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Re: [Orgmode] Org-mode usage and concept mapping.

From: Alex Bochannek
Subject: Re: [Orgmode] Org-mode usage and concept mapping.
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2006 20:51:09 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.110006 (No Gnus v0.6) Emacs/22.0.50 (windows-nt)

David, Christopher,

Thanks for the responses. Comments below.

"David O'Toole" <address@hidden> writes:

> I use the outlining heavily to outline and structure documents and
> projects with many parts. Few of my TODOs are first-level headings.
> headings... they're always two or three or four stars in. But I have a
> friend who makes big files with TODOs all as first-level
> headings. There are many ways to use org-mode :-)

It's interesting to hear that you are using it that way. Christopher's
example below seems to be along the same line although he appears to
break early from Org-mode and move to Muse (assuming I interpreted
this correctly) in the document creation.

Incidentally, I am using Org-mode almost exclusively for taking notes
these days.

"David O'Toole" <address@hidden> writes:

> I also use Carsten's outline-magic.el (which feels like org-mode with
> its visibility cycling) to organize and get overviews of source code
> in my emacs lisp projects.

I have not tried outline-magic.el, but it sounds interesting.

Christopher Kuettner <address@hidden> writes:

>>Carsten tries really hard to keep Org-mode focused
> This is important, IMHO one of org-mode strenghts is it's lightweightness.


Christopher Kuettner <address@hidden> writes:

>> What is the predominant use case for Org-mode by people on this list?
> 1. knowledge-gathering for writing/research-projects via
> one-file-wikis (cool because I don't have to give PageTitles and other
> Meta-crap; convenient because I can create * TODO research bookmarks)

This is interesting. I would suggest that this is similar to the
example that was mentioned on the list of using Org-mode to aid in
code comprehension when following Elisp code. Really no different if
you read through some code and take notes or if you keep track of
URLs, for example.

Christopher Kuettner <address@hidden> writes:

> 2. project tracking for some kind of projects
> 3. tables (org-mode frees me from having to use a "real" spreadsheet;
> what a relief)

Example 2 is what I think a lot (most?) people use Org-mode for. The
tables I totally forgot about when I wrote my last email, but I have
used them as well when trying to document some problems. I always
wondered, tables seem like a bit of feature creep to me. They are very
useful and I am sure Carsten implemented them for a reason, but with
SES and Calc, I wonder if they aren't acquiring too much in terms of
spreadsheet functionality.

Christopher Kuettner <address@hidden> writes:

>>very little of traditional outlining, it seems.
> When I am at that stage (writing the first draft of a work),  the
> emphasizes lies more on the writing/printing/publishing/output.  On
> Emacs for example Muse-Mode is better suited for that.  The strengths
> of Org-Mode are more in the beginning of work, when one is collecting
> the data and developing structures, concepts and relationships.

See above. I hope I didn't misinterpret this and you aren't actually
using Muse.

On to concept maps.

"David O'Toole" <address@hidden> writes:

> Couldn't the links be modeled with org-mode tags and just make
> everything headings? Um, it'd be postfix notation but at least it
> could work I think... see below. This could possibly be processed and
> exported into a map, or even a diagram for GNU Pic or something. 
> ---------------------------------------
> Concept1
>         Concept2                :link1:
>                 Concept 4       :link2:
>         Concept3                :link1:
>                 Concept5        :link3:
>                 Concept4        :link3:        
> ---------------------------------------

I thought about this and it seems a bit unnatural and also wouldn't
allow you to embed concept outlines into another document that you
want to use tags for.

I don't remember, is there a way to use org-publish to only export a

And speaking of feature creep: How about some Graphviz output :-)

Christopher Kuettner <address@hidden> writes:

>> happy with CmapTools
>> Is this something that would be an interesting export option for
>> Org-mode? 
> I can imagine using this as some sort of process-management tool.  For
> example to illustrate who is doing what in a working team under which
> condition.  Basically as sort of communications help.

I have done this before where I used CmapTools as a brainstorming aid
to determine how responsibilities are delineated. That worked out
pretty well.

I guess what would be neat is to use a textual representation to get
the rough structure outlined and then use a concept mapping tool for
the elaboration. Combine this with a projector and something like
<http://www.mimio.com/products/studio/> and that could be really

Christopher Kuettner <address@hidden> writes:

>> How would linking words work? They are usually verbs to
>> build the propositions and it seems awkward to make those headlines.
> As far as I understand the concept, it seems reasonable to make the
> propositions (sub)headlines and to put the linkage-information beneath
> the headlines.

That might work. It would potentially produce lots of indentation
levels, but I think I would like this better than tags. It doesn't
quite capture the difference between a verb and a concept, but that
may not be a problem in the initial creation phase.


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