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[O] templating with Org?

From: Eric Abrahamsen
Subject: [O] templating with Org?
Date: Sat, 08 Aug 2015 12:48:01 +0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.130014 (Ma Gnus v0.14) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Exporting org files and subtrees is awfully flexible, given all the
possible customizations, but for a long while I've occasionally felt the
need to come at the "export" process from the other direction: instead
of customizing the export appearance of a series of headings, instead
starting with a common block of export text, and interpolating values
from the headings into that text -- ie, templating.

I've felt this need off and on for a couple of years, most recently when
organizing a small literary festival. I really need to keep all the
information about the events in a single place, otherwise I know that
information will go stale right away. But I need the information in a
series of such wildly-varying formats that I can't imagine setting up
(and switching between) export filters in a way that wouldn't make me
cry. Not to mention that the different "export" use-cases all have their
own per-heading boilerplate text, and there's no way I'm going to repeat
all that different boilerplate under each heading.

Obviously there's many ways this could be done. I could somehow hijack
the export process -- in many cases it would be nice too make use of the
skeleton document structures that export provides.

Or maybe dynamic blocks? I've never used them before. Or maybe just a
plain old `org-map-entries', which reads the template text from an
external file and then steals some of the macro expansion functions to
fill out the values.

Has anyone wanted to do this before? Has anyone actually done it? Any
thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated!


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