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Re: [O] Org without Emacs?

From: Scott Randby
Subject: Re: [O] Org without Emacs?
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2019 22:58:07 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.4.0

On 1/28/19 4:13 PM, Tim Cross wrote:
> As org is implemented in elisp, there are only two options for
> implementing org outside of emacs
> 1. Implement a full elisp runtime in the alternative envrionment
> 2. Re-implement org functionality in a different language and runtime.
> I think 1 is extremely unlikely, with the possible exception of things
> like https://github.com/Wilfred/remacs, which is a re-implementation of
> Emacs.
> Alternative 2 is more likely and to some extent has been done with
> things like beorg and Visual Source Code, which has an extension with
> some (minimal) org support.

It is great that people want to implement Org functionality into other 
software, but the issue I have with beorg and Visual Source Code is that 
neither is free software. In the case of beorg, Org is mentioned repeatedly on 
its website as an inspiration, but what is the contribution of the beorg 
developers back to the Org community? The central feature of Org is that it is 
free software. In my view, non-free products like beorg are fundamentally 

> The problem with re-implementation is that there is a lot of core
> functionality built into emacs which is not found in most other
> runtimes. Much of what Org does is really take existing Emacs
> functionality and wrap it together in a more convenient and consistent
> bundle. In other systems, much of this functionality would need to be
> implemented from scratch, which would be a non-trivial task. In
> addition, keep pace with org development will be difficult for these
> clones. 

I agree with this completely. 

> I expect we will see some of Org's functionality implemented in other
> environments, but are unlikely to see a fully compatible and feature
> rich version on any other platform. Most likely, we will see some core
> ideas make their way into other environments, but they won't be Org mode
> - they will be something different which owes much of the inspiration to
> Org mode.
> If we are lucky, we may see some new good ideas in these other systems
> which could be added to Org itself to make it even greater, otherwise
> such ports are unlikely to be of any real interest/use to Emacs Org
> users.

It would be wonderful to see new good ideas implemented in other systems, but 
in the case of proprietary software like beorg or Visual Source Code, their 
non-free nature makes it risky to re-implement in Org any new ideas they use 
(if they ever use any). I hope all the new good ideas for Org first exist as 
free software. That seems likely given the pace at which Org develops and the 
vitality of the Org community.


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