Category “Emacs” — 24 articles

The code of El-Get has been pretty stable for a long time now. About the whole set of patches against the 4.x series has been about bug fixing corner cases (sometimes cases that had nothing cornery about them too) and providing more and more recipes. That’s what you expect from a stable software, and that what allows us to move to a rolling releases model. In practice, it means that you won’t have to suffer from using a badly maintained stable branch anymore.

I’ve discovered recently another Emacs facility that I since then use several times a day, and I wonder how I did without it before: C-M-SPC runs the command mark-sexp. Well, mark-sexp apparently is related to the Sex Pistols It’s pretty simple actually, when you have the point at the beginning of a word or an identifier (containing numbers, dashes, underscores and other punctuation signs), you can select the whole of it in a single key chord!

About Vimgolf

Following some tweet I found myself desultory watching an episode of the awesome VimGolf in Emacs video series by Tim Visher. Those series are about picking some challenge from vimgolf and implementing it with our favorite editor instead. Because Emacs Rocks guys.

Let me tell you upfront that I really dislike the whole idea of the vim golf challenge. I’ve been a user of both Emacs and Vim for many years, and finally decided to switch to living in Emacs; or if you prefer, climbing my way up from level 2 as in The Levels Of Emacs Proficiency.

Editing SQL

It’s hard to read my blog yet not know I’m using Emacs. It really is a great tool and has a lot to compare to PostgreSQL in terms of extensibility, documentation quality and community. And there’s even a native implementation of the PostgreSQL Protocol written in Emacs Lisp.

One of the things where Emacs really shines is that interactive development environment you get when working on some Emacs Lisp code.

El-Get 4.1 is out

Please welcome the new stable version of El-Get, the much awaited version 4.1 has now been branched for your pleasure. It’s packed with lots of features to make your life easy, comes with a Info documentation book and even has a logo. That’s no joke, I found one, at least: Why El-Get is relevant Emacs 24.1 is the first release that includes package.el, and it even allows the user to setup several sources where to fetch packages.

M-x recompile

A friend of mine just asked me for advice to tweak some Emacs features, and I think that’s really typical of using Emacs: rather than getting used to the way things are shipped to you, when using Emacs, you start wanting to adapt the tools to the way you want things to be working instead. And you can call that the awesome! In this case we’re talking about the M-x compile and M-x recompile functions.


The el-get project releases its new stable version, 3.1. This new release fixes bugs, add a host of new recipes (we have 420 of them and counting) and some nice new features too. You really want to upgrade. New features Among the features you will find dependencies management and M-x el-get-list-packages, that you should try as soon as possible. Of course, don’t miss M-x el-get-self-update that eases the process somehow.

From the first days of el-get is was quite clear for me that we would reach a point where users would want a nice listing including descriptions of the packages, and a major mode allowing you to select packages to install, remove and update. It was also quite clear that I was not much interested into doing it myself, even if I would appreciate having it done. Well, the joy of Open Source & Free Software (pick your own poison).

Emacs Startup

Using Emacs we get to manage a larger and larger setup file (either ~/.emacs or ~/.emacs.d/init.el), sometime with lots of dependencies, and some sub-files thanks to the load function or the provide and require mechanism. Some users are even starting Emacs often enough for the startup time to be a concern. With an emacs-uptime (yes it’s a command, you can M-x emacs-uptime) of days to weeks ( 10 days, 17 hours, 45 minutes, 34 seconds as of this writing), it’s not something I really care about much.

Emacs comes with a pretty good implementation of a terminal emulator, M-x term. Well not that good actually, but given what I use it for, it’s just what I need. Particulary if you add to that my cssh tool, so that connecting with ssh to a remote host is just a =C-= runs the command cssh-term-remote-open away, and completes on the host name thanks to ~/.ssh/known_hosts. Now, a problem that I still had to solve was the colors used in the terminal.

Dimitri Fontaine

PostgreSQL Major Contributor

Open Source Software Engineer