "path" (as in, math_hw*), you 
      can build hypertext outlines.  It is not currently possible to
      merge things into one document while exporting, but that would 
      be very useful.

   *  Unlike Emacs Wiki or Hyperbole, Todo provides a highly structured
      text editing/viewing environment.  Everything you see is
      is a list or an "atom"; an atom is either a simple string or a 
      link.  Unlike with these packages, in Todo links do not appear 
      automatically. (At least not currently!) 

      The best you could do to approximate Todo in Wiki would 
      leave you with source files that look like something like

         f jane austin 
         m shakespeare 
         m baudelaire
         m baudrillard
         F AustinPublicLibrary
         E BookStore

      This could of course be "unstudlified" upon being exported.
      But if I wanted to include a link like

      then I'd be pretty much hosed if I tried to use Wiki.

      I'm not sure how you would do this stuff with Hyperbole.

   o  Final note about extensions to Todo -- I think it would be
      kind of cool to expand the number of kinds of links, to
      include executables or functions (as in <<!sort-lines>>)
      or tex(t) files (as in <<~/TeX/impossibility_proof.tex>>).

      Eventually I think it would be kind of cool to make Todo
      into a new mode for editing Lisp code...

Joe Corneli

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