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Re: [Orgmode] Another GTD question.

From: Pete Phillips
Subject: Re: [Orgmode] Another GTD question.
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 12:28:37 +0100

    Chris> Aside from that...

    Chris> What is the basic design model for org-mode?  What is org
    Chris> supposed to be?  Where it is headed? I thought I got an
    Chris> outliner with dates-capabilities.  No it's almost a full
    Chris> fledged publishing platform...

Someone mentioned that org-mode is a bit like perl. I agree. Way back,
someone described perl as "the Swiss army chainsaw of UNIX
programming". Over the last 12 months, I think org mode has evolved into
something akin to the "Swiss army JCB of organisational software" (to
stretch a metaphor until it screams for mercy!).

The 3.14 manual (May 2005 ?) says:

    Org-mode is a mode for keeping notes, maintaining ToDo lists, and
    doing project planning with a fast and effective plain-text system.

    Org-mode develops organizational tasks around NOTES files that
    contain information about projects as plain text.  ...... Org-mode
    supports ToDo items, deadlines, time stamps, and scheduling. 

The latest manual (up to 85 pages from 42!) makes the same claim.

So I think the basic design model is clear. Yes, it has had a massive
amount of development over the last year - the tags functionality (which
has its own section in the manual) was the function that made org-mode
indispensable to me, and the other major addition was the publishing
function (which I have never used, but clearly there are some users
who have found this the indispensable part of org-mode). However, the
underlying goals of maintaining TODO lists with a fast plain-text system
remains unchanged.

    Chris> I think you did a terrific job so far.  

And like others, I feel I don't say this often enough. Carsten is a real
star - I assume he has a day job where he has to do work to earn his
keep :-) but the level of support is astounding. I have had a few major
issues in the last year where I have been sending files and emails back
and forth to Carsten during the day, and he has fixed the problem within
a few hours. 

    Chris> Maybe you have to make some fundamental decisions here...

I disagree with this. As far as I can see, the development has been very
much in accordance with the original design criteria. Yes, it is now
much more sophisticated, and it allows you to do the same thing in many
different ways. This to me is a benefit of org-mode - I keep learning
new things I can do.  For example, the link with diary/calendar mode is
awesome - and this week I learned that I can change the dates of
Deadlines etc in the Agenda buffer using the Shift-Cursor keys, which
has saved a whole lot of tabbing to the org-mode buffer to change each
date, then 'Ctrl-X B'ing back! Very slick.

I implement a complete GTD system using org-mode, which I use
intensively - it runs my working and home life. At present I have 198
Work projects (using David Allen's definition of a project), and around
100 Home projects which I am managing with org-mode plus the 43 physical
folders and project files. If I ever feel that it is going in the wrong
direction, I will make my feelings known, as I depend on it.  

However, at the moment, I do not think Carsten needs to make any
fundamental decisions, as development appears to be continuing on the
right track.


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