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Re: want a file format easily edited and read by emacs that allows (mult

From: Marcin Borkowski
Subject: Re: want a file format easily edited and read by emacs that allows (multiple) pictures to be included
Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2017 17:05:36 +0100
User-agent: mu4e 0.9.19; emacs 27.0.50

On 2017-12-05, at 14:44, Emanuel Berg <> wrote:

> tomás wrote:
>>> So it *is* a tool, an IDE if you will, to
>>> generate data into different formats. OK, no
>>> further questions.
>> It's more... and less. For example I have
>> a diary where I keep the things I've done
> I would just use a plain text buffer for that.

Then you wouldn't have things like sparse trees or org-capture.

>>> PS. No wonder it was so difficult to find an
>>> example what good actually ever came out of
>>> it :)
>> No. It's because you seem to be blind on some
>> eye. That may be just because you don't miss
>> what Org might bring to you, and that would
>> be OK.
> I have yet to see the one thing it can do for
> me that I don't already have. If it can glue
> plain text, HTML, LaTeX/PDF and more together,
> and provide tools and shortcuts to produce and
> convert between formats, this is what I would
> call an IDE and I'm not into that as I've yet
> to see such a system that does not reduce the
> degree of precision and intimacy with which
> I can solve such issues directly by
> manipulating the material first hand. All such
> in-between layers, in my experience, only makes
> for fiddling with the IDE, trying to figure out
> how to make it do what you want, instead of
> fiddling with the material itself which is the
> thing and the activity that appeals to me.

Me and others mentioned that Org is much more than an authoring tool, so
let's concentrate on this aspect alone now.

I agree that Org is usually not the best choice if you happen to know
LaTeX.  OTOH, how often do you collaborate (as in: co-author
papers/books) with people who don't speak (La)TeX?

Also, one of the nice things about Org-mode exporter (even excluding
other Org features, which are more important to me) is that it is
relatively easy to extend it.  I used that to create educational
materials with tests, exportable to HTML+JS (where they were
interactive) or LaTeX (where they were printable as a "student" version
(no answers) or "teacher" version (with answers)).  Do that in LaTeX (I
mean, with the HTML+JS part).  Good luck.  (Probably possible, but _a
lot_ of work.)

Also, certain aspects of editing are much more enjoyable in Org than in
LaTeX (even with AUCTeX).  Think source code blocks vs. verbatim,
rearranging the structure or embedding todo keywords (i.e., marking
chapters/sections as done or needing further work).  Also, editing
tables in LaTeX syntax is a real pain in the neck (as opposed to Org

Also, as I have recently mentioned on my blog, you have radio targets,
which would be extremely difficult to do in LaTeX (basically only
possible in LuaLaTeX, at least in a sane way) and impossible to do in
pure HTML (doable with JS, of course, if that's your thing).

And by the way, I think that LaTeX cannot do what my humble snippet does
if the file in question is binary.  (You'd need LuaLaTeX for that, and
I think this is a nice exercise.  It's a pity I didn't have that idea
when my friend, who wrote a book on LuaLaTeX, asked me about possible
use examples.)

* * *

I would suggest resisting the temptation to form opinions without
spending a few minutes on research first.


Marcin Borkowski

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