Xah Emacs Blog Archive 2013-02

new. edited and on its own page. Emacs: Buffer Management

updated. Emacs: Open File Fast 🚀

if you have a zip file, you can use emacs to open that, and edit any file content in it directly. No need to unzip. Same for gz files.

old tip. Now on its own page. Emacs: Open Recently Opened File

emacs conference. live. right now, Steve Yegge speaking thru video hangout. http://live.forwardtechnology.co.uk/

here's the official website, with speaker schedule. http://emacsconf.org/

a new version of my emacs tutorial is out. Buy Xah Emacs Tutorial. Thank you. For those who bought it before, i'm sending the new version out.

Emacs: Using Org Mode for Todo

updated. Emacs: Copy Current Line If No Selection 🚀

tip from last year, now on its own page. Emacs: Backup Current File 🚀

Voice Input for Programing 📺 (year 2013)

sacha chua, the famous female emacs hacker, (video) interviews the org-mode creator Carsten Dominik. 1 hour long. Fun to watch. http://sachachua.com/blog/2013/03/emacs-chat-carsten-dominik/

(via jcs)

Xah Lee's Typing Experience and RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury)

on its own page. ELisp: Refactoring, Move Code to Files 🚀

Microsoft Sculpt Comfort Keyboard. Space bar is now split into a Backspace ⌫ key.

Emacs 24 added a new feature. Some function's doc string now has a link to elisp manual. For example, Alt+x describe-variable on “font-lock-defaults”. Excerpt:

font-lock-defaults is a variable defined in `font-core.el'.


(See also Info node `(elisp)Font Lock Basics'.)


see also Emacs 24 (Released 2012-06) and ELisp: Docstring Markup.

actually, not sure this is new in emacs 24. I sure hope every function's doc string links to elisp manual.

anyhow, you could easily find the elisp doc yourself. See Emacs: List All Functions.

For elisp coders, you might define a advice so that describe-function will always have a link at bottom to elisp manual.

Tech Humor: Apache vs Node.js vs NGINX 📺 The relevance of lisp is the climax.

old page, one of my earliest tutorial in 2007, updated. Emacs: HTML Image Path to Img Tag. The updating process usually involves removing verbiage and auto-admiration, and removing learning thought-flow.

got a kick out of reading this. [Just Use Sublime Text “Sublime Text 2 vs Vim” By Andrew Ray. At http://delvarworld.github.com/blog/2013/03/16/just-use-sublime-text/ , accessed on 2013-03-21 ]

Emacs Rocks is so funny. Watch this.

Emacs Rocks! Episode 14: Paredit

“paredit” is on MELPA. Call list-packages to install. [see Emacs: Install Package with ELPA/MELPA]

Magnar Sveen is the man behind Emacs Rocks. He has written many emacs packages. He's got many other videos, all very good. Check it out: http://emacsrocks.com/

slighly updated the home page of ErgoEmacs at ErgoEmacs. Window programing guru David Capello [https://davidcapello.com/] recently created a new build of ErgoEmacs app for Microsoft Windows. The download link is at the home page, or here https://code.google.com/p/ergoemacs/downloads/list.

facelift. Xah Emacs Tutorial

added a photo of Commodore 64 keyboard. Keyboard: Control vs Capslock Position

Emacs Dired: Open File in External App. Code updated. If you've copied this code before, be sure to update.

Unicode Rhapsody: Symbols to Represent “emacs lisp”

for Unicode freaks. Found symbols to represent emacs lisp ε . In normal text, it looks like this “εℓ”. Depending on what browser and OS you are using, it may look beautiful or ugly. Alternatively, use scripted “e” . For example: ℯℓ. But that's got too much affinity with Spanish.

the best way to setup to type them is emacs abbrev system. [see Emacs: Abbrev Mode by Lisp Code] So, when you type “el”, it automatically becomes “εℓ”. (you can see my current abbrevs at https://github.com/xahlee/xah_emacs_init (it changes about every week.))

likewise, “ε” can represent “emacs” in a pinch, if you want your writing to become cryptic and symbolic logic like, like i do. 😎

though, i can't help but feel something is missing. the scripted “el” is kinda boring. Maybe we need to add a gnu head or something? Though, there is no gnu but ox and water buffalo and ram and goat. [see Unicode Animal Insect 🐼 🐰 🐖 🐈 🐍 🐳 🐞 🕷]

updated. ELisp: Write a Major Mode for Syntax Coloring

ELisp: “defvar” Doesn't Override

new fancy pointing device. Contour Roller Mouse.

elisp home page got a facelift. Xah Emacs Lisp Tutorial

the design is flow based. Am not fond of fixed-layout. [see Web Design: Fixed-Layout vs Flowed-Layout] If you are learning CSS, checkout CSS Tutorial.

on its own page. Annoying Invisible ZERO WIDTH NO-BREAK SPACE Character from Google Plus, Twitter and how to use elisp to solve the problem.

on its own page. ELisp: HTML, Update Title

on its own page. Emacs: Delete Current File 🚀

TypeMatrix Keyboard Review

Docstring Convention: Python vs Emacs Lisp

new version of ErgoEmacs Keybinding is out, by one advanced emacs lisp hacker Matthew L Fidler. He fixed lots hard problems and adding features. You can get a idea what's been fixed/added here: https://code.google.com/p/ergoemacs/source/list. You can also see his other emacs lisp projects here: Matthew L Fidler https://github.com/mattfidler

Should You Type Space After Comma? and Tiny Space Bar on Japanese Keyboards

on its own page. ELisp: Python 2to3 Wrapper 🚀

in emacs 24.3, now execute-extended-command is now written in elisp, not C code. You can see the lisp code by Alt+x describe-function. The emacs 24.3 release notes didn't mention this. This change is made by Aaron S Hawley. Thanks Aaron.

One great new feature of emacs 24.3:

when you isearch a phrase (For example, “some thing”) and if the 2 words happens to be hard-wrapped into 2 lines, it'll still find it. In other words, emacs added a feature in isearch such that space can stand for a sequence of whitespaces.

This problem has been bugging me before, and i deeply blame it to the damages unix has done to computing. [see Programing: the Harm of Hard-wrapping Lines] But at least now emacs works-around it.

you can read more about this feature by Alt+x view-emacs-news then search for “isearch”.

Mickey of “Mastering Emacs” wrote a easy-to-understand doc of what's new in emacs 24.3. Check it out. [WHAT'S NEW IN EMACS 24.3 By Mickey Petersen. At http://www.masteringemacs.org/articles/2013/03/11/whats-new-emacs-24-3/ , accessed on 2013-03-11 ]

a friend just got the truely ergonomic keyboard. Photo at flickr

if you gonna buy it, let me know too! Also, tell them Xah send you. Thanks.

emacs 24.3 is out. Download at:

release notes: http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/NEWS.24.3

if you don't know how to compile on linux, see How to Build Emacs on Linux

wrote a JavaScript app. Go to any Unicode gallery here: Unicode Search 😄 . Mouse hover or click on a character to see its Unicode name.

very useful, if you haven't used yet. Emacs: Batch Rename Files

on the keyboard layout front, there's a new layout, the qwpr. See qwpr Keyboard Layout

also, the Workman layout has vastly improved home page, plus now a forum. http://www.workmanlayout.com/

if you are not familiar with all these, see: Ergonomic Keyboard Layouts (updated with images)

emacs global-set-key macro bug.

The following doesn't work.

(global-set-key (kbd "<menu> u SPC") " ") ; insert non-breaking space

but this works:

(global-set-key (kbd "<menu> u SPC") (lambda () (interactive) (insert " "))) ; insert non-breaking space

GNU Emacs 24.2.1 (i686-pc-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 2.24.10) of 2013-02-04 on xah-p6813w ErgoEmacs distribution 2.0.0

learned a great command vc-annotate from Jon's blog. See:[vc-annotate By jcs. At http://irreal.org/blog/?p=1769 , accessed on 2013-03-07 ]

Emacs: Personal Keybinding, Habit, Muscle Memory, Incompatible Key Sets

when you use your personal key for about 2 months, it becomes muscle memory. Just as people who work among {Windows, Mac, Linux}, or switch between {emacs/bash, browser, photoshop}.

you'd unconsciously learn to adopt the different systems. Though, sometimes some error key press still happen. e.g. on the Mac, emacs copy Alt+w is prone to close a window — very painful. So, when i used to use default emacs keys, i developed a habit to copy by Escape w.

ideally, all systems should use the same key system, but that's ideal. haha.

sometimes i read people who reviewed ErgoEmacs keybinding and liked it, but is reserved about using it, because it's another set to learn, creating clash with bash. But the fact is, one already is exposed to so many different systems, one just adopt. (btw, current version of ErgoEmacs can generate keysets for bash or AutoHotkey.)

even web browser, doesn't agree on keys, within the same OS. e.g the keys to switch tabs is different on different browser, and few others. Same browser on diff OS also disagree on keys. For example: in Chrome, go back is Backspace ⌫ on Windows, but Alt+ in Linux.

then, even KDE and Gnome don't agree on many keys. What can you do?

i post frequently on Google Plus at [ErgoEmacs https://plus.google.com/113859563190964307534/]. I like Google Plus. It's very convenient for small tips and chat. So, you might give it a try. Also, i use twitter. Emacs related are posted to https://twitter.com/ErgoEmacs. So, if you want to quick contact or ask questions, follow. Thanks.

emacs. learned this new trick. delete-indentation. default key is Alt+^. Seems it'll be very useful. (thx to [Alexander Gallego https://plus.google.com/114120249105253063821/posts])

u ♥ (λ ∨ ∑)? 👀 𝔰𝔶𝔪𝔟𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔶 @ Xah Programing Blog.

Apple Keyboards ⌨

emacs packages update: xah-math-input.el, ergoemacs-mode

lots more update: Emacs: Xah Math Input Mode (xah-math-input.el). You can get it either by sending me $3 paypal (to Xah@XahLee.org) or on ErgoEmacs repository.

also, there's more updates and fixes and features on the ErgoEmacs Keybinding minor mode, by Matthew L Fidler https://github.com/mattfidler. Get it on MELPA.

Kinesis has a new generation of their split keyboard, Freestyle 2. 2-Piece Split Keyboards

updated. Emacs Lisp Find Replace String-Pairs Commands