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Re: Limitations on using Org mode in buffers mixing Org markup with non-

From: Ihor Radchenko
Subject: Re: Limitations on using Org mode in buffers mixing Org markup with non-Org markup (was: Convert README.org to plain text README while installing package)
Date: Sun, 19 Jun 2022 13:15:39 +0800

I will reply to the last paragraph only. Other questions appear to be

Eli Zaretskii <eliz@gnu.org> writes:

>> The convention for indicating "markup" in emails is associating the
>> correct mime-type to the message part. If it is html, the mail agent
>> should render html. If it is Org, Org can be rendered. If it is plain
>> text, the behavior is undefined in principle - people sending plain text
>> should make the text readable as plain text in text-mode (Org can be
>> made readable usually, but same can be said for e.g. Markdown).
> The difference between HTML and Org is that all MUAs support the
> former, whereas Org can only be supported by Emacs-based MUA (and is
> not supported by all Emacs-based MUA: e.g., Rmail doesn't currently
> support it), and then only if the mime-type has been set correctly.

I think I was not very clear in the above.

I do not advocate that MUA should support Org out of the box (it would
be nice if it could, especially if people use Org instead of html, but
that is a bit tangent to what I was talking about). I'd like to focus on
plain text.

If we forget about Org _major mode_, there is Org markup.
Some people may disagree, but Org markup is perfectly readable as a
non-rendered plain text. Similarly, Markdown is perfectly readable. Or
any other ad-hoc self-consistent plain text convention. Admittedly, Org
may be a bit too verbose in some cases (for some people, not for me;
and it does not mean that alternative opinions should be ignored).

(I do not say that abusing Org markup cannot make plain text unreadable,
it can be said even for the purest plain text email; it was discussed in
another branch).

On top of being readable Org/Markdown can also be exported to html
adding a benefit to users who prefer html rendering. Unlike Markdown
(AFAIK), Org can also be exported to plain text, removing all the
"unnecessary markup clutter" some people are so triggered about.

Ideally, if some user prefers to use Org markup when writing emails, MUA
should take care about supplying appropriately converted plain text
version and html version of the mime-parts. That will let people read
whatever format they prefer. Not all MUA support this, unfortunately.
So, we have what we have and some people prefer to *write* emails using
Org markup and others do not like to *read* such emails.


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