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Babel is Org-mode's ability to execute source code within Org-mode documents. Org-mode is an Emacs major mode for doing almost anything with plain text. If you are not familiar with Org-mode please take a moment to read the Org-mode homepage before continuing. Babel started life as Org-babel, an extension to Org-mode. It was integrated into the Org-mode core at version 7.0. The author of Babel is Eric Schulte. The secondary author is Dan Davison.

  • [[][A Multi-Language Computing Environment for Literate Programming and
  • Reproducible Research]]: a journal paper providing the most up to date and complete introduction to using Org-mode and Babel for Reproducible research and literate programming.
  • Introductory Tutorial: a smaller online set of installation and
  • setup instructions, as well as an overview of the main features of Babel, with plenty of examples.
  • Reference and Documentation: is available online and in Chapter 14
  • of the Org-mode manual. Some more information on using header args and result types for Babel code blocks can be found [[][here]].
  • Languages: list of supported languages with information on
  • requirements, configuration instructions, and pointers to language specific documentation.
  • Uses: user-submitted examples of Babel work flows -- this is a good
  • place to get an idea of what can be done and see how Babel may fit into your life. In addition there is a collection of small code block examples and scraps at [[][org-scraps]].


Tower of Babel

The Tower of Babel by Pieter Brueghel the Elder

And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Genesis 11:1-9

Babel Fish

The Babel Fish is small, yellow, and simultaneously translates from one spoken language to another.

– The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams