(tagged "emacs")

Emacs: reusing window for helpful buffers

June 26, 2019

Ironically, I find the helpful package quite helpful. It boosts Emacs help buffer with much more contextual information. If you haven’t tried it out yet, I advice you to do so.

However, by default, it doesn’t play nicely with windows.

Usually when I write some Elisp and I want to read the documentation of some function or variable, I hit C-h f or C-h v respectively and the help buffer is shown in the separate window. Which is convenient in my opinion, because I can see the code and the help.

Sometimes help contains links to other entries that I need to navigate. And when I hit <RET> window containing code shows another help buffer. Which might be good for some people, but I hate this behaviour, because usually I want to see the code that I am editing.

This is also annoying if you set the value of helpful-max-buffers to 1. Help window and the window with code are swapped on every navigation.

The good thing, it’s configurable (as almost everything in Emacs land).

Read more →

Equality of booleans in Emacs

October 14, 2018

There is a fun story about booleans in Emacs Lisp - there are no booleans in Emacs Lisp. Sort of. Because we have a symbol nil, which means an empty list. You can write it as nil or () - they both stand for the same object, the symbol nil.

Since LISP is all about list processing, empty list is something very false. So false that we don’t have special symbol for false values, as empty list serves this purpose well.

Everything that is not an empty list has a meaning of true. However, there is a symbol t which is the preferred way to represent the truth value true.

So nil and t are considered canonical boolean values. There is a function booleanp that returns t if the argument is a canonical boolean value and nil otherwise.

The fun begins when you need to check if two boolean values are equal. Since non-nil (or not an empty list) can mean many different things (like "Emacs is the only true editor") you can’t just do regular equality check.

There are, however, several tricks to get it working. The most obvious solution is to convert value to a canonical boolean value.

Read more →

flyspell-correct v0.5

October 7, 2018

flyspell-correct is a package for distraction-free words correction with flyspell via selected interface. It’s available on GitHub and MELPA.

Recently, there was a major release of flyspell-correct. Version 0.5 introduces rapid mode for fixing multiple words in one run, breaking renames and tests. Read further for the complete change list.

Read more →

Structure templates in Org mode

July 30, 2017

Anyone would agree that typing #+BEGIN_SRC ... #+END_SRC blocks manually feels strange.

In order to make life easier, some people implement helpers to insert these blocks. For example, Chris Done has org-begin-template function in his configs. Other people use yatemplate to create generic or specific templates for blocks.

But what is most fascinating, is that org-mode bundles with templates for some structural elements like these blocks. And instead of copy-pasting solutions into your .emacs file, take a look at Structure Templates.

Read more →

Being an org-mode addict

December 20, 2016

It is funny how I vainly try to escape devilish org-mode. I have several major concerns regarding it as a GTD system and a note taking system, but after all, whatever I try to replace it with, I always return to org-mode. Mostly because it’s simple (at least at the top level) and makes me feel more confident about my thoughts, tasks and the future. But on the other hand, it makes me really angry because it forces me to make some uncomfortable decisions.

Read more →

Using Spacemacs with several Emacs versions

June 24, 2016

Since Spacemacs officially supports at least two major versions of Emacs, as a collaborator I have to switch between Emacs versions time to time. And since installed packages don’t usually work between different major version of Emacs, I came up with a hack allowing me to seamlessly switch Emacs versions.

Read more →

flyspell-correct v0.1

June 22, 2016

flyspell-correct is a package for distraction-free words correction with flyspell via selected interface. It’s available on GitHub and MELPA.

Not long ago I have released the first version of flyspell-correct. There are several interesting changes compared to initial implementation. First of all, I divided this package into four different packages - core and interfaces. This allowed me to properly setup dependencies and also solved some problems with helm interface. Second important change - I’ve added a function called flyspell-correct-previous-word-generic, which is useful when the misspelled word is not under point, but long behind it. Right now I realise that it doesn’t work as perfect as I want, so I’ll improve it in the next release.

You can find more information about flyspell-correct on GitHub.

Read more →

Emacs and Composability

May 10, 2016

It’s not a secret that I enjoy using Emacs. And people often ask me why it’s Emacs and not Vi(m). The top issue for me is the modal editing thing. Somehow I just don’t get it. I understand that some people are able to fully utilize this feature, but I can’t say that about myself. In any case, recently I was reading an article on Irreal about Vim being not that hard to learn compared to Emacs and found a link to another interesting article about composability of Vim.

I totally agree that composability is a great feature that unfortunately wasn’t widely adopted. It’s very powerful in use and great in terms of learnability and consistency. Just as Mike Kozlowski has stated. I don’t want to repeat his article, instead just go ahead and read it.

What I want to do is to defend Emacs (and some other editors). I really think that it was very smart move to place the stake on the ability to extend the editor. And Emacs is a great example of such editor. Just take a look at evil. Whenever I think about it, I am amazed. It doesn’t mean that I want to use it, it just shows that extensibility matters and its limits are very loose.

Let’s return to composability in Emacs. One might argue that Emacs comes with built-in composability, but let’s be honest even if it’s not true - it’s still easy to implement vim-like composability even in Emacs. It’s just a matter of effort.

To follow Mike Kozlowski’s trend, I admit that Emacs is not perfect. Some people don’t like Emacs Lisp, and out-of-box experience is far from being ideal. In order to perfect Emacs The Editor you have to invest a lot of time in writing configurations. You also have to use dozens of third-party packages and also configure them appropriately. But it gives you freedom. And in case you don’t like writing configs, just take a look at these great projects - Purcell’s emacs.d, Prelude and of course, Spacemacs. You have plenty of options. And composability is one of them.

Read more →


May 9, 2016

flyspell-correct is a package for distraction-free words correction with flyspell via selected interface. It’s available on GitHub and MELPA.

It’s very common to make mistakes while writing notes, comments or whatever. And a desire to have spell checking software is natural. In Emacs, we usually use Flyspell for that purpose. It’s a great piece of software, but sometimes it lacks better interface for correcting words. Especially since there are completion packages like popup.el, helm, ivy etc. There are already available separate packages for correcting words via popup.el (wiki, flyspell-popup) and helm (helm-flyspell). Since recently I have switched from helm to ivy, I’ve found a lack of similar package for ivy, so I decided to write my own.

But available packages are all the same, except the part that calls completion front-end, so my goal was to provide a generic package allowing usage of any interface. Either from the predefined set (ivy, helm, popup or dummy) or any user-defined.

This is an introduction post, for more up-to-date documentation, please refer to README file.

Read more →