Yes it did happen, for real, in London: the Emacs Conference. It was easter week-end. Yet the conference managed to have more than 60 people meet together and spend a full day talking about Emacs. If you weren’t there, a live stream was available and soon enough (wait for about two weeks) the video material will be published, as sacha is working on it.
The conference has been packed with awesome really. Among the things that I’m going home with are new thoughts, tricks and tips, and new modes to use in Emacs.
The main new though is all about learning to program. That’s a problem space in which I have a growing interest in, and the conference talk about arxana showed that it should be possible to build an environment where you can learn programming with the excuse of having fun with maths. And after talking about music and its notation and lilypond, it should even be possible to offer some interactive programming environment where not only you can play music live as Meta-Ex is doing, but where the other output of your program would be the updated music scores.
The main practical bits I’m going home with is redshank, A collection of code-wrangling Emacs macros mostly geared towards Common Lisp, but some are useful for other Lisp dialects, too. That complements paredit and allows you to do some reformating very easily.
Lastly, I’m back to giving the dark background environment a try now. I think I prefer the contrast and richer color sets of the default Emacs color theme, but the black window has some classy visual effect too. And with main-line the effect is quite awesome!