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Re: [Orgmode] org-agenda-list-stuck-projects and nested projects

From: Carsten Dominik
Subject: Re: [Orgmode] org-agenda-list-stuck-projects and nested projects
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2008 10:06:03 -0700

Hi Ross,

The "stuck projects" view depends on the hypothesis that you can
clearly identify what a "project means".  In the default setup, projects
are assumed to have LEVEL=2 and should not be DONE.

In the hierarchy you are using, it seems that any entry can be called a
"projects", and that you do have projects within projects. So the idea that you need to avoid skipping subtrees and limit yourself to skipping entries only
is the right approach.

However, what you are really asking for is to look only at direct children,
and in this case is is better to write a special skip function:

(defun org-skip-unless-child-todo ()
  (let ((subtree-end (save-excursion (org-end-of-subtree t)))
        (entry-end (save-excursion (or (outline-next-heading) (point-max)))))
    (if (re-search-forward
         (concat "^" (regexp-quote
                      (make-string (1+ level) ?*))
                 "[ \t]+"
                 (mapconcat 'identity org-not-done-keywords "\\|")
         subtree-end t)
        ;; skip this entry by returning the entry-end position
      ;; do not skip this entry by returning nil

As you can see, this function first determines the end of the subtree
(for the search) and the end of the entry positions.  Then it creates
a special regular expression that will only match headlines that are
direct children of the current level.  During a tags search, the
"level" variable contains the current level (careful, when you are
using org-odd-levels-only, it contains the reduced level...).
So the special regexp contains one star more that the current, and then
any TODO keyword.

If there is a TODO child, the function returns the position at the end of
entry, to continue search from there.

If there is no mach, it returns nil, meaning that this entry should
*not* be skipped.

The agenda custom command would look like this:

(("0" "Special Stuck" tags "LEVEL>0/-DONE-TODO"
  ((org-agenda-skip-function 'org-skip-unless-child-todo)))

So we select entries that are LEVEL>0, i.e. all entries, but we require
that these entries are not TODO entries.  OK, these are the candidate
projects.  And the we skip them when they have a direct TODO child.


- Carsten

On Jul 7, 2008, at 3:21 PM, Ross Patterson wrote:

One of the things I love about org-mode is that it's generally hierarchy agnostic which is to say it doesn't care what level or depth entries are with regards to the functionality org-mode provides with entries (TODOs,
Dates and times, tags, etc.).

Many of the projects I'd like to manage with org-mode are fairly large
and as such I'd like to make use of org-mode's heirarchical agnosticism
to factor my projects into nested projects arbitrary depth.  This is
supported very well by the rest of org-mode, just not the stuck projects
agenda view.

I find that view very valuable, but if I have a project with lots of
branches that can move in parallel and one of those branches is stuck
but another isn't stuck, then the stuck projects report doesn't reflect
this assuming that if one branch isn't stuck then the project isn't
stuck.  Since the project is very large, that means I have to inspect
the whole tree to figure out what might be stuck.  The only workaround
with the current implementation is that anytime I have a
project/sub-project/branch lower than LEVEL=2 that I need to be able to review, then I have to break it out to a LEVEL=2 headline. This creates a negative feedback which will probably result in me not using the stuck
projects view and probably insufficiently reviewing my projects.

What I'd like is an agenda view like the stuck projects view but rather than omitting any project that has any active TODO's all the way up the hierarchy, it will only omit headlines that have active TODO's among its
immediate children.

If I start with a test.org file like so:

   * Testing
   ** Stuck Project at Level 2
   *** Sub-project at Level 3
   **** DONE bar
   *** Sub-project 2 at Level 3

And customize org-stuck-projects to remove the LEVEL=2 restriction like

   (setq org-stuck-projects '("/-DONE" ("TODO") nil ""))

And finally customize the org-tags-match-list-sublevels to allow tags
matching to descend.

Then if I open test.org and do "C-c a < #" I get:

   List of stuck projects:
     test:       .Stuck Project at Level 2
     test:       ..Sub-project at Level 3
     test:       ..Sub-project 2 at Level 3

Then if I re-activate the bar heading by putting it in the TODO state:

   * Testing
   ** Stuck Project at Level 2
   *** Sub-project at Level 3
   **** TODO bar
   *** Sub-project 2 at Level 3

I get an empty list:

   List of stuck projects:

I'd like a list with the sub-heading that is still stuck:

   List of stuck projects:
     test:       .Stuck Project at Level 2
     test:       ..Sub-project 2 at Level 3

I tried modifying the org-agenda-list-stuck-projects function by
implementing an org-agenda-skip-function that only skips the heading
and not the whole subtree:

   (defun org-agenda-skip-entry-when-regexp-matches ()
"Checks if the current entry contains match for `org-agenda- skip-regexp'.
   If yes, it returns the end position of this entry, causing agenda
   commands to skip this entry.  This is a function that can be put
   into `org-agenda-skip-function' for the duration of a command."
     (org-agenda-skip-if nil '(regexp org-agenda-skip-regexp)))

Then I replaced the org-agenda-skip-function set in
org-agenda-list-stuck-projects by replacing:

(let* ((org-agenda-skip-function 'org-agenda-skip-subtree-when- regexp-matches)


(let* ((org-agenda-skip-function 'org-agenda-skip-entry-when-regexp- matches)

But that gets me:

   List of stuck projects:
     test:       .Stuck Project at Level 2
     test:       ..Sub-project at Level 3
     test:       ...TODO bar
     test:       ..Sub-project 2 at Level 3

I'm new to the internals of org-mode.  Can anyone help me figure out
what's wrong with my attempted solution here?


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