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Re: Concrete suggestions to improve Org mode third-party integration ::

From: Tim Cross
Subject: Re: Concrete suggestions to improve Org mode third-party integration :: an afterthought following Karl Voit's Orgdown proposal
Date: Mon, 06 Dec 2021 00:32:07 +1100
User-agent: mu4e 1.7.5; emacs 28.0.90

Ihor Radchenko <yantar92@gmail.com> writes:

> Juan Manuel Macías <maciaschain@posteo.net> writes:
>> Yes, sorry for not explaining myself well: I was also referring to
>> search results, not the title in the web site...
>> But the question is: what need is there to remove the reference to Emacs
>> in the search result? I think the emphasis is necessary. As we say in
>> spanish, it's like putting the bandage on before the wound. If there are
>> people who think that Org Mode can 'live' in some way outside of Emacs
>> (a respectable opinion, but that I do not share, at least 100%), I think
>> the burden of the work falls on them and not on us, the users of
>> Emacs-Org-Mode. Anyway it is my simple and subjetive opinion, and it is
>> not my intention to initiate a controversy with it.
> Ok. Let me explain my thought process.
> First of all, there is no burden on users of Org mode in making edits to
> orgmode.org. It is a burden on Org contributors.
> One of the aims of my proposal is reducing this burden by involving
> non-emacs users to provide contributions to Org (e.g. by making more
> tests for Org-element parser). To do it, we need to make the
> contribution process for non-emacs developers easier. Ideally, without
> too much effort on our side.
> The idea of involving non-emacs users does have a potential because we
> do know that third-party tools are already using Org. The problem is the
> disconnect between those tools and Org mode proper.
> The sources of the disconnect are (1) lack of technical "blueprints" for
> Org that do not require knowing Elisp; (2) lack of discovereability of
> Org mode as something that can live outside narrow field of Emacs. In
> this branch of our discussion, I am going to talk about the second
> point.
> People simply do not expect to see a markup language when they encounter
> a link with "Org mode for Emacs" title. Someone looking for Org mode
> markup to be used in, say, websites will think that "Org mode for Emacs"
> is limited to Emacs. Someone just interested in plain text markup will
> find no relevance at all.
> Title is important. If we care at all about orgmode.org website
> appearing in search results, we want the title and the summary to have 2
> main properties: (1) Provide search keywords to make it searchable by
> potentially interested people; (2) Provide a title that immediately
> signal that our website contains the information people are looking for.
> Now, we need to understand what kind of people may be looking to
> orgmode.org website.
> 1. Existing emacs users
>    If a Emacs user is faced with "Org mode for Emacs", the word "Emacs"
>    is indeed recognisable. On the other hand, the word "Org mode" does
>    not provide much further info, except that it is a major (or maybe
>    minor?) mode for "Org"??
>    Now, consider "Org mode: your life in plain text".
>    For emacs users, "Org mode" is not just a strange phrase, but a very
>    clear indication that we are talking about Emacs.
>    The "your life in plain text" provides extra information about what
>    "Org mode" refers to. Clearly, text documents and "your life in plain
>    text" should resonate with every Emacs user's soul.
>    We can change the second variant of the title to contain "Emacs", but
>    will it add much value? I am not convinced. On the other hand, making
>    title too long or too complex _is_ bad. Long titles tend to be
>    skipped (there was even formal research on this!)
> 2. Non-emacs users interested in plain text markup
>    These users know nothing about Emacs and "Org mode" has no meaning
>    for them as is. So, we do need something more descriptive.
>    Adding "Emacs" may be fine, but it will serve no purpose for people
>    not familiar with emacs. Just another unknown term making the title
>    longer.
> 3. Non-emacs users interested in GTD/project management, etc
>    "Org mode: your life in plain text" is somewhat relevant when people
>    are looking to manage "life" (typically true for GTD enthusiasts).
>    Though we can probably do better for this category.
>    Maybe "Org mode: manage your life and notes in plain text"?
>    Though it makes the title less relevant to group #2.
> 4. Researchers looking for ipython-like environment
>    Not covered, except by reading my proposed site summary. I am not
>    sure how we can improve title for this audience.
> 5. ??? (Suggestions are welcome)
> Of course, better suggestions for the title are welcome. I just wanted
> to make it clear the reasoning I do not like the current title and how
> the proposed alternative is better (though not ideal).
> Finally, I want to emphasise that our aim for search engines is not
> advertising Emacs (we already do it by trapping users inside Org and
> making them switch to Emacs by force :evil_laughter:). The aim is
> encouraging people to use and contribute to Org mode in useful ways
> (even unrelated to writing Elisp or, really, any code at all).
> Search result is just an entrance for users to be curious about the new
> beast of "Org mode". The website front page is the means to make users
> try. And the Org mode itself is the way to make users fall in love with
> Org in one way or another (even unrelated to Emacs [at least
> initially]).

I think your working off a false premise. Your view is that org mode
should be available in other editors/software so that others can realise
the power and benefits it provides. I can understand that position.

However, the FSF position would be exactly the opposite. They would
argue that orgmode is a powerful and flexible tool that is part of Emacs
and if you want that power and flexibility, you need to use Emacs. Org
mode has probably done more to bring new users to Emacs than any other
Emacs mode in the last 30 years. As a consequence, you will find not
only little support towards making it available in other editors, you
are likely to run into active resistance. As you say, org-mode can be
thought of as a brand name and that is a brand name owned by the FSF as
an official GNU project and a goal of the FSF is to convert people to
use GNU free software. Anything which has the potential to take the
power of org mode and make it available in non-free software (not simply
open source) is not going to be supported or welcomed.

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