Posts about Emacs

All my posts about Emacs and programming in Emacs Lisp. I used Emacs for a long time and wrote posts, from short intros to random packages I was using to long articles about specific Emacs features. I used to maintain a rather large Emacs extension (Flycheck) so I also wrote about my experiences in programming with Emacs Lisp. Becoming increasingly frustrated with Emacs and some parts of its community in the last years of my use I also wrote some less favorable posts about the project Emacs.

Beginning of 2017 I stopped using Emacs, and also stopped writing about Emacs.

In this category

Posts in this category, from newest to oldest:
  • Bye Bye Emojis: Emacs Hates MacOS
    Published Nov 21, 2016. Last revised Nov 22, 2016

    Even though coloured emoji work well on macOS Emacs 25 disabled this feature, because free operating systems lack support for coloured fonts. The FSF has given us MacOS users the finger: We are not welcome, and never will be.

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  • Read and write files in Emacs Lisp
    Published Nov 15, 2016. Last revised Nov 16, 2016

    A lot of Emacs Lisp code uses interactive commands like find-file or write-file to read or write files. This article gives reasons not to follow this pattern, and shows safer alternatives with the f.el library and with built-in functions.

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  • A Future For Concurrency In Emacs Lisp
    Published Oct 21, 2016.

    I recently wrote down my thoughts about Emacs’ concurrency efforts. In a way this post is the second part. While the first post went a long way to explain why I do not like threads this post tries to explain why I see futures as an easier, a faster way to add better concurrency support to Emacs.

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  • A Blast From The Past: The Tale Of Concurrency In Emacs
    Published Oct 14, 2016.

    Currently there’s a lot of fuzz about concurrency in Emacs again. The topic rekindled on emacs-devel and promptly made it to Reddit as well. The lack of proper concurrency is a long-standing issue in Emacs, vexing users and developers alike. Users are frustrated to see Emacs freezing now and then, and developers are frustrated because so far they are unable to fix this source of constant frustration without major pain.

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  • I wished GNU Emacs had…
    Published Jul 19, 2016.

    An open letter to the GNU Emacs developers.

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  • Reproduce bugs in emacs -Q
    Published Nov 29, 2015.

    When reporting issues to Emacs packages you will often find maintainers replying with “Please reproduce this issue in emacs -Q”. This article explains what this means, why maintainer may ask for this and how to use emacs -Q to reproduce an issue.

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  • My Emacs Configuration with use-package
    Published Jan 6, 2015.

    How I organize my Emacs configuration with use-package.

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  • Emacs script pitfalls
    Published Aug 12, 2014. Last revised Oct 3, 2016

    Emacs offers some flags to use Emacs Lisp for standalone scripts, however Emacs’ decade-long history as an interactive program makes writing standalone scripts an intricate and subtle experience. This article starts with a discussion of the safe and correct Emacs Lisp shebang—which turns out to be much longer than you might expect. We then take a look at command line arguments and standard input and output of Emacs Lisp scripts, and finally conclude with some debugging tips and the recommendation to better use another language for your scripts.

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  • Autoloads in Emacs Lisp
    Published Jul 2, 2014. Last revised Aug 5, 2016

    Emacs offers an autoloading mechanism to load libraries on demand when calling functions. This article explains how to declare autoloads, how they work, and how Emacs Lisp packages use autoloads to improve startup time.

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  • Advanced syntactic fontification
    Published Jun 16, 2014.

    This article concludes my series about Font Locking in Emacs by illustrating how to hook into Emacs’ syntactic analyses to implement context-sensitive fontification. If you are new to this series, you may want to read the earlier articles on Syntactic Fontification in Emacs and Search-based fontification with keywords.

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  • Search-based fontification with keywords
    Published Mar 26, 2014.

    This article continues the series about Font Locking in Emacs with a look at search-based fontification with regular expressions in font-lock-keywords. If you are new, you may want to read the first article on Syntactic Fontification in Emacs first.

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  • Syntactic fontification in Emacs
    Published Mar 12, 2014.

    This is the first article of the Font Locking in Emacs series. It explains the concept of “syntactic fontification” of strings and comments. This font locking technique is the easiest to get started with, although the concept itself is quite intricate and powerful.

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  • Overview of Emacs Font Locking
    Published Mar 12, 2014.

    An overview over Emacs’ font locking system.

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