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From: TEC <tecosaur@gmail.com>
To: org-mode-email <emacs-orgmode@gnu.org>
Subject: Re: Tables: missing multi-col/row syntax
Date: Wed, 04 Nov 2020 17:28:58 +0800
Message-ID: <874km5saes.fsf@gmail.com> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <877dr1scex.fsf@christianmoe.com>


I think we may be able get something promising by merging your
(Christian + Tom) ideas and David's. What if we have have a
#+TBLCELLMERGE key which acts as you describe, and /just using the
current table syntax/ have something like this (using the example 
from
my first email)

| a | b  | c |
|---+----+---|
| hi    || a |
| two x || . |
| three || b |
|  c | - | . |
#+TBLCELLMERGE: @2$1..@4$2

This is /currently/ a valid Org table, which /currently/ 
autoformats to:
| a     | b | c |
|-------+---+---|
| hi    |   | a |
| two x |   | . |
| three |   | b |
| c     | - | . |

So with an autoformatting change + an overlay, perhaps we can do 
this
nicely without any syntax changes 😃.

Thoughts?

Christian Moe <mail@christianmoe.com> writes:

> +1 for enabling table-cell merges in export. I imagine this 
> would be a
> tricky job for developers, but it would relieve me as a user of 
> much
> repeated fiddling with exported drafts.
>
> +1 for doing it without adding clutter to the table syntax, but
> specifying merges on a separate line like formulas, like Tom's
>
>   #+TBLCELLMERGE: @2..3$1
>
> (amended here to use the established '..' rather than hyphen for 
> range)
>
> Though if we do add such a line, we might also think of a more 
> general
> solution that could over time be extended with additional 
> formatting
> options, e.g. something like
>
>   #+TBLSTYLE: @2..3$1='(:merge t)::@4$1='(:bgcolor yellow :color 
>   red)
>
> But obviously that could open a can of worms, aka potentially 
> endless
> feature requests requiring different implementations for each 
> backend.
>
> Yours,
> Christian
>
>
>
> Tom Gillespie writes:
>
>> Any support for something like this would need to retain 
>> backward
>> compatibility as well to avoid older versions reformatting the 
>> tables
>> due to e.g. the presence of a double pipe. I also think that 
>> extending
>> the table syntax in ways that makes it more complex than it 
>> already
>> is, will be a non-starter. Thus, an alternate but more likely 
>> approach
>> would be to allow specification of what cells to merge outside 
>> the
>> table as is done for formulas. It is not elegant, but it would 
>> be a
>> layer on top of existing syntax, and it would allow the 
>> fundamental
>> structure of the table to remain the same -- rows of cells. For
>> example #+TBLCELLMERGE: @2-3$1 or something like that. 
>> Thoughts?
>> Tom
>>
>> On Mon, Nov 2, 2020 at 1:37 PM TEC <tecosaur@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> Hi all,
>>>
>>> This is a pretty major 'feature request', but I think also an
>>> important
>>> one.
>>>
>>> When developing large tables, it can often be /necessary/ to 
>>> start
>>> using
>>> multi-column/row cells for clarity, and sensible exporting
>>> results.
>>>
>>> As far as I am aware, in Org does not currently have any
>>> multi-col/row
>>> syntax. The only viable method seems to be re-implementing the
>>> table
>>> using export blocks in every backend you may want to export to 
>>> (in
>>> my
>>> case, usually TeX + HTML). This is clumsy, difficult to work 
>>> with,
>>> and
>>> could be avoided should org gain support for multi-col/row 
>>> syntax.
>>>
>>> I appreciate that this would constitute a major change both 
>>> the
>>> Org's
>>> syntax and the codebase, but I believe such a change is 
>>> warranted
>>> by the
>>> advantages it would provide.
>>>
>>> Both how this can be implemented while minimising/eliminating 
>>> the
>>> chance
>>> of breaking well-formed current table elements, and what 
>>> syntax
>>> may be
>>> both acceptable and seem sensible to use.
>>>
>>> I would anticipate such a feature working by designating two
>>> characters
>>> to indicate "add row" and "add column". For example "|" and 
>>> "-".
>>> These
>>> characters would take affect when /immediately following/ (no
>>> space) a
>>> cell separator ("|"), and designate the dimensions of the top
>>> right cell.
>>>
>>> Example:
>>> | a | b | c |
>>> |---+---+---|
>>> | a | - | | |
>>> | - | b | . |
>>> | . | | | c |
>>>
>>> Would be interpreted just as any current table is.
>>>
>>> However,
>>>
>>> | hello | there | you  |
>>> |-------+-------+------|
>>> || two column   | cell |
>>>
>>> Contains a 2x1 cell.
>>>
>>> | a little | test |
>>> |----------+------|
>>> |- hello   | hi   |
>>> | two row  | you  |
>>>
>>> Contains a 1x2 cell. In a more complex example:
>>>
>>> | a | b | c |
>>> |---+---+---|
>>> ||-- hi | a |
>>> | two x | . |
>>> | three | b |
>>> | c | - | . |
>>>
>>> Contains a 2x3 cell.
>>>
>>> This is just the first syntax that comes to mind, but 
>>> hopefully
>>> the
>>> general form of this idea seems viable.
>>>
>>> All the best,
>>>
>>> Timothy.
>>>



  reply	other threads:[~2020-11-04 10:07 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 8+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2020-11-02 18:14 TEC
2020-11-02 19:45 ` Tom Gillespie
2020-11-02 19:46   ` TEC
2020-11-04  9:23   ` Christian Moe
2020-11-04  9:28     ` TEC [this message]
2020-11-03 10:08 ` David Rogers
2020-11-03 10:35   ` TEC
2020-11-04  2:45     ` David Rogers

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