The Chronicle

of a ColdFusion Expatriate

Advanced Window Management With Slate

January 31, 2016

I am mildly obsessed with window management. When I ran Linux full-time, I tried nearly every window management system I could find and ultimately fell in love with “tiling” window managers. I used Xmonad for more than a year and then switched to i3.

I have used a Mac at home for a long time and previously tried Slate and Spectacle for moving windows around quickly. When I was finally able to get a Mac at work I refocused my efforts into finding just the right solution.

I was quite happy with Spectacle until a colleague showed me that Slate now supports Javascript configuration, which makes it possible to do very sophisticated things. I used that facility to re-implement my favorite feature of Spectacle: the ability to cycle a window through three different sizes along one screen edge.

Here I’ll show you how it’s done. If you don’t desperately want to code up your own Slate system after reading this, I’ve done something terribly wrong.

Dig Into Org Mode

January 30, 2016

Org mode was one of the main reasons I tried Emacs (and left behind 15 years of Vim), and now it is a central part of how I organize my work. Org mode can help you take notes, track tasks, build agendas, process tabular data, and more. It’s so flexible that everyone uses it differently.

I use Org mode primarily to capture tasks and keep track of their progress. I sometimes take notes in Org mode, but I haven’t completely fleshed out my note-taking and searching workflow, so I’ll talk mostly about task management here.

Introducing Octopress.el

January 23, 2016

If you’ve ever scrolled all the way to the bottom of this blog, you’ll know that I use Octopress (a Jekyll-powered blogging system written in Ruby) to build it. What I like about Octopress is a subject for a different post, but I like it a lot.

Of course, as an Emacs user, it pains me to drop to a command line to do something that should be part of a fluid text editing workflow, and blogging is a great example of such a scenario.

To solve that problem, I wrote Octopress.el, an Emacs package for blogging with Octopress. Using Octopress.el, you can view your drafts and posts, publish, unpublish, build, preview, and even deploy your Octopress blog right from within Emacs!

Octopress.el can be installed right now from MELPA (package name: octopress), or downloaded from my Github (repository: octopress.el). Go get it, give it a try, send me issues or pull requests, and get blogging!

If you want to go on more of a detailed tour, continue reading!

Living in Evil

January 23, 2016

Evil Mode is a phenomenal tool; it’s a better Vim than Vim. The only problem is, there are a lot of other great tools available in Emacs that don’t get along well with Evil Mode, and if you don’t set things up just right you can wind up with jumbled key bindings and unexpected behaviors.

In this post I’ll explain how I set up my configuration to use Evil Mode in all of the places where I want it, but none of the places where it gets in the way.

Authoring Emacs Packages

August 04, 2015

Have you extended Emacs in a novel way? Do you want to share your creation with the wide world of Emacs users? Well then, you will need to learn how to create a proper Emacs package.

Packaging for Emacs is generally pretty easy and there is a lot of help available, both within Emacs itself and obviously on the Internet. There are a few things, though, that are conspicuously and annoyingly hard to find help with so I decided to document them for you.

Come with me and learn how to create an Emacs Package from scratch.