Org Mode And Living Documents

Vsevolod Dyomkin over at Lisp, The Universe and Everything has another in his series of interviews with Lisp hackers. This time it's with Christophe Rhodes, the principal maintainer of SBCL. It's an interesting interview and well worth a read so head on over.

One thing that Rhodes said that really resonated with me (probably because I feel the same) is this little bit about Org mode

“I have in the last couple of years fallen in love with org-mode and
in particular with "reproducible research", or living documents; the
ability to have executable sections of code for generating results,
which can then themselves be further analysed by other bits of code —
in other languages, if that's appropriate — and the whole exported as
a document typeset to what I consider to be high-quality standards.
The fact that there is also acceptable-quality web output from the
exact same process is gravy.”

There's just something great about having a single document that contains all your notes, code to generate diagrams or compute results, and markup that can generate high quality typeset documents or HTML.

If any Emacs users out there have not yet tried Org mode, I urge you to do so without delay. There's a compact guide to get you started as well as a full manual. Both are available as PDFs as well. Also, Bernt Hansen's excellent Org Mode—Organize Your Life In Plain Text! is a great example of how to leverage Org mode. I found it very helpful as a go by when I was learning Org mode.

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  • binarycodes

    Org-Mode is one of the main reasons why I am using emacs. Although there are lots others too :P