Blogging with Org mode—update!

A short experience report about blogging with Org mode.

Since changing my blog to use Emacs' Org mode rather than Jekyll one month ago I've written four posts. (This will be the fifth.) In comparison, through all of 2016 I managed seven posts; and only five in all of 2015. I consider this increase is a minor success, though whether it is because it's so much easier to blog now, or whether I've just got more to say I don't know. So let's examine recent posts.

The first post after the switch is the one referenced above describing the switch. All the material came from the switch itself, but it also includes lots of code examples for different languages that are very easy to create / maintain with Org mode.

The next post is my call for Electoral Reform. It has a massive table in it, which was easy to create & manipulate with Org mode—but there is no way I would have even attempted that with Markdown / Jekyll.

The N Queens post has some graphics generated with ditaa—from the ASCII-art embedded in the source of the post. I could perhaps have created the graphics separately, but it's much more likely that I would not create the post, or create it without the graphics. I think the post is richer for the graphics. It also has lots of code examples, and again Org shines here.

The Potter Coding Dojo post is another one full of code examples, but it also contains a local table of contents, auto-generated by Org mode. It also uses footnotes, which you don't get for free with Markdown/Jekyll. Other Org features that enhances this post are tables and use of \(\rm\LaTeX{}\) formulas.

I've discovered that I much prefer initiating the publishing step from within Emacs rather than with the build.el script, so yesterday I changed to use directory-local variables to set the publishing project for my blog. This also improves the syntax highlighting of code examples. It appears that when running in script mode code examples are syntax-highlighted as when Emacs runs in a terminal, and this is much inferior to when Emacs runs as a GUI.

I conclude that switching to Org mode has been an enabler for my blogging, and I'm happy with the switch.

Date: 2 July 2017

Author: Stig Brautaset