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Powerful productivity with Hyperbole and Org Mode

Robert Weiner (wine-er)

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GNU Hyperbole and Org Mode are both parts of Emacs; both offer outlining and hypertext support but Org uses its own native format while Hyperbole can work across all major modes and data formats, including Org's. The two systems are compatible. This talk will show ways to use them together and the resultant productivity benefits that can be achieved.


a. Context-sensitive Action Key on Org Constructs b. Automate Actions in Org Mode with Hyperbole Key Series c. Rapidly Link to or from Org Headers, e.g. in Source Code d. Search over Org Notes with Hyperbole's HyRolo e. Dynamically Expand/Contract Org outlines exported to web pages f. Embed Org Tables in Hyperbole Koutlines g. Create Your Own Hyperbole Implicit Buttons from Org h. Hyperbole Expands Org Mode to an Emacs-wide Persistant Hyperbutton-Action Capability on Any Textual Format



  • Sorry a few pixels at the left of the screen are cut off due to how it was recorded but it should not affect the bulk of the information you'll see.  We'll also make the Org document driving the presentation available for offline review.

Questions and answers

  • Q: Can you have multiple implicit button files, if so how would you know which link came from what files?
    • A: Links are one way at the present time, so you just place them where they are needed and activate them.  Things like HyRolo can be used to locate matching elements across multiple files.
  • Q: What about using implicit buttons with multiple people with different configs?
    • A:As mentioned in the talk, environment and Lisp variables embedded in path links allow for sharing links whose location varies by user/team.  In other cases you often want team members to see the same result as someone else sees when a button is activated.
  • Q: Coming in from Org/Org-mode, would it be a fair assessment that Hyperbole is in some way a generalization of what most people think of the great features of Org to work across formats (i.e. not just in Org buffers, though also therein), with the Hyperbole links/buttons being the recurring example? And that it then further adds some capabilities (again across formats and thus including in Org buffers). Being a global minor mode (vs a major mode and thus coupled to a particular format namely org) is interesting per se, and I think goes to RMS's talk that Org's features could be more generalized and modularized. How is Hyperbole in that respect?
    • A:Org, I believe, is focused on being an interactive notebook and publishing tool notably for scientists or academics, even though it is used by other technical people.  Hyperbole is for creating a hyperverse filled with many types of text files and interlinking them while maintaining their native formats; it does little with conversion to formats for publication, aside from export of Koutlines to HTML for use on the web.
  • Q: Internal/Radio targets: are they able to link to other Org mode files (that are part of my agenda)? Background: <<>> (default Org mode feature) is great for glossary and so forth but only works within a single Org mode file.
    • A: You could develop an implicit button type that would link from an external file to a radio target in another file.  These usually are just a few lines of code.
  • Q: Your package advances how useful a mouse can be with creating links, do you have any experiance or thoughts about how touchscreens, or mice could be used or improved with emacs..
    • A: I place the Action Mouse Key on my middle mouse button and the Assist Mouse Key on my right mouse button because I find them that useful.  The existing drag capabilities of the mouse are similar to actions we would have for a touchscreen interface.
  • Q: Would you consider Hyperbole to be more of a format spec that can then be handled however we want? Or the engine itself along with that format? i.e. can the simple link formats be used for other extensible purposes?
    • A: yes, hyperbole was thoughts a s an hypertxt engine and then be avail. to multiple apps (as API). turns out didnt work really well
  • Q: How is the integration with org-roam?
    • A: We are just beginning to work with org-roam and will likely add a Hyperbole interface to it across time.  We are also looking at related tools and how
  • Q: When doing something where do you determine where to put it 'kotl, rolo, org".? I like kotl for journaling and org mode for gtd.:)
    • A: sure, they're both outlined formats and they work well. depends on your taste
  • Q:Would you recommend a specific resource for getting into Hyperbole, or should I just start with the manual? Definitely interested in getting into this. (oh I love interactive demo style formats, great!)
    • A: dont start with the manual! :) for learning use the menu system C-h-d-d and watch the interactive demo. Then watch one of the tutorial videos (mentioned before)
  • Q: What is hyperorg?
    • A: probably a typo for hyperborg
    • sachac: I had to come up with IDs for all the talks, that was just the one I made up for this one
  • Q:Do you have advice for people who'd like to try using Hyperbole with Org, but don't want to pollute Org files with inline Hyperbole links (e.g., with files that will be published)? (...Or is that inevitably the point of Hyperbole links?)
    • A:
  • Q: How is the integration with org-roam?

Other discussions from IRC

  • I like the use of the term "cognitive overhead"
  • I really need to spend more time digging into Hyperbole. So far I only use it to open urls in the browser :D
  • These hyperbole talks are making me want to try
  • The issue I've got is that plain org-mode can deal with probably 50% of the use-cases of Hyperbole and the other 50% are not that important to me (yet). ...
  • Interesting idea: "Hyperbole golf" - somebody suggest something that should be accomplished. I'm doing it with my Org mode setup and the other person does it with Hyperbole. I'm sure that Hyperbole may be more elegant but so far, I didn't see anything that I can't do with my setup as well.
  • I would love to see a table comparing how to do things with Org and with Hyperbole with examples, with eev, zk, org brain. There are a lot of these type of packages
  • no problem. However, some things are non-standard org mode because they depend on my personal setup such as file links which I do use without path.
  • Notice how there is so little to Hyperbole buttons embedded in the buffer, so it doesn't break your flow when reading the text, e.g. if you just open the file without a structured viewer.
  • would it be easy to add a section to the table saying "to run these examples in Org you need to run this first?"
  • I understand eev even less than hyperbole somehow, so having a matrix of the 3 would do wonders for me.
  • i suppose another aspect to consider with hyperbole is that it can work outside org mode as well?
  • assist key == escape key
  • btw, people can download a .zip with all the videos by Rainer Koening from here:
  • That grid popup is really cool
  • Gosh it's time to check out hyperbole.
  • there's sooo much I want to check after this conference
  • There is not enough time for all of these
  • Action Key = {M-RET}; Assist Key = {C-u M-RET} though you can bind them as you like.
  • for action key and action key assist a good idea would be use a mouse that has extra buttons for those
  • I just installed hyperbole and I think it just works.
  • Awesome demo, thanks!
  • Thanks rswgnu! Great exposition, I'm much further along on my way towards Hyperbole enlightenment that's for sure.
  • Awesome talk, definitely planning to try out Hyperbole
  • Intense but too much information for just a Hyperbole newbie
  • I will have to watch your talk 3 or 4 times...too much directly to the vein!
    • A: Thanks. That was the idea, to expose people to new things rapidly just to encourage interest. Install Hyperbole and you can learn at your own pace.

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