I like the short notation of org-babel function calls. E.g. you can define a named code block like this

#+name: get_date
#+begin_src http
GET http://date.jsontest.com

and then hit C-c C-c in some inline call to get the results for some parameters (if it's a single line result that is):

call_get_date[:select ".date"]() {{{results(=12-06-2016=)}}}

Or you can even do the code definition inline thus getting rid of 4 more lines:

src_http[:select ".date"]{GET http://date.jsontest.com} {{{results(=12-06-2016=)}}}

I find that is pretty cool, and I would like to use it more often. But I don't see a way to set a name for the inline result to reference it for later :var assignments. Is there any? Or is there some simple elisp which could be employed here?

  • 2
    "Inline code blocks don't associate themselves with their results, they are only expected to be evaluated during export" (org-babel.readthedocs.io/en/latest/eval/#inline-code-blocks)
    – mutbuerger
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 12:53
  • Thanks, I didn't know that documentation. Then it seems I've to write my elisp for that. I'm not so much interested in the export in this case, because I just want to automate some maintenance tasks. I guess this shows that org-babel is heavily build upon the needs of the research community, not so much on developers and administrators. Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 20:25

2 Answers 2


(Not a solution, just digging into the problem.)

One can actually assign a name to an intermediate result with #+name:

#+name: callgetdate
call_get_date[:select .date]()

then the result will be tagged with the name, and a later call_callgetdate() will not complain/give an error. BUT in my tests, this later call always gave nil results. Idem for the src_ case.

I think this is a bug/irregularity in org.

The same happened for me with the longer version of #+call:.

#+name: callgetdate2
#+call: get_date[:select .date]
#+RESULTS: callgetdate2
# ... The expected json date ...


: nil

So this is not only related to inline blocks.


Might be a little late to add something, but here is the solution which is working for me. One can just put a #+results: somename header in front of the paragraph containing the inline result. The following elisp function can then be used to extract the value:

(defun get-inline-result (name)
    (org-babel-goto-named-result name)
    (re-search-forward "{{{results(=\\(.*?\\)=)}}}")
    (match-string 1)))

If you have more than one inline result per paragraph I guess you're still stuck or you have come up with an own inline-naming syntax and a corresponding elisp function to match it.

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