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[Orgmode] Literate Programming in Org-Mode

From: Emre Sahin
Subject: [Orgmode] Literate Programming in Org-Mode
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2007 19:45:33 +0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.110006 (No Gnus v0.6) Emacs/22.1.50 (gnu/linux)

Hi all, 

Do any of you use org-mode for literate programming? I think that
would be a very natural use of org-mode. 

Support in other compilers may be minimal, but one can write a
Literate Haskell program in org-mode without any changes I
think. E.g. (a meaningless program from Haskell wikibook) 

* Preamble
** Module Definition

> module YourModule where

** Imports
*** import only the functions toLower and toUpper from Data.Char

> import Data.Char (toLower, toUpper) 

*** import everything exported from Data.List 

> import Data.List 

*** import everything exported from MyModule

> import MyModule

* Functions
** put a c in front of the text

> someFunction :: String -> String
> someFunction text = 'c' : text 

** build a string of c's using someFunction

> stringOfCs :: String -> String
> stringOfCs = (someFunction "") : stringOfCs

** etc

* Input and output

> main = do
>   putStrLn "Please enter your name: "
>   name <- getLine
>   putStrLn ("Hello, " ++ (someFunction name) ++ ", how are you?")

In Literate Haskell, program lines start with a >. If it's not used,
than the line is considered as a comment line, hence making org-mode
useful in folding, maintainin TODOs etc. (This message is already a
Literate Haskell program.) Currently, one can use Literate Haskell
major mode during compilation and writing codes and org-mode during
general overview for the program. Writing first the documentation and
pseudocode of the program in org-mode and then filling the "gaps" with
code may result in better programs. (You can see
http://www.haskell.org/onlinereport/literate.html for literate
comments in Haskell.)

This can give an idea how org-mode can be employed for writing
programs. Developing some functionality to consider lines starting
with > (or any other character) as a code line and syntax highlighting
and feeding these to a compiler may ease things. Currently one can
switch back and forth to the language major mode and org-mode (or use
multiple major mode packs, but I didn't try them) but a support for
code lines (for any programming language) may result in one of the
best Literate Programming tools out there, I think. (Ability to use
LaTeX in org-mode already makes it very useful for LP.)

I don't know if anybody considered this, but using org-mode as a
"super mode" for programming major modes seems a good idea. 

Best regards,


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