Category Archives: org

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More MobileOrg hacking on the Android

I’ve gotten IBM’s permission to contribute my changes back to the MobileOrg project, yay! (Disclaimer: I’m doing this as myself and not as an employee of IBM, and all the usual disclaimers apply.) Code and issue-tracking at https://github.com/sachac/mobileorg-android.

Before and after:

editbefore[1] image

There are still bugs to work out, but whee!

New note-taking workflow with Emacs Org-mode

The new workflow looks like it works better for me. Or rather, it’s an old workflow with new tools. Now, instead of using Windows Live Writer or ScribeFire to post my notes directly to my blog, I’m back to using M-x remember and Emacs, keeping a superset of my notes in text files and publishing selected parts of it.

  • The new workflow
    • M-x remember saves quick notes into a large text file (~/personal/organizer.org), possibly with tags, with diagrams inserted later.
    • I regularly review and file items into the appropriate sections of ~/personal/outline.org.
    • I post selected items to my blog using C-u M-x org2blog-post-subtree, scheduling them by adding a timestamp or using the C-c C-s (org-schedule) command.

    I sometimes use Microsoft OneNote on my new tablet to take notes during meetings, but it’s easy enough to convert my handwriting to text and paste it into my Org-mode file. I still have to think of a better way to refer to images while keeping my file manageable, but a filename is probably okay.

  • A worked example

    This is being composed in a M-x remember window. (Well, remember is bound to C-c r on my system, so it’s easy to invoke).

    After I finish braindumping, I’ll use C-c C-c to save it somewhere.

    I may schedule the post immediately (C-c s (org-schedule) and then C-u M-x org2blog-post-subtree), or tag it for later review. (:toblog: – ready to go, but not scheduled? :rough: – needs more thinking?)

    When I review the items, I’ll copy this into the Geek – Emacs section of my outline.org.

    It feels nice having my notes in plain text, and being able to organize it in more than just chronological order…

  • The history

    From 2001 to about 2006, I kept an Emacs Planner wiki with all of my notes in it. Emacs Remember let me write notes that were automatically hyperlinked to whatever I was looking at, and I added code to Planner that made it easy for me to file the notes both chronologically and topically. Planner rocked. I loved being able to easily hyperlink between topics, and the wiki structure kept pages a mostly manageable size. (My public Planner files are still on the Net, but I need to regenerate the index or enable directory lists so that they’re usable.)

    When I moved to WordPress as a blogging platform in order to make it easier for people to leave comments, I hacked around with RSS to import my posts from Planner into WordPress (ex: http://sachachua.com/blog/2002/). Moving to WordPress meant a change in my workflow. I now had two places to store my notes: Planner and my blog.

    I tried Emacs Org because I liked the way it organized information. In Planner, we’d been struggling with elegant ways to manage tasks and notes that needed to be accessed in multiple contexts. The approach we had taken in Planner was to make copies of the information, but Org had a cleaner way to do it using different views. It was intriguing.

    When I started working at IBM, however, my information workflow diverged. I shifted to using a web-based to-do list and Lotus Notes, posting on an internal blog and an external one, and managing multiple sources and repositories of information.

    I wanted to go back to keeping my notes in plain text, encrypted if necessary, and to have a place where I could keep notes that might not be publishable. I still had to manage multiple computers, but synchronizing systems like Dropbox or SpiderOak got rid of some of the hassles I’d encountered with git. When I found out about org2blog thanks to a test link from punchagan, I modified the code to work with subtrees instead of new buffers, and that solved the blog publishing part of it.

Emacs Org mode and publishing a weekly review

2010-09-11 Sat 08:00

I like using Emacs Org-mode to organize my notes. One of the things it makes it easy to do is to keep a weekly review. I used to switch between using Windows Live Writer and using Emacs Org to draft the post, but with org2blog, I’ve been using Org more and more. Here’s how I use it.

At the beginning of my ~/personal/organizer.org, I have a headline for * Weekly review. Underneath it is a template that makes it easy for me to review my current projects and make sure that I’ve got next actions for each of them. Below that is a reverse-chronological list of weekly reviews, with the most recent weekly review first. This allows me to easily review my weekly priorities and copy that into a new entry. Here’s what the first part of my Org file looks like (minus the spaces at the beginning of the line)

* Weekly review
** Template
*** Plans for next week
**** Work
- [ ] *Support Classroom to Client:*
- [ ] *Build Connections Toolkit:*
- [ ] *Organize Idea Labs:*
- [ ] *Build career:*
**** Relationships
- [ ] *Plan Wedding:*
**** Life
- [ ] *Sew dress:*
- [ ] *Improve productivity:*
** Week ending September 12, 2010
*** From last week's plans
**** Work
- [X] *Classroom to Client:* Create community and structure online resoruces
- [X] *Connections Toolkit:* Build Activities reporter
- [X] *Classroom to Client:* Format Idea Lab reference presentation
- [X] *Idea Labs:* Assist with planning, process RSVPs
- [X] *Career:* Set up Ruby on Rails
- Helped Darrel Rader with blog feed
- Helped Sunaina with Notes e-mail conversion
- Finalized Idea Lab reference
- Had great conversation with Boz, Rooney, Kieran, etc. about culture and sharing
- Followed up on expertise location, sent draft report
- Collected interesting Lotus Connections practices into a presentation
- Put together match-up slide for IBM acquisitions
**** Relationships
- [X] *Wedding:* Plan NYC trip
**** Life
- [ ] *Sew dress:* Transfer dots and mark stitching lines
- [X] *Chair:* Paint and assemble chair
- [X] *Productivity:* Tweak GTD process - use Org for my weekly review/project template
- [X] *Productivity:* Organize files
- Added weekly lifestream archive
**** Plans for next week
***** Work
- [ ] *Support Classroom to Client:* Collect lessons learned and create new material
- [ ] *Build Connections Toolkit:* Make GUI
- [ ] *Organize Idea Labs:* Update invitation template
- [ ] *Build career:* Go through Ruby on Rails tutorials
- [ ] *Build career:* Prototype Drupal site and learn about new practices along the way
- [ ] *Build career:* Mentor people
***** Relationships
- [ ] *Plan wedding:* Plan BBQ reception
- [ ] *Plan wedding:* Make checklist and timeline for cleaning up, etc.
***** Life
- [ ] *Sew dress:* Machine-baste pieces together
- [ ] *Improve productivity:* File inbox items from my Org file

Most of the time, I leave the template section collapsed, and the “Plans from last week” expanded. Throughout the week, I cross items off and add quick notes about other accomplishments. When I reach the next week, I create a new entry, move the “Plans for next week” subtree and rename it “From last week’s plans”. When I do my weekly review (or throughout the week, as I notice new items), I create a “Plans for next week” section and fill it in. The editing can easily be automated, but I’ll tinker with it a bit first before writing code.

This approach means duplicate information in my task list. It would be interesting to use TODO items instead of list items for tracking my weekly priorities, with possible integration with my web-based task list through org-toodledo. However, I’d need to write code to make the TODO items publish as neatly as this list gets published using org2blog, and I don’t feel like going into that yet.

Anyway, that’s how I’m currently doing it. =)

Org-toodledo

I finally got around to asking my manager for permission to contribute org-toodledo as open source. Here it is. Enjoy!

;;; org-toodledo.el - Toodledo integration for Emacs Org mode
;; (c) 2010 Sacha Chua ([email protected])
;;
;; This file is not part of GNU Emacs.

;; This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under
;; the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free
;; Software Foundation; either version 2, or (at your option) any later
;; version.
;;
;; This is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT
;; ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or
;; FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the GNU General Public License
;; for more details.
;;
;; You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
;; along with GNU Emacs; see the file COPYING.  If not, write to the
;; Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston,
;; MA 02111-1307, USA.

;; How to use:
;; 1. Customize org-toodledo-userid and org-toodledo-password
;; 2. Open a blank org file.
;; 3. Call org-toodledo-initialize-org
;; Call org-toodledo-update to bring in new/updated tasks (skips locally modified tasks newer than updated)
;; Call org-toodledo-sync-task to create or update the current task
;; Call org-toodledo-delete-current-task to delete the current task
;;
;; Doesn't do lots of error trapping. Might be a good idea to version-control your Org file.
;;
;; TOODLEDO ATTRIBUTES and how they are bi-directionally handled
;; Context: Handled by tags (ex:   :@work:  :@errands:)
;;   - will create new contexts if necessary
;; Task status: Mapped to TODO state.
;;   See org-toodledo-status-to-string and org-toodledo-parse-current-task for the mapping
;;   You will probably want something like this in your ~/.emacs:
;; (setq org-todo-keywords
;;      '((sequence
;;         "TODO(t)"  ; next action
;;         "PLAN(-)"
;;         "STARTED(s)"
;;         "WAITING(w@/!)"
;;         "POSTPONED(p)" "SOMEDAY(s@/!)" "|" "DONE(x!)" "CANCELLED(c@)")
;;      (type "DELEGATED(d@!)" "DONE(x)")))
;; Length: Mapped to effort
;; Priority: Mapped to [#A], [#B], or [#C]. (TODO: Change this to five levels of priority to match Toodledo)
;; Start date: Mapped to "SCHEDULED"
;; Due date: Mapped to "DEADLINE"
;; Tags: Mapped to tags
;; Note: Mapped to todo text. May get confused by asterisks, so don't use any starting asterisks in your body text.
;;   (or anything that looks like an Org headline).
;; Completed: Mapped to DONE todo state.
;;
;; TODO:
;; - [ ] Double-check new/changed/deleted task updating, still seems buggy
;; - [ ] Test, test, test - maybe make test harness?
;; - [ ] Move status<->string mapping to a variable - lookups are better than logic
;; - [ ] Make sure sync timestamps aren't getting updated more often than needed
;; - [ ] Suggest some kind of hook to make it easier to mark a task as locally modified

(require 'org)
(require 'w3m)
(require 'xml)
(defcustom org-toodledo-userid ""
  "UserID from Toodledo: http://www.toodledo.com/info/api_doc.php"
  :group 'org-toodledo
  :type 'string)

(defcustom org-toodledo-password ""
  "Password for Toodledo."
  :group 'org-toodledo
  :type 'string)

(defvar org-toodledo-token-expiry nil "Expiry time for authentication token.")
(defvar org-toodledo-token nil "Authentication token.")
(defvar org-toodledo-key nil "Authentication key.")

(require 'url)
(require 'url-http)

(defun org-toodledo-initialize-org ()
  "Replace buffer contents with Toodledo tasks."
  (interactive)
  (delete-region (point-min) (point-max))
  (let ((account-info (org-toodledo-get-account-info))
        (server-info (org-toodledo-get-server-info))
        (tasks (org-toodledo-get-tasks '(("notcomp" . "1")))))
    (insert "* Toodledo\n"
            ":PROPERTIES:\n"
            ":Last-modified: " (cdr (assoc "lastaddedit" account-info)) "\n"
            ":Last-deleted: " (cdr (assoc "lastdelete" account-info)) "\n"
            ":Last-sync: " (cdr (assoc "unixtime" server-info)) "\n"
            ":END:\n")
    (insert (mapconcat 'org-toodledo-task-to-string tasks "\n"))))

(defun org-toodledo-get-token ()
  "Retrieve authentication token valid for four hours."
  (if (and org-toodledo-token
           org-toodledo-token-expiry
           (time-less-p (current-time) org-toodledo-token-expiry))
      org-toodledo-token
    ;; Else retrieve a new token
    (let ((response
            (with-current-buffer
                (url-retrieve-synchronously
                 (concat "http://api.toodledo.com/api.php?method=getToken;userid="
                         org-toodledo-userid))
              (xml-parse-region (point-min) (point-max)))))
      (if (equal (car (car response)) 'error)
          (progn
            (setq org-toodledo-token nil
                  org-toodledo-key nil
                  org-toodledo-token-expiry nil)
            (error "Could not log in to Toodledo: %s" (elt (car response) 2)))
        (setq org-toodledo-token
              (elt (car response) 2))
        (setq org-toodledo-key (org-toodledo-key)
              ;; Set the expiry time
              org-toodledo-token-expiry
              (seconds-to-time
               (+ (time-to-seconds (current-time))
                  (* 60 60 4)))))   ;; four hours
      org-toodledo-token)))

(defun org-toodledo-key ()
  "Return authentication key used for each request."
  (if (and org-toodledo-token
           org-toodledo-token-expiry
           (time-less-p (current-time) org-toodledo-token-expiry)
           org-toodledo-key)
      org-toodledo-key
    (setq org-toodledo-key
          (md5 (concat (md5 org-toodledo-password)
                       org-toodledo-token
                       org-toodledo-userid)))))

(defun org-toodledo-get-url (method-name &optional params)
  "Return URL for METHOD-NAME and PARAMS."
  (org-toodledo-get-token)
  (concat "http://api.toodledo.com/api.php?method="
          (w3m-url-encode-string method-name)
          ";key=" (org-toodledo-key)
          (if params
              (concat
               ";"
               (mapconcat (lambda (x)
                            (concat
                             (w3m-url-encode-string (car x)) "="
                             (w3m-url-encode-string (cdr x))))
                          params
                          ";"))
            "")))

(defun org-toodledo-call-method (method-name &optional params)
  "Call METHOD-NAME with PARAMS and return the parsed XML."
  (setq params (cons (cons "unix" "1") params))
  (with-current-buffer
      (url-retrieve-synchronously
       (org-toodledo-get-url method-name params))
    (xml-parse-region (point-min) (point-max))))

(defmacro org-toodledo-defun (function-name api-name description)
  `(defun ,function-name (params)
     ,description
     (org-toodledo-call-method ,api-name params)))

(defun org-toodledo-get-server-info ()
  "Return server information."
  (org-toodledo-convert-xml-result-to-alist
    (car (org-toodledo-call-method "getServerInfo"))))

(defun org-toodledo-get-account-info ()
  "Return server information."
  (org-toodledo-convert-xml-result-to-alist
   (car (org-toodledo-call-method "getAccountInfo"))))

(org-toodledo-defun org-toodledo-add-task "addTask" "Add task with PARAMS.")
(org-toodledo-defun org-toodledo-edit-task "editTask" "Edit task with PARAMS.")
(org-toodledo-defun org-toodledo-delete-task "deleteTask" "Delete task with PARAMS.")

;; (setq temp (org-toodledo-get-tasks '(("notcomp" . "1"))))
;; (setq server-info (org-toodledo-get-server-info))
;; (setq account-info (org-toodledo-get-account-info))
(defun org-toodledo-convert-xml-result-to-alist (info)
  "Convert INFO to an alist."
  (delq nil
        (mapcar
         (lambda (item)
           (if (listp item)
               (cons (symbol-name (car item)) (elt item 2))))
         (xml-node-children (delete "\n\t" info)))))

(defun org-toodledo-get-tasks (&optional params)
  "Retrieve tasks using PARAMS.
Return a list of task alists."
  (mapcar
   'org-toodledo-convert-xml-result-to-alist
   (xml-get-children
    (car (org-toodledo-call-method "getTasks" params))
    'task)))

(defun org-toodledo-get-deleted (&optional params)
  "Retrieve deleted tasks using PARAMS.
Return a list of task alists."
  (mapcar
   'org-toodledo-convert-xml-result-to-alist
   (xml-get-children
    (car (org-toodledo-call-method "getDeleted" params))
    'task)))

(defun org-toodledo-entry-note ()
  "Extract the note for this entry."
  (save-excursion
    (org-back-to-heading)
    (when (looking-at org-complex-heading-regexp)
      (goto-char (match-end 0))
      (let ((text (buffer-substring-no-properties
                   (point)
                   (if (re-search-forward org-complex-heading-regexp nil t)
                       (match-beginning 0)
                     (org-end-of-subtree)))))
        (with-temp-buffer
          (insert text)
          (goto-char (point-min))
          (when (re-search-forward
                 (concat "\\<"
                         (regexp-quote org-deadline-string) " +<[^>\n]+>[ \t]*") nil t)
            (replace-match ""))
          (goto-char (point-min))
          (when (re-search-forward
                 (concat "\\<"
                         (regexp-quote org-scheduled-string) " +<[^>\n]+>[ \t]*") nil t)
            (replace-match ""))
          (goto-char (point-min))
          (while (re-search-forward "\n\n+" nil t)
            (replace-match "\n"))
          (org-export-remove-or-extract-drawers org-drawers nil nil)
          (buffer-substring-no-properties (point-min)
                                          (point-max)))))))

(defun org-toodledo-parse-current-task ()
  "Extract the status and Toodledo ID of the current task."
  (save-excursion
    (org-back-to-heading t)
    (when (and (looking-at org-complex-heading-regexp)
               (match-string 2)) ;; TODO
      (let* (info
             (status (match-string-no-properties 2))
             (priority (match-string-no-properties 3))
             (title (match-string-no-properties 4))
             (tags (match-string-no-properties 5))
             (id (org-entry-get (point) "Toodledo-ID"))
             (contexts (org-toodledo-get-contexts))
             context)
        ;; (add-to-list 'info (cons "title" (match-string-no-properties 1)))
        (if id (add-to-list 'info (cons "id" id)))
        (when tags
          (setq tags
              (delq nil
                    (mapcar
                     (lambda (tag)
                       (if (> (length tag) 0)
                           (if (string-match (org-re "@\\([[:alnum:]_]+\\)") tag)
                               (progn
                                 ;; Not recognized context
                                 (if (null (assoc (match-string 1 tag) contexts))
                                     ;; Create it if it does not yet exist
                                     (let ((result
                                            (org-toodledo-call-method
                                             "addContext"
                                             (list (cons "title" (match-string 1 tag))))))
                                       (if (eq (caar result) 'added)
                                           (setq org-toodledo-contexts
                                                 (cons (cons (match-string 1 tag)
                                                             (elt (car result) 2))
                                                       org-toodledo-contexts)
                                                 contexts org-toodledo-contexts))))
                                   ;; Get the ID of the context
                                 (setq context
                                       (cdr (assoc (match-string 1 tag) contexts)))
                                 nil)
                             tag)))
                     (split-string tags ":")))))
        (setq info
              (list
               (cons "id" id)
               (cons "title" title)
               (cons "length" (org-entry-get (point) "Effort"))
               (cons "context" context) 
               (cons "tag" (mapconcat 'identity tags " "))
               (cons "completed" (if (equal status "DONE") "1" "0"))
               (cons "status"
                     (cond 
                      ((equal status "STARTED") "2")
                      ((equal status "DELEGATED") "4")
                      ((equal status "SOMEDAY") "8")
                      ((equal status "CANCELLED") "9")
                      ((equal status "PLAN") "3")
                      ((equal status "WAITING") "5")                      
                      ((equal status "TODO") "1")))
               (cons "priority"
                     (cond
                      ((equal priority "[#A]") "2")
                      ((equal priority "[#B]") "1")
                      ((equal priority "[#C]") "0")))
               (cons "note"
                     (org-toodledo-entry-note))))
        (when (org-entry-get nil "DEADLINE")
          (setq info (cons (cons "duedate"
                                 (substring (org-entry-get nil "DEADLINE")
                                            0 10)) info)))
        (when (org-entry-get nil "SCHEDULED")
          (setq info (cons (cons "startdate"
                                 (substring (org-entry-get nil "SCHEDULED")
                                            0 10)) info)))
        info))))

(defun org-toodledo-sync ()
  "Synchronize all tasks."
  ;; Retrieve all tasks
  ;; For each task in the current buffer
  ;;   Synchronize an existing task that has changed
   (let ((regexp (concat "^\\*+[ \t]+\\(" org-todo-regexp "\\)")))
    (goto-char (point-min))
    (while (re-search-forward regexp nil t)
      (org-toodledo-sync-task))))

(defun org-toodledo-update ()
  "Insert new tasks and update previous tasks."
  (interactive)
  (let* ((server-info (org-toodledo-get-server-info))
         (account-info (org-toodledo-get-account-info))
         (changed (org-toodledo-account-changed account-info))
         (last-deleted (string-to-number (or (org-entry-get-with-inheritance "Last-deleted") "0")))
         (last-modified (string-to-number (or (org-entry-get-with-inheritance "Last-modified") "0")))
         (last-update (string-to-number (or (org-entry-get-with-inheritance "Last-sync") "0")))
         processed)
    ;; If tasks have been deleted or modified, then the Toodledo API
    ;; will give us the timestamps. We need to find out which tasks
    ;; have been deleted or modified since the last time we retrieved
    ;; the list of tasks that have been deleted or modified. We store
    ;; the last times in the properties of the root element.
    
    (if (and (assoc "deleted" changed) ;; Tasks have been deleted
             (>= (string-to-number (cdr (assoc "deleted" changed))) last-deleted))
        (setq processed
              (append (org-toodledo-process-deleted-tasks
                       last-deleted)
                       processed)))
    (if (and (assoc "modified" changed) ;; Tasks have been added or edited
             (>= (string-to-number (cdr (assoc "modified" changed)))
                last-modified))
        ;; Retrieve added/modified tasks
        (setq processed (append
                         (org-toodledo-process-modified-tasks last-modified) processed)))
    ;; TODO Look for tasks that were modified locally since the last synchronization
    (org-toodledo-process-locally-modified-tasks last-update processed)
    ;; TODO Update timestamps here
    (goto-char (point-min))
    (when (re-search-forward (concat "^\\(" outline-regexp "\\)") nil t)
      (org-entry-put (point)
                     "Last-sync"
                     (cdr (assoc "unixtime" server-info)))
      (when (assoc "lastaddedit" account-info)
        (org-entry-put (point)
                       "Last-modified"
                       (cdr 
                        (assoc "lastaddedit" account-info))))
      (when (assoc "lastdelete" account-info)
        (org-entry-put (point)
                         "Last-deleted"
                         (cdr
                          (assoc "lastdelete" account-info)))))))

(defun org-toodledo-process-locally-modified-tasks (last-update processed)
  "Synchronize tasks that were locally modified after LAST-UPDATE.
Skip tasks with IDs in PROCESSED."
  (goto-char (point-min))
  (let ((start (float-time (current-time))))
    (while (re-search-forward org-complex-heading-regexp nil t)
      ;; Look for all tasks in this buffer
      (if (match-string 2)
          ;; Is it a new task, or has it been modified since the last update?
          (let ((id (org-entry-get (point) "Toodledo-ID"))
                (modified (string-to-number (or (org-entry-get (point) "Modified") "")))
                (last-sync (if (org-entry-get (point) "Sync")
                               (string-to-number (org-entry-get (point) "Sync"))
                             0)))
            (if (or (null id)
                    (and (> modified last-sync)
                         (< modified start)
                         (not (member id processed))))
                (save-excursion (org-toodledo-sync-task))))))))

(defun org-toodledo-touch ()
  "Update the current task."
  (interactive)
  (org-entry-put (point) "Modified" (format "%d" (float-time (current-time)))))

(defvar org-toodledo-actually-delete t)
(defun org-toodledo-process-deleted-tasks (timestamp)
  "Remove tasks deleted after TIMESTAMP."
  (delq nil
        (mapcar
         (lambda (task)
           (when (org-toodledo-find-task task)
             (if org-toodledo-actually-delete
                 (delete-region (org-back-to-heading)
                                (if (re-search-forward org-complex-heading-regexp nil t)
                                    (match-beginning 0)
                                  (org-end-of-subtree)))
               (org-entry-delete (point) "Toodledo-ID")
               (org-entry-put (point) "Toodledo-Deleted" (timestamp)))
             (org-toodledo-task-id task)))
         (org-toodledo-get-deleted
          (list (cons "after" (number-to-string timestamp)))))))
  
(defun org-toodledo-process-modified-tasks (modified)
  "Handle all the tasks that have been modified since MODIFIED."
  (delq nil
        (mapcar
         (lambda (task)
           (if (org-toodledo-find-task task)
               (if (null (org-toodledo-update-task task modified))
                   (org-toodledo-task-id task))
             (org-toodledo-create-task task)))
         (org-toodledo-get-tasks (list (cons "modafter" (number-to-string modified)))))))



(defun org-toodledo-create-task (task)
  "Create a task for TASK."
  (goto-char (point-max))
  (if (point-at-eol) (insert "\n"))
  (insert (org-toodledo-task-to-string task))
  (org-toodledo-task-id task))

(defun org-toodledo-find-task (task)
  "Find the task specified by TASK."
  (goto-char (point-min))
  (re-search-forward
   (concat "^[ \t]*:Toodledo-ID:[ \t]+" (org-toodledo-task-id task) "$")
   nil t))
  
(defun org-toodledo-account-changed (account-info)
  "Return non-nil if the account has changed since the last check.
The result will be an alist of (\"modified\" . \"timestamp\") if tasks have
been added/edited and (\"deleted\" . \"timestamp\") if tasks have been deleted."
  (let ((last-modified (org-entry-get-with-inheritance "Last-modified"))
        (last-deleted (org-entry-get-with-inheritance "Last-deleted"))
        result)
    (if (> (string-to-number (or (cdr (assoc "lastaddedit" account-info)) "0"))
           (string-to-number (or last-modified "0")))
        (add-to-list 'result (cons "modified" last-modified)))
    (if (> (string-to-number (or (cdr (assoc "lastdelete" account-info)) ""))
           (string-to-number (or last-deleted "0")))
        (add-to-list 'result (cons "deleted" last-deleted)))
    result))
  
(defun org-toodledo-sync-task (&optional force)
  "Update my Toodledo for the current task."
  (interactive "P")
  (save-excursion
    (let ((task (org-toodledo-parse-current-task)))
      (if (null (org-toodledo-task-id task))
          ;; New task, create it
          (let ((result (org-toodledo-add-task task)))
            (when (eq (elt (car result) 0) 'added)
              (org-entry-put (point) "Toodledo-ID" (elt (car result) 2))
              (org-entry-put (point) "Sync"
                             (format "%d" (float-time (current-time)) 1000))))
        ;; Old task, update
        (when (org-toodledo-success-p (org-toodledo-edit-task task))
          (if (equal (org-toodledo-task-completed task) "1")
              (org-entry-put (point) "Completed" "1")
            (org-entry-put (point) "Status" (org-toodledo-task-status task)))
          (org-entry-put (point) "Sync"
                         (format "%d" (float-time (current-time)) 1000)))))))

;; (assert (equal (org-toodledo-format-date "2003-08-12") "<2003-08-12 Tue>"))
(defun org-toodledo-format-date (date &optional repeat)
  "Return yyyy-mm-dd day for DATE."
  (concat
   "<"
   (format-time-string
    "%Y-%m-%d %a"
    (cond
     ((listp date) date)
     ((numberp date) (seconds-to-time date))
     ((and (stringp date)
           (string-match "^[0-9]+$" date))
      (seconds-to-time (string-to-number date)))
     (t (apply 'encode-time (org-parse-time-string date)))))
   (if repeat (concat " " repeat) "")
   ">"))

;; (mapconcat 'org-toodledo-task-to-string temp "\n")
;; (setq task (elt temp 2))
;; (org-toodledo-task-to-string task)
(defun org-toodledo-task-to-string (task &optional level)
  "Return an Org-formatted version of TASK."
  (let* ((repeat (string-to-number (org-toodledo-task-repeat task)))
         (rep-advanced (org-toodledo-task-repeat-advanced task))
         (repeat-string (org-toodledo-repeat-to-string repeat rep-advanced))
         (priority (org-toodledo-task-priority task)))
    (concat
     (make-string (or level 2) ?*) " "
     (org-toodledo-status-to-string task) " "
     (cond
      ((equal priority "-1") "")
      ((equal priority "0") "[#C] ")
      ((equal priority "1") "[#B] ")
      ((equal priority "2") "[#A] ")
      ((equal priority "3") "[#A] "))
     (org-toodledo-task-title task)
     (if (org-toodledo-task-context task)
         (concat " :@" (org-toodledo-task-context task) ":") 
       "")
     "\n"
     (if (and (org-toodledo-task-duedate task)
              (not (equal (org-toodledo-task-duedate task) ""))
              (not (< (string-to-number (org-toodledo-task-duedate task)) 0)))
         (concat org-deadline-string " "
                 (org-toodledo-format-date
                  (org-toodledo-task-duedate task)
                  repeat-string)
                 "\n")
       "")
     (or (org-toodledo-task-note task) "") "\n"
     ":PROPERTIES:\n"
     ":Toodledo-ID: " (org-toodledo-task-id task) "\n"
     ":Modified: " (org-toodledo-task-modified task) "\n"
     ":Sync: " (format "%d" (float-time (current-time))) "\n"
     ":Effort: " (org-toodledo-task-length task) "\n"
     ":END:\n"
     )))

;; (assert (equal (org-toodledo-repeat-to-string 0) ""))
;; (assert (equal (org-toodledo-repeat-to-string 1) "+1w"))
;; (assert (equal (org-toodledo-repeat-to-string 2) "+1m"))
;; (assert (equal (org-toodledo-repeat-to-string 3) "+1y"))
;; (assert (equal (org-toodledo-repeat-to-string 4) "+1d"))
;; (assert (equal (org-toodledo-repeat-to-string 5) "+2w"))
;; (assert (equal (org-toodledo-repeat-to-string 6) "+2m"))
;; (assert (equal (org-toodledo-repeat-to-string 7) "+6m"))
;; (assert (equal (org-toodledo-repeat-to-string 8) "+3m"))
;; (assert (equal (org-toodledo-repeat-to-string 108) ".+3m"))
;; (assert (equal (org-toodledo-repeat-to-string 101) ".+1w"))
;; (assert (equal (org-toodledo-repeat-to-string 0) ""))

(defconst org-toodledo-repeat-intervals '("" "+1w" "+1m" "+1y" "+1d" "+2w" "+2m" "+6m" "+3m"))
(defun org-toodledo-status-to-string (task)
  (let ((comp (org-toodledo-task-completed task))
        (status (string-to-number (org-toodledo-task-status task))))
    (cond
     ((not (or (null comp) (equal comp "") (equal comp "0"))) "DONE")
     ((= status 0) "TODO")
     ((= status 1) "TODO")
     ((= status 2) "STARTED")
     ((= status 3) "PLAN")
     ((= status 4) "DELEGATED")
     ((= status 5) "WAITING")
     ((= status 6) "PLAN")  ; hold
     ((= status 7) "SOMEDAY")  ; postponed
     ((= status 8) "SOMEDAY")
     ((= status 9) "CANCELLED")
     )))

(defun org-toodledo-repeat-to-string (repeat &optional rep-advanced)
  "Turn TASK into a repeat sequence."
  (cond
   ((= repeat 0) nil)
   ((> repeat 100) (concat "+" (org-toodledo-repeat-to-string (mod repeat 100) rep-advanced)))
   ((and (= repeat 50) rep-advanced)
    (cond
     ((string-match "Every \\([0-9]+\\) week" rep-advanced)
      (concat "+" (match-string 1 rep-advanced) "w"))
     ((string-match "Every \\([0-9]+\\) month" rep-advanced)
      (concat "+" (match-string 1 rep-advanced) "m"))
     ((string-match "Every \\([0-9]+\\) year" rep-advanced)
      (concat "+" (match-string 1 rep-advanced) "y"))
     ((string-match "Every \\([0-9]+\\) day" rep-advanced)
      (concat "+" (match-string 1 rep-advanced) "d"))
     (t rep-advanced)))
   (t (elt org-toodledo-repeat-intervals repeat))))

(defun org-toodledo-delete-current-task ()
  "Delete the current task."
  (interactive)
  (org-back-to-heading t)
  (let ((task (org-toodledo-parse-current-task)))
    (and (> (length (org-toodledo-task-id task)) 0)
         (org-toodledo-success-p (org-toodledo-delete-task task)))
    (delete-region
     (point)
     (if (and (end-of-line)
              (re-search-forward org-complex-heading-regexp nil t))
         (match-beginning 0)
       (org-end-of-subtree t t)
       (point)))))

  
(defun org-toodledo-task-get-prop (task prop) (cdr (assoc prop task)))
(defmacro org-toodledo-task-prop-defun (field)
  `(defun ,(intern (concat "org-toodledo-task-" field)) (task)
     (cdr (assoc ,field task))))

(defun org-toodledo-success-p (result)
  "Return non-nil if RESULT indicates success."
  (eq (car (car result)) 'success))
        
(org-toodledo-task-prop-defun "id")
(org-toodledo-task-prop-defun "title")
(org-toodledo-task-prop-defun "status")
(org-toodledo-task-prop-defun "completed")
(org-toodledo-task-prop-defun "repeat")
(org-toodledo-task-prop-defun "context")
(org-toodledo-task-prop-defun "duedate")
(org-toodledo-task-prop-defun "modified")
(org-toodledo-task-prop-defun "priority")
(org-toodledo-task-prop-defun "note")
(org-toodledo-task-prop-defun "length")
;; defun'd separately because of the change in name
(defun org-toodledo-task-repeat-advanced (task)
  (cdr (assoc "rep_advanced" task)))

(defvar org-toodledo-contexts nil "An alist of (context . id).")
(defun org-toodledo-get-contexts (&optional force)
  "Store an alist of (context . id) in `org-toodledo-contexts'.
Reload if FORCE is non-nil."
  (if (or force (null org-toodledo-contexts))
      (setq org-toodledo-contexts
            (mapcar
             (lambda (node)
               (cons
              (car (xml-node-children node))
              (xml-get-attribute node 'id)))
             (xml-get-children (car
                                (org-toodledo-call-method "getContexts")) 'context)))
    org-toodledo-contexts))

(defun org-toodledo-agenda-touch ()
  "Update the Modified timestamp for the current entry in the agenda."
  (org-agenda-check-type t 'agenda 'timeline)
  (org-agenda-check-no-diary)
  (let* ((marker (or (org-get-at-bol 'org-marker)
                     (org-agenda-error)))
         (buffer (marker-buffer marker))
         (pos (marker-position marker)))
    (org-with-remote-undo buffer
     (with-current-buffer buffer
       (widen)
       (goto-char pos)
       (if (org-entry-get (point) "Modified")
           (org-entry-put (point) "Modified" (format "%d" (float-time (current-time)))))))))


(defun org-toodledo-update-task (task &optional last-update)
  (let* ((modified (string-to-number (or (org-entry-get (point) "Modified") "")))
         (last-sync (if (org-entry-get (point) "Sync")
                        (string-to-number (org-entry-get (point) "Sync"))
                      0))
         (level (car (org-heading-components)))
         (locally-modified (> modified last-sync)))
    ;; Locally modified? keep
    (if locally-modified
        nil
      ;; Not locally modified? replace
      ;; Figure out what our level is
      (delete-region (org-back-to-heading)
                     (progn (goto-char (match-end 0))
                            (if (re-search-forward org-complex-heading-regexp nil t)
                                (goto-char (match-beginning 0))
                              (org-end-of-subtree))))
      (insert (org-toodledo-task-to-string task level))
      t)))

(provide 'org-toodledo)

Emacs, Org, and BBDB: Hyperlinking names to blogs

Back when I used Planner for Emacs, I coded some shortcuts to make it easier to write about the people I met and the conversations I had. I used the hippie-expand module to complete names from my Big Brother Database addressbook, and I wrote a function that converted those names into links to people’s blogs or websites whenever I published my blog posts as HTML.

I switched to WordPress for my blog because I got tired of trying to figure out a way to enable comments without getting mired in spam-fighting. That meant I could explore other Emacs personal information managers like Org, which I turned into my main task manager. I often used the WordPress interface to write blog posts. I sometimes used Windows Live Writer to write posts about books (there’s a good book review plugin that makes this easy). I also sometimes used Emacs and Org to draft blog posts using Org’s friendlier markup, exporting snippets to HTML that I then pasted into my blog posts.

Reading the posts on Planet Emacsen reminded me that my customized configuration was pretty darn sweet. That and the conversation notes I’ve been blogging lately encouraged me to dust off my configuration files and get them to work under Org. So here’s the code:

 (defun sacha/org-bbdb-get (path)
   "Return BBDB record for PATH."
   (car (bbdb-search (bbdb-records) path path path)))
 
 (defun sacha/org-bbdb-export (path desc format)
   "Create the export version of a BBDB link specified by PATH or DESC.
 If exporting to HTML, it will be linked to the person's blog,
 www, or web address. If exporting to LaTeX FORMAT the link will be
 italicised. In all other cases, it is left unchanged."
     (cond
      ((eq format 'html)
       (let* ((record
             (sacha/org-bbdb-get path))
            url)
       (setq url (and record
                      (or (bbdb-record-getprop record 'blog)
                          (bbdb-record-getprop record 'www)
                          (bbdb-record-getprop record 'web))))
       (if url
           (format "<a href=\"%s\">%s</a>"
                   url (or desc path))
         (format "<em>%s</em>"
                 (or desc path)))))
      ((eq format 'latex) (format "\\textit{%s}" (or desc path)))
      (t (or desc path))))
 
 (defadvice org-bbdb-export (around sacha activate)
   "Override org-bbdb-export."
   (setq ad-return-value (sacha/org-bbdb-export path desc format)))
 
 ;;;_+ Hippie expansion for BBDB; map M-/ to hippie-expand for most fun
 (add-to-list 'hippie-expand-try-functions-list 'sacha/try-expand-bbdb-annotation)
 (defun sacha/try-expand-bbdb-annotation (old)
   "Expand from BBDB. If OLD is non-nil, cycle through other possibilities."
   (unless old
     ;; First time, so search through BBDB records for the name
     (he-init-string (he-dabbrev-beg) (point))
     (when (> (length he-search-string) 0)
       (setq he-expand-list nil)
       (mapcar
        (lambda (item)
        (let ((name (bbdb-record-name item)))
          (when name
            (setq he-expand-list
                  (cons (org-make-link-string
                       (org-make-link "bbdb:" name)
                       name)
                        he-expand-list)))))
        (bbdb-search (bbdb-records)
                     he-search-string
                     he-search-string
                     he-search-string
                     nil nil))))
   (while (and he-expand-list
               (or (not (car he-expand-list))
                   (he-string-member (car he-expand-list) he-tried-table t)))
     (setq he-expand-list (cdr he-expand-list)))
   (if (null he-expand-list)
       (progn
         (if old (he-reset-string))
         nil)
     (progn
       (he-substitute-string (car he-expand-list) t)
       (setq he-expand-list (cdr he-expand-list))
       t)))

If you’ve got Org and BBDB, drop this into your ~/.emacs and fiddle with it. =)

Emacs: Smarter interactive prompts with Org remember templates

Paul Lussier wanted to know how to interactively prompt for a value and use that value multiple times in org-remember-templates. His example is:

(setq org-link-abbrev-alist
      '(("RT" . "https://rt/Ticket/Display.html?id=")))

(setq org-remember-templates
      '(("Tasks" ?t "* TODO %?\n  %i\n  %a"            "~/organizer.org")
        ("Appts" ?a "* Appointment: %?\n%^T\n%i\n  %a" "~/organizer.org")
        ("RT"    ?R "* [[RT:%^{Number}][%^{Number}/%^{Description}]]" "~/org/rt.org")))

The version of Org on my system prompts for Number twice. We want to store the value in an associative list somewhere so that if Org encounters another prompt with the same text, it’ll use the stored value. Here’s a diff that’ll do the trick.

diff -u /home/sachac/elisp/org/org.el /tmp/buffer-content-4571Oz1
--- /home/sachac/elisp/org/org.el	2008-07-20 11:28:54.000000000 -0400
+++ /tmp/buffer-content-4571Oz1	2008-07-20 11:42:06.000000000 -0400
@@ -12822,38 +12822,52 @@
 	    (org-set-local 'org-remember-default-headline headline))
 	;; Interactive template entries
 	(goto-char (point-min))
-	(while (re-search-forward "%^\\({\\([^}]*\\)}\\)?\\([guUtT]\\)?" nil t)
-	  (setq char (if (match-end 3) (match-string 3))
-		prompt (if (match-end 2) (match-string 2)))
-	  (goto-char (match-beginning 0))
-	  (replace-match "")
-	  (cond
-	   ((member char '("G" "g"))
-	    (let* ((org-last-tags-completion-table
-		    (org-global-tags-completion-table
-		     (if (equal char "G") (org-agenda-files) (and file (list file)))))
-		   (org-add-colon-after-tag-completion t)
-		   (ins (completing-read
-			 (if prompt (concat prompt ": ") "Tags: ")
-			 'org-tags-completion-function nil nil nil
-			 'org-tags-history)))
-	      (setq ins (mapconcat 'identity
-				  (org-split-string ins (org-re "[^[:alnum:]]+"))
-				  ":"))
-	      (when (string-match "\\S-" ins)
+	(let (interactive-entries lookup)
+	  (while (re-search-forward "%^\\({\\([^}]*\\)}\\)?\\([guUtT]\\)?" nil t)
+	    (setq char (if (match-end 3) (match-string 3))
+		  prompt (if (match-end 2) (match-string 2))
+		  lookup (assoc prompt interactive-entries))
+	    (goto-char (match-beginning 0))
+	    (replace-match "")
+	    (cond
+	     ((member char '("G" "g"))
+	      (let* ((org-last-tags-completion-table
+		      (org-global-tags-completion-table
+		       (if (equal char "G") (org-agenda-files) (and file (list file)))))
+		     (org-add-colon-after-tag-completion t)
+		     (ins (if lookup
+			      (cdr lookup)
+			    (completing-read
+			     (if prompt (concat prompt ": ") "Tags: ")
+			     'org-tags-completion-function nil nil nil
+			     'org-tags-history))))
+		(if (null lookup)
+		    (setq interactive-entries (cons (cons prompt ins) interactive-entries)))
+		(setq ins (mapconcat 'identity
+				     (org-split-string ins (org-re "[^[:alnum:]]+"))
+				     ":"))
+		(when (string-match "\\S-" ins)
 		(or (equal (char-before) ?:) (insert ":"))
 		(insert ins)
 		(or (equal (char-after) ?:) (insert ":")))))
-	   (char
-	    (setq org-time-was-given (equal (upcase char) char))
-	    (setq time (org-read-date (equal (upcase char) "U") t nil
-				      prompt))
-	    (org-insert-time-stamp time org-time-was-given
-				   (member char '("u" "U"))
-				   nil nil (list org-end-time-was-given)))
-	   (t
-	    (insert (read-string
-		     (if prompt (concat prompt ": ") "Enter string"))))))
+	     (char
+	      (setq org-time-was-given (equal (upcase char) char))
+	      (setq time (if lookup (cdr lookup) (org-read-date (equal (upcase char) "U") t nil
+								prompt)))
+	      (if (null lookup)
+		  (setq interactive-entries (cons (cons prompt time) interactive-entries))
+		(org-insert-time-stamp time org-time-was-given
+				       (member char '("u" "U"))
+				       nil nil (list org-end-time-was-given))))
+	     (t
+	      (let ((text
+		     (if lookup
+			 (cdr lookup)
+		       (read-string
+			(if prompt (concat prompt ": ") "Enter string")))))
+		(insert (or text ""))
+		(if (null lookup)
+		    (setq interactive-entries (cons (cons prompt text) interactive-entries))))))))
 	(goto-char (point-min))
 	(if (re-search-forward "%\\?" nil t)
 	    (replace-match "")

Have fun!