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A few simple observations:

- the venn diagram of people using emacs and using org-mode seems to largely overlap. That makes it impractical in non emacs heavy environments (aka. the wider industry).

- tooling outside of emacs is mostly not there.

- org mode is a basically similar to other wiki dialects with similar syntax, limitations, tooling, etc. Other than the (emacs) tooling, I don't see a strong reason for preferring it.

The above makes it a non-starter for me personally (not an emacs user) or for teams that have non emacs users (i.e. all teams I've been on, ever). That does not invalidate it as a personal note taking tool of course. But lets indeed not overstate its utility. Some people like post-its, scribbling in a notebook, simply remembering to do stuff, or their super duper emacs setups. Whatever works for you.




Honestly, even though it's not sold that way (it's usually promoted with links to encyclopedias like this) I think the vast majority of computer users could easily use org-mode productively without knowing anything about Emacs.

1. org-mode is already installed in Emacs. Open a .org file in Emacs and you have everything you need ready and waiting.

2. You can make an outline by putting * for first-level heading, two * for second-level, and so on.

3. You can add notes below a heading simply by typing.

4. You can link wiki-style to other documents with the shortcut C-c C-l and entering the filename. Remember to include the path as in ./filename.org. The same shortcut works to edit the link. You can click on the link to open it and then start typing.

5. You can move headings and the full subtree below them using the Alt key plus arrows. This outlining capability is very nice if you're used to it from Workflowy or Dynalist.

There are lots of other things you can do with org-mode, but as a basic way to organize your information, it's very simple even if you've never used Emacs.


I think you just proved my point.


I guess that's up to you, but I'd be genuinely curious as to what exactly "proves your point"? Is it the part about org-mode being installed by default? The difficulty of pressing C-c C-l? The difficulty of pushing Alt-arrow?

Be dismissive of my comment if you want, but I'm guessing you either didn't bother to read it or to understand it, because there's nothing in there that the vast majority of computer users don't already do.


> That makes it impractical in non emacs heavy environments (aka. the wider industry).

Depends. It's very practical if you're an independent contractor. I run my contracting from Emacs, including tracking tasks, time, generating invoices and processing documents. The main extra integration I have is LaTeX, which I use to generate nice PDFs to send to customers.

Before, as a salaried employee, I still used it for task management and time tracking - regular software used for that purpose (e.g. Jira) is nowhere near ergonomic enough to make detailed TODO lists, and store notes and code samples along with them. Not to mention, it's not the kind of stuff you'd want to spam on public time/task tracker systems. So Org Mode works really great as a private, more detailed tracking/noting system. Bonus points if you develop with Emacs too, as then you can achieve nice synergy (e.g. evaluating code snippets straight from the notes).

> org mode is a basically similar to other wiki dialects with similar syntax, limitations, tooling, etc. Other than the (emacs) tooling, I don't see a strong reason for preferring it.

That's only partly true. Org's markup language is pretty similar to Markdown. But it's the tooling - the Org Mode - that makes it unique, and mostly unusable outside of Emacs. Within Org language, like TODO markers, priorities, drawers, header options, code block parameters, etc. serve as hooks for the tooling, and this is what lets you turn an .org document from a glorified Markdown into a fully-featured outliner/task tracker/time tracker/spreadsheet/literate programming environment.


> org mode is a basically similar to other wiki dialects with similar syntax, limitations, tooling, etc. Other than the (emacs) tooling, I don't see a strong reason for preferring it.

Org-mode has a strong focus on organisational features (hence the name) and is quite extendable and modulare. With org-babel it has also a very sophisticated environment for literate programming. How are wikis in that regard this days?


Anything involving code samples, I pretty much reach for github flavor markdown. I came across asciidoc as well recently. I've never encountered any org mode in the wild (no emacs users on any of my recent projects).


Yep, it's close to how I see it.

org-mode is great tool for emacs as an environment. If the idea of having such a tool so close so tied into how you're working then it's the best tool I know of.

If you just want a markdown-ish outliner you can probably get that workflow elsewhere.




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