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Re: [RFC] Document level property drawer

From: Sebastian Miele
Subject: Re: [RFC] Document level property drawer
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2020 08:18:20 +0000
User-agent: mu4e 1.3.6; emacs 26.3

Marco Wahl <address@hidden> writes:

> Sebastian Miele <address@hidden> writes:
>> But for such properties to satisfactorily work for me, they would have
>> to be visible by default. E.g. I would want the header-args to be
>> immediately visible just like they are when they are written after
>> #+BEGIN_SRC or #+HEADER. Otherwise I would find myself constantly
>> wondering whether this or that property drawer contains something
>> essential and every TAB on a collapsed headline would have be followed
>> by an accompanying move to the property drawer and a TAB there.
>> On the other hand, there are properties that are very good candidates
>> for remaining hidden by default, like ID.
>> I would like to be able to make a clear distinction between properties
>> that are visible by default and properties that are not. Maybe it would
>> be possible to allow some #+.. syntax following headings for subtree
>> properties that are visible by default. A requirement could be made that
>> such property specifications always have to be followed by a property
>> drawer, even if that is empty. Then everything #+.. that is before the
>> property drawer would belong to the heading/subtree, and everything #+..
>> that follows the drawer would be treated as it is until now.
>> Please tell me if I missed something and Org is already capable of
>> something like that. If not, are there others who would like
>> visible-by-default property specifications for headings/subtrees in
>> addition to invisible-by-default property specifications in drawers,
>> too?
> I don't think Org is capable of this out of the box right now.  Further
> I don't feel the need for a visible-by-default property, but that's just
> me.

After a few more months of living without that feature I must say that I
basically live perfectly well without that, too. I just do not define
source block header args in property drawers. It gets a bit verbose at
times. But not to the degree of being painful.

>> Finally, I would like to state an opinion: If there is
>> visible-by-default (by #+..) and invisible-by-default (by drawers)
>> syntax for headings/subtrees, including level 0, it may be viable to
>> require them to be disjoint for each heading/subtree. Most probably it
>> would be good practice, anyway. And the precedence question raised
>> previously in this thread would be eliminated.
> I may not feel the need for the visible/invisible-by-default properties
> but actually I like the idea of #+ properties parallel to the property
> drawers as visible by default properties.  But since the #+ properties
> may appear anywhere in the Org file and affect the whole file it would
> be difficult or even impossible to give them reliable meaning for
> subtrees AFAICS.

In the meantime I had a look into worg/dev/org-syntax.org. From the
document: "Property drawers are a special type of drawer containing
properties attached to a headline. They are located right after a
headline and its planning information."

So, currently, #+ properties may not appear between a heading and a
property drawer. At least not without turning the property drawer into a
non-special drawer. So, in principle, it would be possible to change the
syntax of Org to allow #+ properties between headings and (possibly
empty) property drawers in order to denote visible-by-default
properties attached to a heading.

Moreover, this change probably would introduce very little to no
backwards incompatibility. With the change it would not be possible to
turn property drawers into non-special drawers by putting a #+ property
before them. Now it is possible to sort of uncomment property drawers by
putting #+ properties before them. This "feature" probably is hardly
used, if at all.

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