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Re: [O] SUMMARY: [Feature Request] Make property-drawers exportable

From: Carsten Dominik
Subject: Re: [O] SUMMARY: [Feature Request] Make property-drawers exportable
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2013 12:33:17 +0200


now that I have made a fool out of myself, I think I understand now how
things work, and what I did not understand correctly in the
discussion so far.

1. I misunderstood that drawers could not be exported in
   general with the new exporter.   This is wrong, drawers are
   exported just fine as long as org-export-with-drawers
   is t or contains a list of drawer names that should be
   exported.  The reason why I misunderstood was a bug in my test
   file where I have #+OPTIONS: d:(LOGBOOK) instead of d:("LOGBOOK")

2. If a drawer is selected for export, it will be exported as if it
   was part of the Org file.

3. The only exception to this rule are property drawers, which will
   currently not be exported by any of the backends.  Nicolas
   proposed to define a derived backend that does export the property
   drawer, or he proposed to use macros to extract specific properties
   to include into the exported file.  Both are viable options.

I think this is all well and fine and very well argued.

One possible remaining option would be to introduce user variables
org-BACKEND-format-property-drawer-function in analogy
org-BACKEND-format-drawer-function.  This would provide an easy way
to configure export of the property drawer as a whole, in a way
that could be file-local.

I would like to have this option.  Nicolas, would you agree to a patch
in this direction?

- Carsten

On 25.9.2013, at 11:34, Carsten Dominik <address@hidden> wrote:

> On 25.9.2013, at 11:31, Carsten Dominik <address@hidden> wrote:
>> Hi everyone,
>> I would like to come back to this issue.
>> While I can follow the argumentation that drawers are meta data and that it 
>> is really hard for a backend to do something general and correct with them, 
>> I am still wondering if it wouldn't be good to have some default way to 
>> export them anyway.  I'd be perfectly content to have is such that drawers 
>> can be exported as an @example block.  I also think that the export of 
>> drawers should definitely be OFF by default.
>> Having the default backends allow export of drawers as examples opens the 
>> door to use filters to modify it.  This has the advantage that a new backend 
>> does not have to be defined.  I am experimenting right now with defining 
>> filters with Babel in buffers, and I am finding this a powerful way to tweak 
>> the export of an individual file.
> P.S. of course there is also the possibility that I could use Babel to define 
> or temporarily modify an export backend on the fly - but I have not figured 
> out how this might work......
>> The reason why I am bringing this up is the following:
>> I am reviving the Org Issues file, see the other thread on the mailing list. 
>>  I would like to be able to export the LOOGBOOK state changes, and these are 
>> naturally located in a drawer.
>> The problem here is that the export is happening on worg, in an automatic 
>> way.  So it is not really an easy option to define a new backend that will 
>> be used for just this file, because publishing on Worg uses org-to-html.
>> Now, being the person with the keys, I *could*, of course go and define a 
>> special backend on Worg that does what I want - but I do also understand the 
>> wish expressed by a couple of people in this thread.
>> We still have the variable org-export-with-drawers in ox.el.  My proposal 
>> would be to set the default to nil, plain and simple, and use a t value to 
>> make drawers export as @example.  Safe enough, and easy enough.
>> Regards
>> - Carsten
>> On 17.6.2013, at 21:04, Nicolas Goaziou <address@hidden> wrote:
>>> Thorsten Jolitz <address@hidden> writes:
>>>> Nicolas Goaziou <address@hidden> writes:
>>>>> Property drawers are Org meta data, they are not for user's
>>>>> cosumption. Though you can export some properties with macros (see
>>>>> {{{property{NAME}}}} macros).
>>>> I don't really agree. Property drawers are for meta data used by
>>>> Org-mode too, obviously, but they are perfectly suited for meta-data
>>>> about the document, as well as those simple data-base features described
>>>> in the manual.
>>> It seems I wasn't clear enough. More on this below.
>>>> Why deny Org users the full benefit of these other uses for
>>>> property-drawers by denying them the possibility to export their
>>>> document meta-data or data-bases?
>>> I don't deny anyone the right code this:
>>> (defun my-latex-property-drawer (drawer contents info)
>>>  (concat "\\begin{example}\n"
>>>          (org-element-interpret-data drawer)
>>>          "\\end{example}"))
>>> (org-export-define-derived-backend 'my-latex 'latex
>>>  :translate-alist '((property-drawer . my-latex-property-drawer)))
>>> [...]
>>>> And whats wrong with a simple CD collection database implemented with
>>>> property-drawers, as described in the manual? Why shouldn't people be
>>>> allowed to export their CD database to some text-formatting backend?
>>> Database example is interesting. My point is that you will never want to
>>> dump the whole database in your exported document because Org may fill
>>> it with its own meta-data, making the output look like garbage. Also,
>>> some backends (ox-icalendar, at least) create properties during export,
>>> so you would even get new properties in your output.
>>> It's perfectly fine to export the part of a database you're interested
>>> in, like your whole CD collection, but it requires to filter out Org
>>> meta-data, and to properly format your own properties. This depends so
>>> much on the contents of your database that it is impossible to provide
>>> good defaults for it.
>>> Therefore, default export doesn't even try. Instead, tools are provided
>>> to access values from your own database (again, macro
>>> {{{property(...)}}}) so they can be exported. If you have special needs
>>> for your database, just code them and plug them in.
>>> You have a choice.
>>> Regards,
>>> -- 
>>> Nicolas Goaziou

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