Archive for the ‘Emacs’ Category

Emacs X Window Manager

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

Emacs X Window Manager by Chris Feng.

From the webpage:

EXWM (Emacs X Window Manager) is a full-featured tiling X window manager for Emacs built on top of XELB. It features:

  • Fully keyboard-driven operations
  • Hybrid layout modes (tiling & stacking)
  • Dynamic workspace support
  • ICCCM/EWMH compliance
  • (Optional) RandR (multi-monitor) support
  • (Optional) Built-in compositing manager
  • (Optional) Built-in system tray

Please check out the screenshots to get an overview of what EXWM is capable of, and the user guide for a detailed explanation of its usage.

Note: If you install EXWM from source, it’s recommended to install XELB also from source (otherwise install both from GNU ELPA).

OK, one screenshot:

BTW, EXWM supports multiple monitors as well.


A (somewhat) Shallower On-Ramp for Emacs

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

Using Emacs – Introduction by Mike Zamansky.

From the webpage:

I’m sure I’ve mentioned that I’ve been an Emacs wonk for decades. Since the mid-80’s in fact. I’ve spent time using other editors, word processors, and development tools but always find my way back.

I recommend that budding computer science students develop a good tool set and encourage them to explore Emacs but while it’s pretty easy to load Emacs and find your way around, particularly if you use the mouse and menus there isn’t a clear path to take you from beginner to using it as an efficient tool let alone customizing it.

Inspired by Mattias Petter Johansson, or MPJ who make a weekly video, I decided to try to create a series of YouTube videos and matching blog posts. I’ll try to post one a week and I’ll try to keep the videos, at least after the first couple to just a few minutes and have them focus on micro-habits – one or two small things that you can bring to your work flow and internalize.

I say “somewhat” shallower because Zamansky presumes you have completed the basic Emacs tutorial (Meta-? t).

After completing the Emacs tutorial, start the Using Emacs Series of thirty-eight (38) videos.

The season of repetitive Christmas “classics” is upon us, making the Using Emacs Series even more welcome. (An observation for the US. I’m not familiar with mindless holiday television schedules in other countries. Consult your local curmudgeon.)

Writing Games with Emacs

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Writing Games with Emacs by Zachary Kanfer. (video)

From the description:

Games are a great way to get started writing programs in any language. In Emacs Lisp, they’re even better—you use the same exact techniques to extend Emacs, configuring it to do what you want. In this presentation, Zachary Kanfer livecodes tic-tac-toe. You’ll see how to create a basic major mode, make functions, store state, and set keybindings.

You can grab the source code at:

Ready to build some muscle memory?

You Can Contribute Proof Reading! (Emacs/Elisp)

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

I saw a tweet today by John Wiegley asking for volunteers to proof read the manual for Emacs 25.0.50 and Elisp 25.0.50.

Obtain the files: (PDF and info formats)

Report bugs: M-x report-emacs-bug.

Is this the year you are going to make a contribution to an open source project?

Helmification of XML Unicode

Friday, January 8th, 2016

XML Unicode by Norman Walsh.

From the webpage:

XML Unicode provides some convenience methods for inserting Unicode characters. When it started, the focus was on characters that were traditionally inserted with named character entities, things like é.

In practice, and in the age of UTF-8, the “insert unicode character” function, especially the Helm-enabled version, is much more broadly useful.

You’re most likely going to want to bind some or all of them to keys.

Complete with suggested key bindings!

Oh, the image from Norman’s tweet:


FYI, the earliest use of helm-ification (note the hyphen) I can find was on November 24, 2015 by Christian Romney. Citation authorities remain split on whether Christian’s helm-ification or Norman’s helmification is the correct usage. 😉

Emacs – Helm and @ndw

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

A Package in a league of its own: Helm

From the webpage:

Helm is incremental completion and selection narrowing framework for Emacs. It will help steer you in the right direction when you’re looking for stuff in Emacs (like buffers, files, etc).

Helm is a fork of anything.el originally written by Tamas Patrovic and can be considered to be its successor. Helm sets out to clean up the legacy code in anything.el and provide a cleaner, leaner and more modular tool, that’s not tied in the trap of backward compatibility.

I saw the following tweet from Norman Walsh today:

Been hacking #Emacs again the past few days. Serious fun. Also: finally became a helm convert. Seriously productive.

I know better.

I should look away, quickly when I see “Emacs” and “Norman Walsh” in a tweet together.

But, just like every other time, I follow the reference, this time to Helm (see above).

I will become more productive, from using Helm or learning more about Emacs in the process. It’s a win either way.

The downside, not too serious a downside, is that I will lose N hours this week as I pursue this lead.

It’s one of the risks of following someone like Norman Walsh on Twitter. But an acceptable one.