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Re: A requires/provides approach to linking source code blocks
Re: A requires/provides approach to linking source code blocks
Tue, 13 Jul 2021 18:53:25 -0700
one thing about org that i think has been making it complex, in
addition to number of features, is non-orthogonality.
On 7/13/21, Tim Cross <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Tom Gillespie <email@example.com> writes:
>> Once I wrap up the formal grammar for org, one of the next things I
>> plan to work on is a clear specification for org babel. This is
>> critical because so many of the suggestions that come in deal with
>> individuals' specific problems and thus fail to account for how such
>> features interact with existing features and how the newly proposed
>> feature would block some other features in the future, confuse users,
>> etc. Such suggestions also often fail to account for increased
>> complexity, nor have they been exposed to a sufficient number of
>> examples to reveal fundamental ambiguities in how they could be
>> interpreted. The issues with variable behavior between ob langs for
>> :pre :post :prologue :epilogue etc. are already enough to keep us busy
>> for quite some time.
> Yes, that clearly summs up my concerns as well. Often, a 'fix' for some
> problem can seem straight-forward, possibly even trivial, when
> considered only within one person's use case/workflow. Part of what
> makes org so powerful is the level of flexibility it supports. However,
> this flexibility makes it extremely difficult to consider, or even know
> about, all the existing use cases.
> I suspect that once we have some formal specifications for babel, the
> next step will be to develop some good unit tests to verify these
> specifications. This would at least highlight/alert developers to
> unforeseen impact from changes and alert them to things they may
> not have considered.
>> With regard to this thread in particular, it is of some interest, but
>> there are fundamental issues, including the fact that certain
>> languages (e.g. racket) expect module code to exist somewhere on the
>> file system. There are ways around many of these issues, in fact there
>> are likely many ways around any individual issue, so org babel needs
>> to systematically consider the issues and provide a clear
>> specification, or at least a guide for how such cases should be
>> To give an example from one of my continual pain points: I start
>> writing python or racket in an org src block and then I want it to be
>> a library so that it can be reused by other code both inside and
>> outside the org file without having to resort to noweb.
> This is an interesting point. I think a number of languages have
> challenges here. I run into very similar issues with Clojure.
> To some extent, I think this is a grey area within the literate
> programming paradigm. The original literate programming model was
> developed at a time when most languages were compiled rather then
> interpreted. You generated source code, compiled it and then ran it.
> These days, many 'modern' languages are based around an interpreter and
> concepts like 'just in time' compilation. In org mode, things become
> even more complex because in addition to generation (tangling) of code,
> we also want to have evaluation of code blocks, plus we have added the
> concept of 'sessions'.
>> What is the best way to handle this? I don't know. Right now I tangle
>> things and resort to awful hacks for the reuse-in-this-org-file case, but
>> I'm guessing there is a better generic solution which would allow _any_
>> org block to be exported as a library instead of nowebbed in.
>> Before jumping for any particular suggestion for how to handle this
>> we need to explore the diversity of cases that various ob langs
>> present, so that we can find a solution that will work for all of
>> them. After all, packaging code to a library for reuse is an
>> extremely common pattern that org babel should be able to
>> abstract, but it is a major undertaking, not just the addition of a
>> keyword here and there.
> Agree. I'm not convinced we really understand the requirements here and
> more exploration and specification is required. The more we add 'simple'
> extensions, options, keywords etc the more likely it is we will make
> this a much harder process and will likely result in even larger
> 'breakage' once we do define a clearer specification.
>> In short I suggest that we issue a general moratorium on new org babel
>> feature suggestions until we can stabilize what we already have and
>> provide a clear specification for correct behavior. Until we have that
>> we could encourage users to create extensions that implement those
> Yes. While it might sound harsh or overly limiting, I do think such a
> moratorium may be required. We may be able to lift it once we have some
> core specifications in place. We would still accept bug fixes (though we
> may need to provide some clarity on what is a bug fix and what is a
> feature enhancement/change - I regularly see posts flagged as bug fixes
> which are actually feature enhancements or extensions).
>> PS The other next thing that I am working on might be another way out
>> for this particular feature request. Namely, it is simplifying and
>> extending org keyword syntax so that new keywords (with options) and
>> associated keywords can be specified using keyword syntax within a
>> single org file. This would make it possible to get useful high level
>> keyword behavior in a single file without burdening the core
>> implementation with more special cases for associated keywords, and it
>> would allow users to write small elisp functions that could do some of
>> what is suggested here, all without need to add anything to the core
>> org implementation.
> Sounds interesting. To some extent, recognising there may be at least
> two types of code blocks (library code, executable/driver code) and at
> least two types of languages (compiled/interpreted) may help identify
> base code block permutation and required options, keywords etc. However,
> we are unlikely to find a definitive set which supports all use
> cases/workflows and the ability to easily extend/customise behaviours
> would be very useful.
> Tim Cross
The Kafka Pandemic
Please learn what misopathy is.
- Re: A requires/provides approach to linking source code blocks, (continued)