1

In my org-file, I have entries like this:

*** Some One
%%(org-anniversary 1940 10  27) Some One is %d years old

*** Some Two
%%(org-anniversary 2003 11  3) Some Two is %d years old

What do I do if I do not know the birth year? I have looked at the solution here. But is there a better solution? Like an agenda item that just says its Some One's birthday

  • 1
    The comment in the linked thread contains another solution different from the answer (if that interests you). – lawlist Nov 28 '17 at 5:01
3

is there a better solution?

Yes, org-anniversary directly supports the desired behaviour:

*** Some One
%%(org-anniversary nil 10 27) Some One's birthday

Its docstring does not mention this explicitly:

org-anniversary is a compiled Lisp function in ‘org-agenda.el’.

(org-anniversary YEAR MONTH DAY &optional MARK)

Like ‘diary-anniversary’, but with fixed (ISO) order of arguments.

But the signature of the linked diary-anniversary function alludes to the possibility for a nil YEAR argument:

diary-anniversary is a compiled Lisp function in ‘diary-lib.el’.

(diary-anniversary MONTH DAY &optional YEAR MARK)

Anniversary diary entry.
Entry applies if date is the anniversary of MONTH, DAY, YEAR.
The order of the input parameters changes according to
‘calendar-date-style’ (e.g. to DAY MONTH YEAR in the European style).

The diary entry can contain ‘%d’ or ‘%d%s’; the %d will be replaced
by the number of years since the MONTH, DAY, YEAR, and the %s will
be replaced by the ordinal ending of that number (that is, ‘st’,
‘nd’, ‘rd’ or ‘th’, as appropriate).  The anniversary of February 29
is considered to be March 1 in non-leap years.

An optional parameter MARK specifies a face or single-character
string to use when highlighting the day in the calendar.
  • Thanks. nil shows any anniversary as 100th anniversary. So, you see 100 you know the year must have been nil. But I still think it would be better if for nil years, %d produced nothing – deshmukh Nov 28 '17 at 5:49
  • @deshmukh The idea is that you do not include %d and %s for entries without associated years, because the semantics of doing that would be unclear/nonsensical. If you want a custom diary sexp which automatically removes such format specifiers, you will likely have to write it from scratch. Either way that would warrant a new Emacs SE question. – Basil Nov 28 '17 at 5:55
  • @deshmukh Alternatively, you could send a feature request to the Org developers. – Basil Nov 28 '17 at 5:56
  • I agree. It is pointless/ contradictory to have a %d and not supply a year. The question came to my mind because I was copying a template (headline, sexp expression) and pasting it for different birthdays and editing necessary parts – deshmukh Nov 28 '17 at 5:58

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