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Re: algorithm capabilities for org-mode

From: Tim Cross
Subject: Re: algorithm capabilities for org-mode
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 2021 08:28:42 +1000
User-agent: mu4e 1.5.13; emacs 27.2.50

Christopher Dimech <dimech@gmx.com> writes:

>> Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2021 at 2:06 AM
>> From: "Eric S Fraga" <e.fraga@ucl.ac.uk>
>> To: "Christopher Dimech" <dimech@gmx.com>
>> Cc: "Help Emacs Orgmode" <emacs-orgmode@gnu.org>
>> Subject: Re: algorithm capabilities for org-mode
>> On Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 15:39, Christopher Dimech wrote:
>> > The license released under is incompatible with the GPL.
>> So?  It doesn't stop anybody using it.  It's not as if we need to ship
>> it with org, for instance.  Are you going to propose we also
>> re-implement all the other packages many of us use, e.g. tikz, geometry,
>> chemfig, ...
> Those tend to be quite complex.  algorithmicx, not so much.  It would
> be most natural to have in emacs because algorithm display is most
> favourable to use to describe programming techniques.
> Perhaps emacs could absorb it, rather than org.

I think there needs to be more clarity about what the objective is here.
My reading of the initial suggestion was to have the functionality
provided by the Latex package available natively in org mode (not
requiring the latex package and supported by all export formats).

I don't think there is any benefit from bundling the latex package into
org mode (or emacs). For those who do want to use it, they just include
it as you do with any other Latex package. Everything works fine.

However, there might be an argument to have a generic 'algorithms'
mode, which would use only org syntax to express algorithm structure
(or possibly a #+begin_algorithm block) which is supported by all export
backends so that you can have nice type setting of algorithms in all
exported formats. Something similar to table mode in concept.

While it might be possible to 'borrow' some of the ideas from the Latex
package, this would need to be a completely new implementation and would
therefore have its own license (GPL if org or Emacs). This would likely
be a fairly substantial piece of work as it would also be necessary to
'teach' the backends about this new 'structure' and how to present it in
final output.

This does seem like rather 'niche' functionality - only a subset of org
users are likely to want this feature and only a subset of those
are needing it outside existing Latex exports. I'm not sure if the
additional code and maintenance it introduces can be justified. However,
if someone has a sufficient itch to implement this functionality as an
add-on/contrib package, it could be an interesting project and if it
turned out to be popular/useful for a wider audience, it could then be
brought into org mode or Emacs later.

Tim Cross

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