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Re: [Orgmode] org <-> Palm

From: Ramon Diaz-Uriarte
Subject: Re: [Orgmode] org <-> Palm
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2006 01:06:01 +0100

On 11/7/06, Carsten Dominik <address@hidden> wrote:
Also I would be interested in a good way to use information maintained
under org-mode on portable devices, and I would support such a
development by writing the lisp code for the correct exporters and
importers.  However, I don't want to write five different

That would be neat (of course, it is always easy to say this when
someone else does the coding :-).

exporters/importers, so agreeing to some format would be mandatory.

Currently in this area, there are the following "Ans├Ątze".  They
mostly work one-way, to get information from Org-mode to a
portable device, not the other way round.  But there are exceptions,
see below.

- Bonsai Outliner
   This is a two-way interface for basic outlines.
   I don't know what the status is and I have not not used it myself
   so far.  Thomas, would you like to comment?

I've never used Bonsai (I think it does not have a "desktop
counterpart" for Linux). I've used Shadow (www.codejedi.com), which
has a desktop counterpart for Linux, Win, and Mac (I think) which
allows editing, etc, on the computer. From the web page of Bonsai, it
seems that the features of Bonsai and Shadow are very similar.

- iCalendar export
   Org-mode can export items with datestamps and deadlines as well as
   TODO items into a standard iCalendar file.  These files can be
   read by most calendar programs both on PC/Mac/Linux machines, and
   as far as I know also on portable devices.  I am using this mechanism
   to get information from org-mode into iCal on the Mac.  Unfortunately,
   there is no good way to get the changed info back into org-mode. But
   it is useful to see what your TODO items and schedule are.

iCalendar does not seem to be well supported by Palm (from surfing the
net, it seems that the Palm vCalendar format does not support as many
features as iCalendar). For Windows, its easy to find ways of going
from iCalendar to your Palm. For Linux, I've not found those many. The
following might be of use:


and I think that both KDE (Korganizer + Kpilot) and the equivalent
Gnome apps. allow importing iCalendar and producing vCalendar (I use
neither kde nor gnome, so I don't really know).

- Fast external updates
   Some time ago I worked with Tim O'Callaghan on the idea of delayed
   updates of Org-mode files, a feature he called "fast updates".
   His idea was to copy an org-mode file to a mobile device, and to
   use some basic editor to mark lines that should be changed later
   the file gets back into an Emacs environment.  Tim's idea was to
   mark headline with a single character *before* the stars.
   For example, if I have a todo item

      *** TODO Do this

   it could be marked

      d*** TODO Do this

   and next time Org-mode opens this file in Emacs, it would find this
   line and switch the TODO to DONE.  The idea behind this is that
   input on mobile devices is never fun, on phones it is really terrible,
   so you want to be done with a single keystroke.  And you could
   trigger more complex operations like archiving in this way.

   Some time ago I implemented this basic functionality.  I still have
   the code if someone is  interested.  But unfortunately
   the project somehow got stuck.  There were technical reasons, but
   I believe the underlying reason may be that by just putting the
   org-mode file into an editor on a mobile device with a small
   screen and no show/hide capabilities makes it much harder to read
   and handle than in Emacs.  But I am not sure, and may be this
   project could be revived.

- Editor on the Palm-side
   Putting whole Org-mode files into a Palm editor has the advantage
   that you can keep them up-to-date on both machines using
   synchronization or, for example, cvs merging.  Having an editor that
   actually implements a subset of Org-modes functionality using some
   scripting language (Rexx was mentioned) sounds attractive to me.

So far, the suggestion of Tim O Callaghan (PalmED) and a few similar
linked from there seem fine for me.

- Print/export only the current TODO list
   You can create TODO lists and then print them or export them to
   your Palm.  Then you tick items off while on the go, and when you
   get back to a real computer you create the same TODO list again and
   update the done items (idea from Pete Phillips).  While this sounds
   like double work, you can make it part of the review process to
   check where your projects stand.

This is a really neat idea! Thanks.



On Nov 5, 2006, at 22:39, Ramon Diaz-Uriarte wrote:

> Dear All,
> I am wondering if anybody has found out how to export from org, and
> get the stuff in a usable way into a Palm, and (ideally) edit it there
> and bring it back to org later.
> I saw in a fomer post
>  "From: Carsten Dominik <dominik <at> science.uva.nl>
>  Subject: Other software development for Org-mode
>  Newsgroups: gmane.emacs.orgmode
>  Date: 2006-03-14 10:39:25 GMT (33 weeks, 5 days and 49 minutes ago)
>  (...)
>  Bonsai Outliner for Windows/PalmOS, export/import options for Org-mode
>  files  Thomas Baumann has been working on these, but not finished the
>  org-to-bonsai branch if I remember correctly because of problems
>  with the data format  on the Palm."
> But my googling didn't find anything else.
> I actually have lowered my expectations to just (?) two things: a)
> outlines; b) calendar/deadlines info.
> a) For outlines, I used to use Shadow Plan (http://www.codejedi.com/)
> on my Palm. Getting the outlines into org is a piece of cake (at least
> under Linux); from the Shadow Desktop one exports as ASCII, and using
> sed (or whatever) one replaces \t by *. So now all that info is an org
> outline. I assume similar things can be done with other Palm
> outliners. But:
> a.1. How do I go back to the Palm?
> a.1.1. Via Plucker; export from org as html, use plucker for html ->
> pdb. That works, but that is not editable in the Palm
> a.1.2. Convert the org file to a pdb using pyrite publisher
> (http://www.pyrite.org/publisher/index.html). That is a regular file
> that can be seen and edited inside the Palm, but one looses the
> structure, and if one edits the file in the Palm, how will the new
> stuff be incoporated in any reasonable way into org?
> b) calendar/dates, etc. The options are somewhat like a). One can see
> the info, but that stuff does not show up in the Palm calendar.
> I am wondering if anybody has any suggestiongs/ideas or things to try.
> My googling is not really finding much.
> Thanks,
> _______________________________________________
> Emacs-orgmode mailing list
> address@hidden
> http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/emacs-orgmode

Ramon Diaz-Uriarte
Statistical Computing Team
Structural Biology and Biocomputing Programme
Spanish National Cancer Centre (CNIO)

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