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Re: [O] Org Tutorials need more structure

From: Thomas S. Dye
Subject: Re: [O] Org Tutorials need more structure
Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2013 13:29:23 -1000

Aloha John, Marcin, and Charles,

Yes, I completely agree with you. Apologies if my remarks were taken to
be exclusionary in any way. They weren't intended to be. The diversity
of the Org-mode community is one of its great strengths.  

My comments were intended to be ideas on how we might introduce Org-mode
to a wider audience.

In this vein, I think it would be useful to have a brief statement about
Org-mode that gives the interested reader from any background a good
feel for the scope of Org-mode and how it presents itself to the user.
I don't think the current statements about what Org-mode "is" do this
very effectively, though they might have done so in the past.

The "research programming interface" is meant to encompass situations
where all of the software's major components are put to use and thus to
indicate the software's scope.  The bit about scientists likely needs
some qualifications to be absolutely true, but it also prepares the
reader for an interface of a particular kind, one that is logical and
complex rather than "intuitive". The core values bit for me helps
distinguish the Org-mode community from innumerable others we all deal
with every day.

There are probably better ways to give the novice a sense of the
Org-mode experience, but these are the things that stand out for me.  

All the best,

John Hendy <address@hidden> writes:

> On Sat, Sep 28, 2013 at 4:31 PM, Marcin Borkowski <address@hidden> wrote:
>> Dnia 2013-09-28, o godz. 16:50:09
>> Charles Millar <address@hidden> napisaƂ(a):
>>> On 9/28/2013 3:52 PM, Thomas S. Dye wrote:
>>> > Aloha Carsten,
>>> >
>>> snip
>>> > First, I think that most statements about "what Org-mode is" are
>>> > outdated. Many of them are quite good, but they represent the
>>> > previous state of an evolving system and so fail to capture the
>>> > full scope. To my mind, Org-mode is a "research programming
>>> > interface" written by and for scientists who take very seriously
>>> > certain core values of the scientific enterprise--reproducibility,
>>> > open access, and open source (a partial list).
>>> Strongly disagree with the sentiment. My undergraduate degree may
>>> gave been Physics, but I work as a freelance paralegal. I use Org
>>> Mode for project (file) planning, scheduling, drafting documents,
>>> etc. Also, I believe that there are some very active participants on
>>> this list who are not scientists and have made great contributions.
>> +1.  Although I'm also a scientist (mathematics), I used Org-mode /once/
>> for science, and it turned out that I felt very much constrained and
>> quickly got back to LaTeX, where I felt much more comfortable.
>> http://octd.wmi.amu.edu.pl/en/Marcin_Borkowski
>> Adam Mickiewicz University
> This is starting to remind me of bike-shedding. Org-mode is a toolbox
> providing various things that can work toward whatever end one wants.
> It's agnostic to field. It doesn't really matter what the end uses are
> -- Org-mode "is" what functions it provides. How those are combined by
> others in various fields, lines of work, or so on are simply
> illustrations of it's capabilities with respect to neat ways of
> combining various aspects of what Org "is."
> Thus, I wouldn't try to pitch these things one way or another ("Org is
> great for paralegals" or "Org is the answer for those doing
> re-producible research"); I'd simply list what it does as what is "is"
> and what it can be used "for" as a way to entice new users and help
> get into the top results of some google searches for
> tools/solutions/etc..
> It seems we all get what it really "is," (TODOs/agenda, universal
> markdown -> export to tons of formats, allowing mixing of
> prose/code/results, and so on), but are sort of trying to lay claim to
> why these tools make it best suited toward some particular field.
> Whether you use one of Org's features or all of them, it is what it is
> and this can be highlighted in a neat manner and made appealing to
> those looking for help in these relevant areas of life.
> John

Thomas S. Dye

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