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Emulating Scrivener's binder feature

From: Paul W. Rankin
Subject: Emulating Scrivener's binder feature
Date: Mon, 01 Apr 2019 18:09:48 +1000
User-agent: mu4e 1.0; emacs 26.1

Hello Emaczens,

I've started a new Emacs package to try and emulate the behaviour of Scrivener's
binder feature.

A buffer in a side window would display the current project not unlike
dired-sidebar -- each file in the project occupying a single line. The ordering
of these files should be arbitrary (i.e. the user may reorder the files) and
this project structure should be persistent across sessions. Global keybindings
should allow navigation from a file in the current project to the next/previous
file in this structure. The user should (eventually) be able to mark a selection
of files and concatenate/export these into a master output.

The idea would be to have a .binder file in the top directory of the project.
This file should be human-readable. Each line in this file should be a file path
relative to the .binder file. Metadata relating to each file is stored below the
file, terminating at the next file or EOF.

Metadata could be: Tags beginning with ":" e.g. :tag1 :tag2 :toast :piglet.
Multi-line notes prefixed with ">" like Markdown blockquotes. Comments start
with "#". Blank lines are ignored.

An example .binder file might look like this:

    # This is a comment

    The Problem of Space.txt
    First Attempt.txt
    > Intro to Noomi.
    An Angry Driver.txt

    > Uncle Bob could do this?

    Archive/Other Options.txt
    Working Together.txt
    :act3 :revised
    > Putting ego aside, Kirin puts all his faith in Noomi's ability to judge
    > the space from outside the truck. Little by little, they make it in.

Someone might suggest that this info all be stored as lisp objects in
.dir-locals.el but my thinking is that a .binder file could be cross-platform
(i.e. also work outside of Emacs).

Before I go to far,

Question 1: Has someone already made something like this? I don't want to
reinvent the wheel...

Question 2: Any suggestions, pitfalls or edge cases?


p.s. please Reply-All, I'm not on the list.


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