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Re: Website revamp?

From: Bo Grimes
Subject: Re: Website revamp?
Date: Tue, 4 Aug 2020 17:43:09 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.10.0

On 8/4/20 11:48 AM, Maxim Nikulin wrote:
As to installation, I believe that org-mode bundled with Emacs is more than enough for first try. It is a shorter path to become familiar with most prominent features just to start editing of an .org file (or to download a prepared demo .org). Getting the latest stable version could be a next step for the hooked users.

I might disagree, slightly, mostly with the last sentence.  This is one of the very few issues I feel semi-competent to comment on.  It would be impolite to actually say what I thought the only meaning of 'lisp' was before Emacs, which I had tasted and spit-out a dozen times before really reading in depth about org-mode.  I have expanded my Emacs horizons to include org-journal, emacs-w3m, org-roam, ERC,  and writeroom  modes, but I don't code.

This is relevant because I had always been satisfied with the built-in org-mode.  A couple of weeks ago, when I decided to give org-roam a try, my best guess is org-roam pulled in 9.3.6.  That is my best guess because suddenly it was there, and that is the only recent package I had installed. 

That may not be the case, but regardless, I learned I had 9.3.6, which I never explicitly installed, when I ran into some errors.  I can no longer competently describe exactly what I was doing, but I am pretty sure it related to calling org-journal.  I know whatever I was doing caused an error message: "Invalid function: org-preserve-local-variables."

I spent some quite frustrating hours searching, and this error was frequently mentioned with org-refile, and I think helm and babel.  I was on the verge of mailing the list, but I wanted to say I had tried the best advice I found [1], and I did so by backing up my entire emacs.d and then deleting all .elc files. This worked. I've no understanding of the underlying technicalities, and I'm pretty sure I had never heard of byte-compiled files (except in the most general sense unrelated to Emacs).  It was literally like magic ( maybe magit :-) ) to me when Emacs repopulated all my .elc files!

I would, therefore, encourage any new users coming to org-mode and/or Emacs to start with the highest, most stable version of both that is available to them with their level of competence (for me that is always what is in my distro's package manager) and with the further explaination that they might run into issues down the road if they don't. 

It is true that "[g]etting the latest stable version could be a next step for the hooked users", but I have used org-mode for five years without doing so, and many people may be so excited (like I was) that they finally found the One True Note-taking Tool (tm) that they immediately start blindly build an entire system only to crash into a byte-compiled wall. Their very first TODO should be "upgrade org-mode soon," [2] like "Call Mom" is in the todo.txt examples.

[1] https://github.com/syl20bnr/spacemacs/issues/11801 (I won't engage in the pretense of beginning my footnotes with 0 :-) )

[2] The idea that someone would use org-mode and not get "hooked" is paradoxically unimaginable.

Bo Grimes

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