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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Your chance to influence Emacs development! Participate in an Emacs survey

The emacs development team is running a survey on what packages to enable by default.  To do that, they need your responses on the packages that you use.  You could parse your .emacs or do M-x report-emacs-bug and see the buffer for the list of modes enabled for you.  The survey link is below

Please follow the instructions in the link above.  If anything, it might make Emacs easier to use for others.  And please do spread the word.

A few unrelated Emacs tips

I used to prefer installing things by hand but now I'm not so sure after using Emacs package manager.  Add this to your .emacs and do a M-x list-packages to see the list of packages that are available for Emacs.

(setq package-archives '(("gnu" . "")
                         ("marmalade" . "")
                         ("melpa" . "")))

Yes, not all packages are there; yes, the sites go down sometime, yes it's goes into .emacs.d folder in your relevant OS.   It works smoothly and it saves you a lot of hassle in scouring the net for stuff which overrides the minor inconveniences.

Use outline-mode in your AucTeX mode when editing LaTeX files as outline-minor-mode and while you're at it, do install OutlineMagic to handle the not-so-easy-keychord issue of outline-mode.  I've mapped mine to PF12 key.
 (eval-after-load 'outline
    (require 'outline-magic)
    (define-key outline-minor-mode-map (kbd "<\f12>") 'outline-cycle)))

If you ever had the need to copy your gcc messages to different folders at the same time when sending out emails in gnus, then this thread might be of use to you. Currently doesn't work with group names with spaces in their names especially IMAP folders.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Updated Instructions for Installng AucTeX on Windows and Cygwin

I had written about installing AucTeX earlier and it seems to work most of the time for people based on the emails to me.  Since then AucTeX has been developed further and there's a git repository too for it.  Here's a new set of instructions for the combination of Emacs 24.3, Cygwin and AucTeX.  Now you need git too to clone the repository and follow the instructions by Tassilo Horn here.

It's missing only one bit of instruction; you need to run
before you start the ./configure script like
 $ ./configure --prefix=c:/gnu/ --with-emacs=c:/gnu/emacs-24.3/bin/emacs --with-texmf-dir=c:/MiKTeX2.9/

I prefer the in situ use of AucTeX and so you'd definitely need to follow Tassilo's instructions on the directory customisations especially

;; AUC TeX
;;;lines below are needed as we are calling auctex in situ inside the
;;;git repo instead of installing it.  See
(setq TeX-data-directory "C:/gnu/elisp/auctex/")
(setq TeX-lisp-directory "C:/gnu/elisp/auctex/")
(setq preview-datadir (expand-file-name "preview" TeX-data-directory)
      preview-lispdir preview-datadir)
(add-to-list 'load-path "C:/gnu/elisp/auctex/")
(add-to-list 'load-path "C:/gnu/elisp/auctex/preview/")
(setq Info-default-directory-list 
      (cons "c:/gnu/elisp/auctex/doc" Info-default-directory-list))

So, there you have it,using the git version of AucTeX.  And a big thanks to Tassilo for helping me sort out my installation woes.

Friday, August 9, 2013

A small GNU Screen tip for Cygwin MinTTY

I use Cygwin a lot and use the default mintty terminal emulator for most of my scripting work.  While I used GNU Screen, I never used it much till the vertical split patch was merged into it and made available on Cygwin(found the default horizontal split a bit distracting).  Even then, I found the region traversal a chore, having remapped C-a to C-z and using C-z TAB to switch between regions.  Too many keystrokes and a bit awkward for a bad typist like me.

And so I was rooting around mintty settings and was reading the mintty tips page, when I found the following tip for Gnu Screen.
bindkey "^[[1;5I" next
bindkey "^[[1;6I" prev

Well, the above just replaces the session in the current region with the next one or the previous on using Ctrl+Tab and Ctrl+Shift+Tab key combinations.  Which sort of doesn't do screen a bit of justice.  My way of using screen was

Split the mintty screen estate(maximised) into 4 regions as a 2x2 grid, each grid cell starting off a bash shell; this is what I have on my .screenrc

screen -ln -t "home" 1
split -v
focus right
screen -t "bash2" 2 bash
focus down
screen -t "bash4" 4 bash
focus left
focus down
screen -t "bash3" 3 bash
focus up
Change keybindings above to
bindkey "^[[1;5I" focus next
bindkey "^[[1;6I" focus prev

and now what you have is the ability to use Ctrl and Tab keys chord combination to quickly switch between regions instead of sessions listed in the tips page.  Over the last few days, this settings alone has lead me to use Screen more in my shell work.

Anyone has anything for cut and paste and buffer copy/paste to external applications? Especially with mouse use?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sometimes it's nice knowing that people are giving you exactly what you wish for

So, it's been sometime since I had learnt Python and I had a chance to use it for a side project of mine. First, the builtin python mode in Emacs along with AC mode was/is more than adequate for your needs.  Even on the Windows platform...ermm....with Cygwin.  With some bare bones emacs config entries I was off coding in Emacs with AC mode trippily suggesting variable completion.  I must admit that AC mode does take some time to get used to

I say this because you're likely to find other suggestions about python-mode and Ropemacs along with a host of dependencies that might not be worth the effort.  Of course, your patience & YMMV but as I said the builtin python mode will serve your needs even if the other suggestions don't pan out.

On the side project of mine involving stock ticker data, I found the python Panda library quite easy to use.  A lot of the procedural code is wiped out by using Pandas and dataframes. Going through the documentation on slicing and dicing the dataframes, I was thinking, this is similar to SAS in thinking of the data rows as part of a dataset and all it needs some SQL support to make it even more easier than dealing with indices and other list semantics in Pandas.

And what do you know?  Someone's already done it. I found pandasql developed Yhat to do exactly what I was thinking, providing an SQL layer to Pandas.

Things are looking even simpler for my project.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Is that how Vi users go when they hear Emacs?

Well, I don't know the answer to that but Lars has gone off to code up a browser of sorts for Emacs called Emacs Web Wowser.  And you can read his post on his rationale for developing it. It's part of the gnus git branch for now.

Me, I stay off the text browsers unless I'm trying to script some automated downloads, where I use lynx.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Traditional May 1st Gnus Release out

A bit late in posting about it but Lars has released MaGnus 0.7 with bug fixes and some improvements.  The Changelog in the link has the details

Thursday, April 25, 2013

GNU Emacs Contributing Guide

If you ever wanted to contribute to Gnu Emacs development and didn't know where to start, well, worry no more.  Here's the first draft of it that will be soon be on the Emacs Web pages, thanks to Xue Fuqiao.

If this encourages more people to develop on and for Emacs, it'd be worth it.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Emacs 24.3 Released

Emacs 24.3 is finally out. Binaries can be got from the usual locations. If the Windows binaries are not out yet at your favourite mirror, wait a few days.  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Collection of LaTeX Letter Generation Threads

On comp.text.tex, over the last couple of days, there's been some interesting threads on letter templates, signatures and dates.  If you've used the komascript bundle(highly recommended), then it might be worthwhile to browse the threads as the package author Markus Kohm has responded to various letter related questions.  If you're learning komascript, you might find the thread useful. The package is available on  MiKTeX and TeXLive.

And may I once again reiterate that the new google groups interface is stunning in its ability to create UI confusion.  I just don't know where to look, find and generally navigate.  Maybe, it's because I've never been on Facebook?