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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Numbering Lines and lists in Emacs

I'm not talking about Line Numbering as we usually understand it but more along the lines of numbering lists or text inside the file buffer and which are part of the file. to use the wiki definition again;NumberLines

In Emacs 24.1, the NEWS file had this new addition to the rectangle commands.

** New command `C-x r N' (`rectangle-number-lines') numbers the lines in the current rectangle.  With a prefix argument, this prompts for a number to count from and for a format string.

This allows you to now number lines or lists easily instead of using a macro or additional elisp functions.  Mark a vertical region of text(using transient mark mode may help) 1 character wide and then hit C-x r N and that's it.  It numbers the line.

If you use the prefix command C-u and do C-u C-x r N, it will prompt you for a starting digit and the format string, so you can start from 15, say.

Things do get better with Emacs!

Monday, June 18, 2012

June TUG News

I saw this post on comp.text.tex and found a few interesting tidbits that people might be interested in, especially Knuth.

- Donald E. Knuth reports that a new, corrected reprint of Digital 
  Typography is now available. He writes, "I must say that I'm enormously 
  happy to hold it in my hands, because hundreds of things that readers 
  pointed out in the first printing have now been corrected." The best way 
  to ensure that you get the new, corrected printing is to order from the 

- As mentioned in the last newsletter, new corrected printings of Computers
  and Typesetting are also available. Knuth writes "...the books themselves 
  are significantly better in hundreds of small ways. I went through every 
  page very carefully and introduced many refinements, which have made me 
  extremely happy with the result. I'm now able to replace my personal desk 
  copies, in which hundreds of handwritten notes had been scrawled since the 
  Millennium edition came out, by fresh versions that are essentially 
  perfect (as far as I know). This is especially true of Volume B, because  
  important updates to the TeX software that were made in 2002 and 2007 have 
  never before been available in print." See the section entitled Spiffy New 
  Printings at

- TeX Live '12 is now frozen (svn revision 26895). Public release will occur 
  in a couple of weeks, and DVD will follow soon thereafter.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bookmarking in Emacs

This little feature in Emacs should be among the first things you should learn when you're trying out Emacs.

The thing is, you have to consciously keep at it for sometime before you start using it in a fashion that suits your workflow. In fact, I didn't use bookmarks at all for quite a few years; doing the same C-x d, scrolling to a folder, repeat scrolling till I reached my usual nested directory.  If you're doing something repetitively, it's a good bet to check out the manual about it or ask in the Emacs mailing list, someone's been through your pain before.

Anyways, if you want to bookmark a location(think man, info pages, specific directories), hit C-x r m and it will prompt you for a name.  Give one and you're set. C-x r b will give a promptable(tab completable) list that you type in to jump to the specific directory or file location.  The bookmarks can be saved for the next sessions by issuing a M-x bookmark-save.

That's all there is to it and you'll soon find it nifty when you're working on a coding project with large number of folders and files. People get lost in the humongous manual and this is the quickest way to get back to where you were when trying out things in the scratch buffer.

This thread might be useful for some and there are some improvements to it which can be found in the Emacswiki bookmarks link.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Suggestions for a RSS Reader?

Can anyone suggest a good RSS reader, please?  I used to use fastladder but that unfortunately has closed down.  I don't want to use Google Reader and i find the mozilla addon sage a bit old.  I'd prefer something that is browser based with little footprint and something that shows the unread article count.


Update: Thanks all for the comments, I went with newsblur. It doesn't even ask for an email registration!

Emacs 24.1 Released

After a number of pretests, Emacs 24.1 has been officially released.  You can read the announcement here.  Some highlights of the new features that I think might be useful to people, especially the Emacs version of apt-get.

- New packaging system and interface (M-x list-packages) for
  downloading and installing extensions.  A default package
  archive is hosted by GNU and maintained by the Emacs developers.
- Support for displaying and editing bidirectional text, including
  right-to-left scripts such as Arabic and Hebrew.
- Support for GnuTLS (for built-in TLS/SSL encryption), GTK+ 3,
  ImageMagick, SELinux, and Libxml2.

Binaries are at the usual place though it might take a few days to show up in your favourite mirror site. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Emacs 24.1 release candidate out

Barring last minute bugs, this will probably get released as Emacs 24.1.  The windows release information is also out.

So,if all goes well, we should see Emacs 24.1 released in about a week's time or so.