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Prettify your Emacs (bis)

September 18, 2019

Lately I have spent a fair amount of time tweaking my (Doom) Emacs config to make it look the way I want it to.

I care about how my editor looks because I stare at it all day. How could I not care deeply about how it looks? — Jack Baty

I do care as well, especially since I spend nearly 70% of my “computing time” in front of this editor.

Now, when I see the number of new commits since the last time I fetched the develop branch of Doom Emacs on my HD, I just want to cry. It is just scary as it might break a lot of things that are currently working (mainly Python and Lisp/Scheme stuff), and I wonder if there is a point in updating as frequently as I did in the past. Last update went with a complete rework of the package management (straight) system, for example. Even with a complete backup of my .emacs.d, it took me more time than expected to get my Emacs up again. And, of course, I forgot to save the .local/cache directory where a lot of useful stuff is stored…

Anyway, let’s see how it goes. For the time being, I will definitely stay with my current config, as I find it definitely satisfactory after months of fighting with LSP servers and Org mode. I know I will probably change my mind in the next few weeks, but anyway, here are the good parts of my hacking time, which closely follows my earlier post.

First, I removed org-ref — I wasn’t really using it, in fact I just need to be able to manage a BibTeX file (read search/edit/annotate), and I am now using Pandoc syntax to include references in Org document. For example, @johndoe2011 should read “John Doe (2011). The infamous article that nobody reads. The fucking Journal, vol (#): pp” when exported as HTML or PDF. Otherwise, I don’t really care since I can use ivy-bibtex and look for the reference. The same function (ivy-bibtex) allows me to find and open any BibTeX entry, to annotate it as well, or to insert a plain text reference or the bibtex key in my current buffer, be it an Org or a Markdown file. This is generally all I need to do, after all. Back to our subject, as I removed the org-ref package, I needed a way to highlight Pandoc-like citation in any Org file I am currently editing. Easy peasy, here is one way to do it: (and here is another way)

(font-lock-add-keywords 'org-mode
                        '(("@[a-z]+.+?[^;,.]+" . font-lock-keyword-face)))

This is basically how it looks:

I should note that I follow strict rules when generating BibTeX keys, which simplifies the construction of the above regex (which should stop whenever we encouter a semi-colon, a comma or a period):

(setq bibtex-field-delimiters 'double-quotes
      bibtex-autokey-year-length 4
      bibtex-autokey-name-year-separator "-"
      bibtex-autokey-year-title-separator "-"
      bibtex-autokey-titleword-separator "-"
      bibtex-autokey-titlewords 2
      bibtex-autokey-titlewords-stretch 1
      bibtex-autokey-titleword-length 5)

Second, I don’t really like the way and are rendered when using the patched Iosevka font. The symbols look too streched (horizontally), and I much prefer slanted version. As I said in my earlier post, I updated the default list of symbols (+pretty-code-iosevka-font-ligatures) using basic setq. However, new settings will not override default settings, so I decided to manage the +iosevka.el file myself, and commented out the default values I didn’t like. I know this is sort of a ugly hack, but this way I can keep things in control at the very least.

The same happens for Magit nice list-repository utility. Why not adding some fancy Unicode character in place of plain text column headers? A little (setq magit-repolist-columns ...), and we are done.

Also, I added some (ya)snippets for the git commit popup, namely wip (work in progress), cos (cosmit changes), fix (minor fix) and doc (add doc). Do we need any other headline when we wok-rk alone? This basically mimics what I already have as Git aliases in my Git config files. Very handy in any case.

Last, I managed to reafctor all my Org files so that I now have a set of public files that I can push to Github, as well as private files (daily log book and work-related todos files), and a set of public notes that I may probably publish on Github at some point:

~/org (master|✚2)  tree
├── drafts
│   ├── _assets
│   │   ├── github.css
│   │   └── worg.css
│   ├── _img
│   │   ├── ch1-Z-G-13.gif
│   │   ├── fig-emacs-markdown-mode.png
│   │   ├── fig-emacs-screenshot.png
│   │   └── fig-sam-format.png
│   ├──
│   ├──
│   ├──
│   ├──
│   ├──
│   ├──
│   ├──
│   ├── src
│   │   ├── ackerman.pas
│   │   ├── echange.pas
│   │   ├── fibonacci.pas
│   │   ├── gauss.c
│       --%<--------------
│   │   ├── test.db
│   │   ├── test_perms.pas
│   │   ├── testfloat.c
│   │   ├── trinome.pas
│   │   └── trinome2.c
│   └──
├── local
│   ├──
│   ├──
│   └──
├── references.bib

(Yes, I know, Turbo Pascal files are very, very old school.)


See Also

» Prettify your Emacs » Emacs, 15 years later » VS Code and Python » Emacs and Python 3 » Org-mode and blogging