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Re: [O] Allowing loose ordering in Org files

From: Rasmus
Subject: Re: [O] Allowing loose ordering in Org files
Date: Mon, 09 Nov 2015 18:47:08 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)


I share my personal views on this below.

John Wiegley <address@hidden> writes:

>>>>>> John Wiegley <address@hidden> writes:
>> I spoke to Nicolas directly and he mentioned that a goal for syntax
>> regularity is to make it possible to reliably read and manipulate Org files
>> outside of Emacs.
>> For this I *am* willing to give up order independence of PROPERTIES. Having
>> a customization option would needlessly increases the number of
>> possibilities external processors must consider, and so I retract my
>> request.
> I've had time this weekend to rethink my feature request, and I realized that
> even machine-friendly formatting is something I should be able to give up, to
> have an Org that works better for me.
> What has always made Org great (to me) is that it's a rather "light" overlay
> on a plain old text file. What structure it does enforce -- say, the actual
> syntax of drawers -- has always felt fairly "fluid".
> Lately there seems to be a push to sacrifice some of this freedom in order to
> gain efficiency and regularity. I imagine this is for the benefit of machine
> parsers; but what if one doesn't use any machine parsers? Org never asked me
> to give up flexibility for unknown benefits before.

This is one concern.  Another concern is adhere to the "Org syntax", which
I guess is what you mean by regularity.

There are other implementations of Org.  For instance, Github and Gitlab
display Org files via org-ruby (AFAIK).  If the claim was, that there is a
strong desire to formalize and stick to the Org syntax, I would agree.
Furthermore, I would claim this is a good thing.


An alternative is a freer take on syntax, such as how MD has evolved,
which IMO is a bit annoying.

> It should be asked whether users want to trade formatting freedom for those
> benefits. If it has been asked, I missed that discussion. So unless it's an
> heavy maintenance burden to allow floating properties, for example, I don't
> see why I, as a user, shouldn't be allowed to make that choice.

That’s a fair point.

> To those who repeat the performance argument: This is an opt-in only request.
> It is not about changing the performance of default Org, or making files more
> difficult to parse outside of Emacs for everyone.

I disagree with your last claim.


It was you, Jezebel, it was you

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