Leverage recorded macros to learn elisp and hack together workflows in Emacs

The primary power of Emacs is that you can create customised workflows to suit your needs. However, lisp is probably not a language that many learn as a typical requirement in the academic systems, perhaps even for a software engineer. How would one then start customisting Emacs? One way would be to hunt for snippets from forums like reddit and stack overflow, and customise them. Another easy way to learn a programming language, especially one that is intrinsic to a software is to record macros and edit these macros.

Incremental improvements can lead to significant gains

While reading the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, I was reflecting that my choice of embracing Emacs and progressively gaining mastery over it was intimately connected with the philosophy preached in the book. My efforts initially started out with a craving for a system to quantify and manage my tasks, habits, notes, blog writing, job applications and projects in a custom environment, and to be able to build toolkits of code to perform repetitive tasks.

Why bother with Emacs and workflows?

I’ve written several posts on different ways and tools available to aid productivity, and probably a lot about Emacs. My background is in computational physics, and not in programming, and yet Emacs has been an indispensable driver of my daily workflow for the past 3 years. The fact is that knowing Emacs (or Vim), or having a custom configuration is not a wildly marketable skill, nor is it mandatory to achieve spectacular results.

Back to RSS

Why use RSS? Off late, I had been relying more on email based content consumption. The phenomenally fast search and filtering capabilities that can be leveraged with mu4e make this easy. Even with all these filters, it is quite difficult to keep on top of news and information from different sources. It is actually inconvenient to mix important emails and correspondence with newsletters and the like, which arrive by the dozen(s) everyday.

Iosevka - an awesome font for Emacs

Before my foray into Emacs, I purchased applications like IAWriter (classic)1, Marked2, Texts (cross platform Mac/Windows), and have also tried almost all the recommended apps for longer form writing. I am a fan of zen writing apps. In particular the font and environment provided by IAWriter are conducive to focused writing. There also exist apps like Hemingway that also help check the quality of your writing. Zen writing apps are called so because they have a unique combination of fonts, background color, including line spacing and overall text-width - all of which enable a streamlined and focused flow of words onto the screen.

Searching the awesome-lists on Github

Discovered the glorious awesome lists today on Github. They are available through a simple search on github, and contain curated lists of resources of all kinds on a multitude of topics. As one might expect, there is a lot of common ground between these lists, including topics and links. How could one search for a keyword through all these repositories? I have always wanted search for particular keywords or code snippets in my Emacs configuration files, or in other files in a particular location.

Literate Programming - Emacs, Howard Abrams and Library of Babel

I’m an admirer of Howard Abrams, especially because his posts and videos show the awesome power of doing things in Emacs, and the importance of writing clean and logical code. Watching his videos and reading his posts make me feel like I was born yesterday and I am just getting started. But more importantly, they also fire up my imagination regarding the possibilities out there and the potential to create glorious workflows.