Interested in Org but not enough to monitor the mailing list? In this blog I digest developments, and each month regurgitate what I consider the highlights, along with anything else Org-related I consider nifty.

Posts are published in .html, .org, .org.html, .txt, and .pdf forms — because why not 😛

December 2021 2021-12-31

Just over eight months ago, I kicked off This Month in Org with an emphatic announcement of the blog’s in the form of a Welcome post. If you haven’t guessed, this is the first “blog post” I’ve ever written. In that welcome post, I gave my motivation for starting the blog — essentially to bridge a perceived gap in information sources between a subscription to the Org project mailing list, and nothing.

That is why I thought this blog should exist, but until now I have neglected to mention what I want to accomplish with it. By starting TMiO I hoped to:

  • Engage more people with the improvements being made to Org[1].
  • Highlight some of the great work being done by Org[1] contributors.
  • Encourage more people to consider contributing to Org[1].
  • Foster a stronger sense of an Org[1] community, outside the mailing list.

Since then, I’ve effused about Org to the tune of around ten thousand words. We started off with a fairly dry recount recent changes, which (after initial feedback) has shifted slightly to try to give more context on the improvements and how they may be used. In June I even went as far as to make the majority of the post about pre-existing features (writing Org for LaTeX). This change has been made to:

  • Try to make the blog posts a little more interesting, and less tedious.
  • Potentially introduce readers to nice features of Org they weren’t aware of before.

We have now arrived at the first crucial question of this post: How effective has this blog been in achieving its goals?

Let’s start off by looking at engagement. There is no tracking on this site, and I’m not even counting page views. We could read into Reddit upvotes (which usually hover around 100-ish per post), but with no strong trend I’m wary of reading too much into those numbers. What about engendering an interest in contributing? This is even harder to consider. It is similarly difficult to judge whether this blog might be helping (even if only a bit) foster a stronger sense of community.

Ok, how about the second crucial question: Moving forwards, what changes should I make to the style of posts, if any?

Hmmm, this is a prickly one too. Both of these questions suffer from the same problem — I can’t answer them. Simply put, I need to hear from you. Whether it be in the Reddit comments section, or by Email (tec@ this domain), to direct 2022’s posts I am very interested in hearing your thoughts on:

  • How engaging you’ve found this blog? (the content, the style of writing, etc.)
  • Whether this blog has influenced your feelings on the Org project and/or community?
  • Whether this blog has affected your thoughts on contributing to Org?
  • What you think this blog has done well/badly over the past year?
  • If there’s anything you’d be interested in this blog doing differently in 2022?

That’s all for now! Thank you for reading, and have a great new year 🙂

November 2021 2021-11-30

With a 9.5 release highlight post last month, and the month before skipped, it’s now three months since the last regular instalment of TMIO. Let’s get back up to date on some of the latest happenings with Org.

Org as markup

Looking at the wider ecosystem, it certainly appears that there is a growing appetite for Org markup outside org-mode. More projects like Hugo and Logseq seem to be interested in supporting Org markup, and there has been a recent growth in editor extensions like Neovim’s orgmode.nvim (started in March this year) and Sublime Text’s OrgExtended (started in June this year).

Read more…

October 2021 2021-10-31

Turns out that life became busy enough that instead of delaying, last month’s post had to be cancelled. We’re now back to business as usual though 🙂.

There have been some cool recent developments in Org over the past two months, but you’ll have to learn about those is next month’s edition as Org 9.5 has been released 🎉. So, let’s go over some of the changes I’m most excited about, in no particular order. To get a more complete picture of the latest changes, see ORG-NEWS.

The new citation engine

August 2021 2021-08-38

Dear readers, unfortunately I’ve been unusually busy as of late, and will continue to be for a bit over a month. As such, it’s entirely likely that the next post or two may be late make use of creative dates too.

In terms of Org development, we’ve had a fairly slow month — mostly tweaks and fixes, concentrated on the new org-cite functionality. However, there have been big developments with Roam as of late.

July 2021 2021-07-31

Last month I not-at-all-subtly hinted that a certain long-awaited feature was arriving imminently. At this point, I think it’s a good idea to set the tone for the rest of this post.

celebrate-citations.svg

Citations

June 2021 2021-06-34

The previous two months have been pretty good for Org development — with many bug fixes and feature improvements. This month has been substantially slower than the last[1], but that’s not to say not much is happening: in fact, there are some rather nifty contributions lined up for the not-too-distant future and a certain long-awaited feature branch[2] is getting very close to merging 😀. You’ll just have to stick around to hear about those in a future edition of TMIO 😉.

dilbert-zenos-paradox.jpg
Figure 1: It’s right around the corner, I swear!

Customise the reference command used in LaTeX

May 2021 2021-05-31

Async Babel sessions have landed

Jack Kamm has made a fantastic contribution to Org: ob-comint.el now supports asynchronous output from source blocks with full support for sessions 🎉.

If you haven’t used sessions before, you’re in for a treat! By simply assigning a named session to a source code block, e.g. :session foo, the same process will be reused for any other code blocks that specify the foo session. To do this for a certain language across the entire document, you can set the header argument property, i.e.

Org mode
#
#+property: header-args:lang :session foo

Along with the asynchronous process communication in ob-comint.el, we have an implementation for Python, and we should see support for R and Ruby in the not-too-distant future 😍.

Read more…

April 2021 2021-04-30

A discussion on contributor support

Concerns were raised[1] about some contributors’ patches languishing, and it not being made clear how long it might take to get a response from someone.

In response to this, a the new role of Contributor Steward has been created to: help ensure contributors get a timely response, help out with preliminary patch feedback, and keep updates.orgmode.org up to date.

Org now has three Contributor Stewards to ease the process for patch submitters and core maintainers:

  • Timothy / TEC
  • Tim Cross
  • John Corless

Read more…

Welcome 2021-04-26

Introduction

Org is an absolutely marvellous project. However, a quick glance at https://orgmode.org can lead one to think “so… it’s an Emacs version of Markdown? What’s the big deal?”. While it’s easy to understand how someone might think that at first, that impression misses two crucial points:

  • While for simple constructs (bold, italic, headlines, etc.) the syntax is very much analogous[1], Org scales to much more powerful forms that are a headache to replicate in Markdown
  • Org mode was developed in Emacs, for Emacs. The integrations for Org put every other plaintext markup editing experience to shame. This is a bold statement, and I stand by it.

Read more…

CC0 To the extent possible under law, TEC has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to This Month in Org.