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[O] Syntax of Org Babel results

From: Sebastien Vauban
Subject: [O] Syntax of Org Babel results
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2013 12:55:47 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.130006 (Ma Gnus v0.6) Emacs/24.2.91 (windows-nt)


Before Org 8 is out, I'm willing to put light on some last syntax which I find
counter-intuitive and not along the lines of the rest: it concerns the
`results' parameter.

Let's sum up first the list of all parameters:

1. Collection

   - :results value
   - :results output

2. Type of results (when :results is set to `value'):

   - Result types

     + :results vector
     + :results scalar
     + :results list
     + :results file

   - Result wrappers

     + :results raw
     + :results drawer
     + :results org (removed, right?)
     + :results html
     + :results code
     + :results latex
     + :results pp

3. Handling

   - :results replace
   - :results silent
   - :results none
   - :results append
   - :results prepend

As you see (by the shown structure), the different values answer different

- How the results should be collected from the source code block?
- How they will be inserted into the Org mode buffer?
- How to interpret/wrap the results?
- How the results should be handled?

And answering many of these questions at the same time means giving a
*multi-value* to the parameter, such as:

  :results list append

Wouldn't it make more sense (and be more easily parsed by the machine and be
cleaner and less error-prone for us, poor humans) if `results' would be split
in different parameters for the different questions they answer, each of those
parameters getting at most one value?

Something along the lines of:

  :results_type file :results_insertion append

  (those names may be ugly, it just for the purpose of explaining my idea).

I know that it's the ultimate moment to discuss such a change, would there be
consensus, before Org 8 is out.

Best regards,

Sebastien Vauban

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