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Re: [RFC] DOCT: Declarative Org Capture Templates (easier template synta

From: Tim Cross
Subject: Re: [RFC] DOCT: Declarative Org Capture Templates (easier template syntax)
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2022 08:28:47 +1100
User-agent: mu4e 1.7.10; emacs 28.0.92

Nicolas Goaziou <mail@nicolasgoaziou.fr> writes:
> Ihor Radchenko <yantar92@gmail.com> writes:
>> Nicolas Goaziou <mail@nicolasgoaziou.fr> writes:
>>> I think there should be a direct mapping between Customize interface and
>>> values. Adding this macro as a band-aid to simply configuration is not,
>>> IMO, a solution.
>> I think that current customize interface for org-capture-template is
>> perfectly fine. doct aids users who set org-capture-templates
>> programatically.
> I am merely pointing out that the programatically defined value is then
> no longer compatible with Customize interface. It may be important, or
> not.

This could be an issue for users who use both customise and
programatically modify their configuration.  


> The fact that we need a tool like "doct" to write templates in a compact
> form may be a sign that the data type is not good enough. Actually it
> sounds like a failure somehow.
> Should templates definition be more compact out of the box? Could the
> data type be made more powerful to permit more complex templates without
> relying on doct? IOW, can a tool such a doct be made transparent to the
> user?

Yes, I would agree. Such tools are generally a 'code smell'. Underlying
data structures should be transparent and not require helper functions
to assist the user in creating or updating them.

While I can see how doct can help with some use cases, I'm a little
concerned about the mixing of both setting of the org-capture-templatges
variable and adding/manipulating hooks together in one function. It
feels like two separate concerns being meshed into one function/macro
for convenience and attempting to work around limitations in the
existing system.

As you say, doct might be useful as a transition aid, but perhaps the
correct fix is to make it largely unnecessary (which I would assume
would also provide the additional functionality it offers to users of
customise and not only to those who configure their setup

>From a personal perspective, I've never needed the additional
functionality offered by doct and while writing a capture template does
require lots of referencing of documentation, I suspect that even with
doct, I would still need to do that as I simply don't write new capture
templates often enough to remember all the options (even if they are
named rather than positional arguments).

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