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Re: existing work on TODO items

From: Ken Manheimer
Subject: Re: existing work on TODO items
Date: Sat, 24 Dec 2005 11:24:13 -0500

On 12/23/05, Richard M. Stallman <address@hidden> wrote:
>     Changes were installed for encryption in allout in some specific way,
>     using packages that aren't in Emacs rather than the support that is in
>     Emacs, perhaps with modifications.

perhaps you're referring to my initial allout topic encryption
changes, which used facilities from crypt++ and mailcrypt?  someone
suggested using pgg instead, and started some changes there (to
implement symmetric-key encryption) which would enable me to do so.  i
refined their pgg changes, added some general pgg fixes, and switched
over allout's new encryption to use the modified pgg.  it's all
checked in to the gnu repository, and comes with the head emacs 22

> Could you please be more specific?  I never knew all that much about
> allout.  All I know is that it does a more powerful kind of outlining.
> Oh, I see allout.el was changed to use pgg.el, which was also used by
> Gnus.  Is that the change you are criticizing?
>                                         Allout isn't actually documented

i have no texinfo documentation for allout.  there are a lot of
instructions and other information in the docstrings, eg the one for
allout-mode, but no cohesive user guide.

>     and appears to duplicate the standard outline functionality except
>     with the obsolete selective display method of ooutline.el.

if you are saying that allout provides no more functionality than
outline.el, you are mistaken.  as far as i can see, outline.el
provides only for navigating outlines.  allout provides for
topic-oriented authoring and editing, including topic creation,
cohesive topic/subtopic promotion, demotion, and structured cut and
paste across varying depths.  it also provides dynamic exposure and
reconcealment of hidden items during isearch, customizable topic
prefix strings, topic encryption, and much more.

you are right that it still uses the old selective display mechanism. 
i recently received a suggestion to use invisibility, instead (with
some example code) and am consider switching over to that.  i am more
interested in switching over to hierarchical widgets (something
derived from the tree widget), and am actively working on a long-term
project along those lines, using allout format as the external
representation.   i don't expect to have releasable code for that for
a while, though.

> Well, it is another outliner, so it would need to include the basic
> functionality of outlines.  Are you saying that it could use
> outline.el instead of duplicate it?  That would indeed be cleaner--if
> it is feasible.

allout is backwards compatable with outline.el in that it supports
outline.el's format, and provides similar navigation functionality. 
the reverse is not the case - outline.el cannot handle most common
formatted outlines, much less custom ones, outline.el lacks some of
allout's navigation features (eg, hotspot navigation), and completely
lacks (as far as i can tell) the outline authoring and editing

> It would be good to make that change, after the release--if it really
> results in an improvement.  Sometimes duplicating code makes
> maintenance harder, and sometimes it makes maintenance easier.
> allout was initially installed in 1993, which was before the old
> outline.el became ooutline.el.  Thus, what happened was that we
> updated outline.el to use overlays but didn't update allout.el.
> It would be good to make that change, after the release.

i'll devote some attention to that.  i'm reluctant to spend much
energy changing to invisiblity and tuning that when i'm ultimately
heading towards widgets.

ken manheimer

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