This is only semi-on-topic. I am looking for something like M-x compile for my org-files, but I don't want it to necessarily use Makefiles. I am looking for suggestions of existing solutions to this, or thoughts on how to implement this.
Actually, if it was possible to get M-x compile to run an elisp function instead of a make file, it might be all I need, but it looks like it runs shell commands.
For most of my files, simple exporting is totally adequate. But, some files are more complicated, and what I usually do in these cases is write an elisp code block in a section that is tagged :noexport: and then I run that block to build the result. A recent example was a proposal where I needed a pdf of the body, and separate pdf of the references.
I have separate elisp functions that generate these, and then I added some custom cleanup code in the block to delete some intermediate directories. I don't want to put these in a makefile because they are specific to this document. While this works, in a large document I find it a little inconvenient to make a small change say at the top, and then to jump to the bottom to run the build block to see how it changed. What I would prefer is to just run a command like M-x org-compile that would know about this build block and run it. That block could of course be a shell block that runs a makefile, but it would most often be an elisp block. I could even imagine that there is a makefile block that is tangled before running a shell block that runs a make command.
What I do in a function now is something like this in a save-excursion:
(when (not (stringp (org-babel-goto-named-src-block "build")))
I don't use this in these projects, but they highlight some of the complexities I am trying to simplify. These are book like projects with special formatting needs, and multiple outputs.
Anyway, it feels like I am reinventing something here, and that there might be some better approach already out there. Maybe some elisp equivalent of a makefile or something?
Professor John Kitchin
Doherty Hall A207F
Department of Chemical Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213