Temporary exile

Org-Mode Has Changed My Life!

As I move more and more of my life into Emacs, the best editor ever to grace God’s silicon earth, I discover new jewels of computing elegance and productivity. One of the most recent additions to my arsenal is org-mode, the most fantastic tool for keeping my life in order. Initially, I was excited because it supports todo lists very well. After that, I realized what a powerful tool it is for outlines, managing dates and even publishing. I began by reading the LJ article by Abhijeet Chavan and continued on to watch the Google Tech Talk by Carsten Dominik. Right now, I’m doing most of my planning, outlining and writing in org-mode. Since org-mode enables you to have an agenda view which gathers your todo items from multiple files, I can keep tasks associated with their relevant contexts. So, when planning a blog post, I have the research todo items in with my other notes and might keep them tagged as such. One of the coolest things about org-mode is that org files are just plain text. All of the fun stuff is added when Emacs uses org-mode to edit the org files themselves. Thus, org-mode files are exceedingly portable and can be read and edited anywhere. However, org-mode has several fantastic exporter engines which allow you to convert org files to a multitude of formats. My personal favorite is org-export-as-html which will convert the file to an HTML document, preserving hierarchy, numbering, bulleting, links and loads more. So, I’m writing all of my important stuff using org-mode and then just exporting it to HTML to be printed and shared. It makes all of my handouts for meetings and workshops look really sweet and the pages include some JavaScript to make web-viewing easier as well. Additionally, I’m really enjoying using features like the table editor which automagically builds plain-text tables (that’s right kids, ASCII-only tables!) and takes care of nastiness like resizing, etc. Although I don’t have a real use for it yet, tables can have formulas which allow them to be used like lightweight spreadsheets and such. Other neat features include (but are not limited to): - Hyperlinks - Property drawers

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Really, it does lots more so for more info, look over The Org Manual, check out the website or view the Worg, a sort of distributed wiki-like project using git to sync org files. Org-mode made it into Emacs22 and is included by default thereafter. However, the version that came with the emacs22 package on Debian Lenny wasn’t exactly up-to-date so I installed the org-mode package and it all worked fine.

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