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Re: Volunteering to maintain ob-asymptote.el within Org

From: Ihor Radchenko
Subject: Re: Volunteering to maintain ob-asymptote.el within Org
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 10:05:31 +0800

Jarmo Hurri <jarmo.hurri@iki.fi> writes:

>> TBH, this is the first time I'm hearing about it.  I've looked it up,
>> and indeed it seems to be useful.  
> For some reason, even people who would certainly benefit from Asymptote
> often have not heard of it. The developers do not really
> advertise. Asymptote is amazingly powerful and sophisticated.

Then, it would help to have more practical examples compared to what we
have in

>> That said, shouldn't this be in org-contrib?  Too many features in a
>> tool - featurism - may be distracting, in the sense that you focus
>> more on your tool than work at hand.  
> I do not understand this. Why would supporting a professional-level
> graphics programming language be distracting someone from their work
> when using Org?

That a common minimalist argument. Some people dislike the fact that
software includes features they do not personally use. Similar arguments
are often raised regarding, for example, games shipped with Emacs.

I disagree in this particular case. Having ob-asymptote.el is not a
featurism - I would not expect people to play around a full new
programming language just because ob-language.el is in Org. The barrier
of entry is too high to make it destructing.

Another question is long-term maintainability. We have a limited
manpower and cannot cater too many support requests or take care about
parts of code not used by most people. After removing org-contrib over a
year ago, your email is the first issue raised regarding ob-asymptote
removal. Since you are volunteering to maintain it, things gets easier.
However, the final decision is after Bastien.

>> And that said, to work around this, I reckon that's why (?)  we have
>> org-contrib.  You - the end user - install what you want/need. 
> Yes, but whenever we split up support, we raise the threshold for the
> use of a combination of tools, in this case Org and Asymptote.
> Org is a very powerful publication tool. Does it not make complete sense
> to include support for a tool for creating professional-quality
> publication graphics?

Apparently asymptote is not commonly used (at least, not in my research
field). We do provide built-in support for Gnuplot, LaTeX TikZ, and
Python (Matplotlib), PlantUML. AFAIK, they are much more common.


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