In no particular order:

Org Mode Guilt and a Lisp Function

I have some guilt about having mostly forsaken org-mode, [1] in particular because I was watching Sacha Chua's chat with John Wiegley, and I think both are such nifty hackers, and have done so many things that are pretty darn nifty.

I liked what I heard about johnw's org mode setup so much that I might give it a try again. But in the mean time, I wanted to make my "recompile my tasklist function" to be a bit more clean. The result is follows:

(defun tychoish-todo-compile ()
   (if (get-buffer "*todo-compile*")
          (switch-to-buffer-other-window (get-buffer "*todo-compile*"))
          (compile "make -j -k -C ~/wiki")
          (switch-to-buffer-other-window "*compilation*")
          (rename-buffer "*todo-compile*")))


  • This is the first time I've used progn which is somewhat embarrassing, but it's a great thing to have in the toolkit now. Link: progn
  • I hadn't realized until now that there wasn't an else-if form in emacs lisp. Weird, but it makes sense.
  • Compilation Mode is pretty much my current favorite thing in emacs.
  • revbufs is this amazing thing that reverts buffers if there aren't local modifications, and also reports to you if a buffer has changed outside of emacs and there are local modifications. So basically "does everything you want without destroying anything and then tells you what you need to do manually." Smart. Simple. Perfect.

I might need to "macro-ize" this, as I have a lot of little compile processes for which I'd like to be able to trigger/maintain unique compile buffers. That's a project for another day.

Emacs Thoughts

I'm even thinking about putting together a post about how, although I'm a diehard emacs user, and I've spent a fair bit of time learning how to do really great things with emacs, there are a lot of vim-ish things in my workflow:

  • I read email with mutt and I've tried to get into GNUS, and I try it again every now and then, but I always find it so unbelievably gnarly. At least the transition. Same with Notmuch, which I like a lot more (in theory,) but I find the fact that Notmuch and mutt have this fundamental misunderstanding about what constitutes a "read" email, to be tragic.

  • I use a crazy ikiwiki + deft + makefile setup for task tracking. As (obliquely) referenced above.

    I might give org another shot, and I've been looking at task warrior, but the sad truth is that what I have works incredibly well for in most cases, and switching is hard.

  • I tend jump to a shell window to do version control and other things, even though I'm familiar with magit and dired, my use of these tools is somewhat spotty.

[1]It's not that I think org-mode sucks, or anything. Far from it, but how I was using org-mode was fundamentally not working for me. I'm thinking about giving it a try again, but we'll see.