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Re: Org mode and Emacs

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Org mode and Emacs
Date: Sun, 03 Sep 2023 21:32:50 -0400

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  > One feature of Org we are discussing here is "exporting":
  > https://orgmode.org/manual/Exporting.html - an ability to convert Org
  > documents into other textual formats.

I think I understand what you mean by exporting.  Maybe I understand
what you have in mind for "exporting" Org documents as Texinfo so as
to make GNU manuals.

But I think I see a disappointing difference between the two.  Texinfo
for manuals is semantic markup, but the proposed use of Org mode for
manuals is not.

With Texinfo, you specify what the manual contents should be, and in
each format you get that contents as output.  See what I mean?

I was hoping to see that same smoothness with Org mode -- that you
specify the contents and Org mode owuld give youa manual with that
contents.  But instead, it seems that Org mode for a manual would
specify Texinfo text to "export", and Org would generate Texinfo source
to export which Texinfo could then convert convert into manuals as output.

This exporting might _work_, but it not be as good, overall, as
Texinfo.  It would be disappointing.

Could it be it possible to make Org mode generate the manual output
formats using contructs that are semantic in meaning, that specify
semantic markup for the contents of the manual -- and have Org mode
generate the output formats to represent the semantics of the manual
contents?  That would be a good replacement for Texinfo.

I think this from Bastien Guerry

    Yes, that's the idea behind using one-char constructs for basic inline
    markup (eg ~code~, /emphasis/, etc.) and two-chars constructs for more
    specific inline markup (eg ~~defn~~, =~defvar~=, etc.).

Is a sort of thing that might be smooth in this sense.  It would specify
semantics of the contents, rather than "what to export".

It might bot be the best way (as Po Lu says), but at least it is
semantic markup.

  > For more complete support of software manual-specific markup, we plan to
  > introduce more versatile, hackable markup that can be extended by users
  > to fit their needs. See
  > https://list.orgmode.org/orgmode/87a6b8pbhg.fsf@posteo.net/ and
  > https://list.orgmode.org/orgmode/87mtaez8do.fsf@localhost/

That coukd be the sort of thing that would be as smooth so Texinfo

  > One of the ideas was to follow TeXinfo markup closely, extending with
  > some Org-specific needs:

  > Simple case:
  > @name{<contents>}

  > If we need to escape { or } inside:
  > @name{{<contents}}

  > Extra configuration:
  > @name[:key value ...]{<contents>}

This describes a syntax, but not the semantics.


  > Simple case:
  > @name{<contents>}

what's an example of what _name_ might be, and what would it mean?

Dr Richard Stallman (https://stallman.org)
Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project (https://gnu.org)
Founder, Free Software Foundation (https://fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)

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