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From: Christian Moe <mail@christianmoe.com>
To: Tom Gillespie <tgbugs@gmail.com>
Cc: org-mode-email <emacs-orgmode@gnu.org>, TEC <tecosaur@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Tables: missing multi-col/row syntax
Date: Wed, 04 Nov 2020 10:23:50 +0100
Message-ID: <877dr1scex.fsf@christianmoe.com> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <CA+G3_PMP+mm6oq+BMqC++LYGJCZhgV7bUwvybhQc54_hXk--OA@mail.gmail.com>


+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.
>>


  parent reply	other threads:[~2020-11-04  9:27 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 [this message]
2020-11-04  9:28     ` TEC
2020-11-03 10:08 ` David Rogers
2020-11-03 10:35   ` TEC
2020-11-04  2:45     ` David Rogers

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