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

From: Russell Adams
Subject: Re: Concrete suggestions to improve Org mode third-party integration :: an afterthought following Karl Voit's Orgdown proposal
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2021 00:24:51 +0100

On Sun, Dec 05, 2021 at 06:59:20PM +0000, Juan Manuel Macías wrote:
> Frustration every time I want to recommend Org to many of my friends
> and colleagues, who don't even use Emacs.

I think this is the core of every interoperability argument: "Why do
we have to use Emacs to use Org?" It's called Emacs Org-mode for a
reason. Org-mode doesn't work outside of Emacs.

I've often told users that it's worth learning enough Emacs to use
Org, and have successfully moved several non-power users over to
Emacs. They know enough to consistently open their files, edit Org,
and quit. That's enough. They complain it's "ugly" compared to
"modern" GUI tools, but they can't deny the utility.

> I came to Org been an Emacs user already, so I was reasonably familiar
> with Emacs and Elisp, although what I used most was AUCTeX (and Markdown
> for my docs).

I'd have a hard time convincing users in Mordor to use a plain text
format, much less Org without Emacs.

> On the other hand, Org as a lightweight markup language is only
> a tiny part of Org. I don't think Org is better or worse as a markup
> language than Markdown, asciidoc or other similar formats.

What makes Org dramatically different is the editing experience in
Emacs. Collapsing the outline, filtering on metadata, exports, agenda,
etc. Those are Emacs features, not specific to the actual markup

My impression is we already have stretched our resources thin trying
to maintain Org. Pushing to provide compatibility with non-Emacs tools
seems a poor use of their time, and rude to ask of them.

If non-Emacs users and coders want to use Org formatted files, they
are free to spend their time customizing their tools to make it
work. If the Org project owes anything to anyone, it's a consistent
experience for the users who have used Org for years. Not changes to
satisfy potential users or follow trendy fads.

My experience has been that Org's markup is so simple and could be
summarized in a few lines. Anything more complex enters the territory
of Emacs only features (ie: drawers. exports, view control, source
blocks, reporting). Those are unlikely to be portable, so we're back
to "use Emacs".

Russell Adams                            RLAdams@AdamsInfoServ.com

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