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[O] Scatter-gather idea

From: Bob Newell
Subject: [O] Scatter-gather idea
Date: Sat, 01 Apr 2017 07:27:41 -1000
User-agent: Gnus/5.130014 (Ma Gnus v0.14) Emacs/25.1 (gnu/linux)

Org-mode has nearly everything that other outlining tools have, and
generally much, much more. But one thing that is missing (and
there's been sporadic traffic about this) is convenient
scatter-gather. BrainStorm WFO has this; it's not like I'm going to
start using it as an alternative, but such a feature might be nice in

The Emacs way is to write it yourself, and I'm thinking about that. But
I wanted to try out the concept and see if it's of interest, or for that
matter, more trouble than it's worth.

You can do something like this on the Agenda screen, but that's not a
general solution at all. What about an "ordinary" org mode file. So
here's the flow I envision.

1. You "mark" a series of headline entries with, say,
   'org-sg-mark'. Perhaps it would look like this when marked:
   ** ! interesting headline

   Yes, this disturbs the existing text. But the marking has to be
   somehow visual.

2. You give a command like 'org-sg-gather' and the marked headlines are
   gathered up, moved (just like archiving) to a file (for which you're
   prompted) or maybe, optionally to the top or bottom of the current
   buffer. The marks are then cleared.

3. 'org-sg-clear' clears a single mark; 'org-sg-clear-all' clears them all.

Potential problems:

1. As mentioned, text is disturbed at least temporarily.

2. Incomplete operation sequences leave marks in place, when they might
   be useless.

3. If the gathered headlines are at different levels, the resulting
   gathered outline will not be sensible and will require manual fixing.

Comments welcome. This doesn't look especially difficult to code, but
does it make sense and is it of any use?

Bob Newell
Honolulu, Hawai`i
* Via Gnus/BBDB/Org/Emacs/Linux *

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