Jump to a tagged src block

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If you have a lot of src-blocks in your org-file, it might be nice to "tag" them and be able to jump around between them using tag expressions, or by the name of the block, language etc… Here we develop a way to do that and create a handy function to jump to blocks in the current buffer.

First, we look at how to "tag" a src-block. One way is to use a header like this:

#+header: :tags cool idiom two

These are not tags in the usual org-mode sense, they are just a space separated list of words we will later treat as tags. We can get the tags on a src-block with this function.

(defun src-block-tags (src-block)
  "Return tags for SRC-BLOCK (an org element)."
  (let* ((headers (-flatten
                   (mapcar 'org-babel-parse-header-arguments
                           (org-element-property :header src-block))))
         (tags (cdr (assoc :tags headers))))
    (when tags
      (split-string tags))))
src-block-tags

Now, we make a src-block with the tags "test" "one" and "idiom", and see how to tell if the block matches the tag expression "test+idiom".

(let* ((lexical-binding nil)
       (todo-only nil)
       (tags-list (src-block-tags (org-element-context)))
       (tag-expression "test+idiom"))
  (eval (cdr (org-make-tags-matcher tag-expression))))
t

It does, so we wrap that up into a function that tells us if a src-block matches some tag expression.

(defun src-block-match-tag-expression-p (src-block tag-expression)
  "Determine if SRC-BLOCK matches TAG-EXPRESSION."
  (let* ((lexical-binding nil)
         (todo-only nil)
         (tags-list (src-block-tags src-block)))
    (eval (cdr (org-make-tags-matcher tag-expression)))))
src-block-match-tag-expression-p

Here we test that on a block tagged "one three" on the expression "one-two" which means tagged one and not two.

(src-block-match-tag-expression-p (org-element-context) "one-two")
t

Those are the main pieces we need to jump around. We just need a selection tool with a list of filtered candidates. We get a list of src-block candidates to choose from in the next block as an example. Here we get blocks tagged one but not two. We can incorporate this into a selection backend like helm or ivy.

(org-element-map (org-element-parse-buffer) 'src-block
  (lambda (src-block)
    (when (src-block-match-tag-expression-p src-block "one-two")
      ;; Get a string and marker
      (cons
       (format "%15s|%15s|%s"
               (org-element-property :name src-block)
               (org-element-property :language src-block)
               (org-element-property :header src-block))
       (org-element-property :begin src-block)))))
(("    tag-matcher|     emacs-lisp|(:tags test one idiom)" . 1222)
 ("            nil|     emacs-lisp|(:tags one)" . 1641)
 ("            nil|     emacs-lisp|(:tags one three)" . 2120))

Now let us put that into ivy. We will ask for an expression to filter the blocks on, and then use ivy to narrow what is left, and the only action is to jump to the position of the selected block. You can start with a tag expression, or press enter to get all the tags. Then you can use ivy to further narrow by language, block name, or other tags.

(defun ivy-jump-to-src (tag-expression)
  (interactive "sTag expression: ")
  (ivy-read "Select: "
            (org-element-map (org-element-parse-buffer) 'src-block
              (lambda (src-block)
                (when (src-block-match-tag-expression-p src-block tag-expression)
                  ;; Get a string and marker
                  (cons
                   (format "%15s|%15s|%s"
                           (org-element-property :name src-block)
                           (org-element-property :language src-block)
                           (org-element-property :header src-block))
                   (org-element-property :begin src-block)))))
            :require-match t
            :action '(1
                      ("j" (lambda (pos) (interactive) (goto-char pos))))))
ivy-jump-to-src

For fun, here is a python block just for testing.

print(42)
42

That is it! It seems to work ok. There are some variations that might be preferrable, like putting the tags in as params in the src-block header to avoid needing a separate header line. It isn't clear how much I would use this, and it is slow if you have a lot of src blocks in a /large/org-file because of the parsing. (how large? I noticed a notable lag on my 22,800 line org-file this is in ;).

Copyright (C) 2016 by John Kitchin. See the License for information about copying.

org-mode source

Org-mode version = 8.2.10

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