A lightweight philosophy for an Emacs keymap

Any approach for your desired keymap in Emacs is possible. My current philosophy under development is to keep things as close to “stock” as possible. The idea is that I won’t run into many collisions, and bindings will be generally documented quite well, and that is less work for me. What is my plan?
First, it is really simple. The F keys are nice to use, but far away, and the first handful are bound anyway. Looking at 1…0 though, are those really critical? Well that depends. Unless you pass numeric to functions to functions a lot, then feel free to rebind them. That brings 10 keys to be bound that are quite comfortable to use being so easy to reach, that is a very easy fix.
Second, I overload bindings whenever possible. org-mode C-c C-c binding is really delightful. There are a bunch of situations where given the context, hitting C-c C-c, 80% of the time will do “the right thing” for that situation. It is really pleasant to use. My version is pretty basic actually. The thing is that I like the VC bindings in Emacs even if they only operate on one file at a time, I love the workflow.
As such, I’m calling vc-next-action and log-edit done a lot of times every day. In the spirit of “saving keystrokes” and “micro-optimizations” it kind of jumped out at me that I’m wasting some time constantly hitting C-x s to save the buffer (despite having real-auto-save running quite aggressively), C-x vv to initiate the commit, fill the log message, and C-c C-c to finalize the commit. Well, that doesn’t sound like much, but trust me it is!
My override was to first find the easiest number key for me to reach with my right hand, that is 9, and bind C-9 to vc-next action. Adding some advice to vc-next-action, save-buffer is called so that doesn’t require a keystroke. After filling out the buffer, log-edit is bound to to C-9 but only in log edit mode. In that case, defadvice and C-9 make it a little simpler and so much faster. My tentative goal is to make C-9 “just do the right thing” in most situations, we’ll see where that goes.
Those are my two beliefs right now… any more lightweight and it wouldn’t even exist.

Lightweight multiple modes for semi-literate programming

Sometimes you don’t want a 100% reproducible system (org-mode, noweb, polymode) and instead just want an easy way to work with multiple languages within the same document (MuMaMo). Sometimes you don’t even want to go that far though and just want a really easy way to hack on different languages that have somehow ended up in the same file.
Jon posted the link here to Zane’s solution. Very cool. Nice reminder that if we were to read the Emacs and Emacs Lisp user manual, we would all know how to do this. Another nice reminder, even if we don’t, kind people provide the information and solutions for us, the very definition of community. I wanted a slightly different approach with just a couple additional things: line numbers instead of the point, safety checks for use via code, and a little more documentation:
Continue reading “Lightweight multiple modes for semi-literate programming”

org-mode document transport ala a zip file

In this humble post the Kitchin Research Group demonstrates how to package up all external references for an org-mode document for transportation in a zip file solving the problem that many org-mode users face of how to simply and easily share the entirety of an org-mode document with others without exporting to PDF.


A mistake that I made too often in life was to focus too much on the specific implementation or realization of a thing instead of learning about the valuable generalizations and abstractions that may be learned from it and applied elsewhere. That was then, this is now.
imenu is actually a nice feature for Emacs. When I learned about it way back when, having quit using the menu bar, I dismissed it as not-helpful. That was a stupid thing for me to do because there ought to be a way to use it with the keyboard. Of course there is.
Thank you vitoshka, for imenu-anywhere.