[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Thoughts on the standardization of Org

From: Asa Zeren
Subject: Thoughts on the standardization of Org
Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2020 20:22:01 -0400


Even though I am new to the org-mode community, I would like to share
some thoughts on the specification of org-mode, especially since I
have seen some recent discussion of it in relation to registering org
as a MIME type.

First, I would like to repeat the importance of developing standards
for org-mode. If we want to expand the influence of org, tooling must
expand beyond Emacs. While Emacs is an amazing tool, (a) we cannot
convince the entire world to use Emacs and (b) org-mode should be
integrated into tooling unrelated to text editing, and is outside of
the Emacs-Lisp environment. Without additional org implementations,
this is impossible. If org catches on before it is standardized, we
end up in the situation of Markdown, with many competing standards and
non-standards. Hence, standardization is essential.

Standardizing org is much harder than standardizing something like
Markdown, but I think by breaking it down as follows will maximize the
portability of org while not compromising on development of org.

I see three areas of standardization, which I think should be
standardized separately:
 - Org DOM
 - Org Syntax
 - Org Standard Environments

Before we get to that, a brief note on /how/ I think that org should
be specified. I think that org should be specified in terms of an
/environment/ that defines the properties, etc. that can be used in a
document. For instance, the org standard would say something to the
effect of "An environment may specify block bounding keywords that may
be used like #+<kwd_0>\n...#+<kwd_1>. and the environment would specify
"begin_src and end_src are a pair of block bounding keyword that
indicates a source code block." This is for two reasons. First, this
allows for development of org tool features independent of the
standard. Second, this separates the individual features of org mode
from the overall structure.

Org DOM:
The first thing to specify is the org DOM. (Maybe a different name
should be used to avoid confusion with the HTML DOM) This is the
structure of an org-mode document, without the textual
representation. Many org-related tools operate on org documents
without needing to use the textual representation. Specifying the DOM
separately would (a) create a separation of concerns and (b) allow for
better libraries built around org mode.

Org Syntax:
This would be specifying the mapping between the DOM and the textual
representation, specified in terms of an environment.

Org Standard Environments:
This is how I would specify elements such as #+begin_src..#+end_src
would be specified, as standardized elements of the environment. This
would be structured as a number of individual standard environments,
such as "Source Blocks" or "Standard Header Properties" (specifying
#+title, #+author, etc.)

I would appreciate thoughts on these ideas about how to develop and
org specification.

Thanks for reading,
Asa Zeren

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]