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[RFC] Re: Headings and Headlines

From: Ihor Radchenko
Subject: [RFC] Re: Headings and Headlines
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2022 06:59:56 +0000

André A. Gomes <andremegafone@gmail.com> writes:

> The project's documentation refers to headings and headlines as
> synonyms.  Relying on a single definition would be beneficial.  If I had
> to choose between the two, I'd go with heading.

I've been looking into changing all the instances of "headline" to
"heading" and I ran into a serious issue: We use `headline' _symbol_ in
multiple places in the code.

Most importantly, org-element.el uses element type `headline' to parse
headings. We cannot easily change this symbol for backwards
compatibility reasons.

I'm afraid that a complete switch to use "heading" everywhere consistently
is not possible without backwards-incompatible change. I know for sure
that changing `headline' element to `heading' element type will break
important packages like org-roam. And there is no good way to work
around this. We cannot make symbol aliases in Elisp in scenarios like
(memq (org-element-type ...) '(headline inlinetask)).

I came to the conclusion that it will, in fact, be easier to change all
things to use "headline" -- all the instances of "heading" in Org code
are in function names, variable names, and docstrings. All can be
changed using obsolete aliases.

On the other hand, overwhelming feedback in this thread is the
opposite -- change "headline" to "heading".

Maybe others have better ideas how to deal with `headline' symbol issue?

Ihor Radchenko // yantar92,
Org mode contributor,
Learn more about Org mode at <https://orgmode.org/>.
Support Org development at <https://liberapay.com/org-mode>,
or support my work at <https://liberapay.com/yantar92>

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