A text-based workflow for taking note

Over the years, I have been using various approaches to note taking on my Mac, especially to annotate articles or books I read, or just quickly write some reminders or archive snippets of code. None has definitely been satisfactory–the last iteration was a combination of a standard BibTeX file and hundreds of ebooks managed by Papers app, and I definitely need a more robust workflow. So, I decided to start again from scratch.

lost+found 2016

Here are some draft notes, written in 2016, unfilled but not lost forever. With slight edits to accomodate a proper archive blog post. Docker (August 2016) Docker allows to wrap software into a dedicated filesystem available on a server without having to build a complete virtual machine (VM) with its own operating system (OS). Docker containers can thus run as isolated processes on any computer and any OS. Getting started with Docker There are actually two options to install Docker on a Mac: Docker Toolbox and Docker for Mac.

Why I am still using Emacs

Some months ago I noticed the release of a new text editor which was supposed to bring the best of both world, Emacs and Vim, but see Spacemacs - First Impressions From an Emacs Driven Developer for a recent review. Spacemacs I tried Spacemacs yesterday and I must say this should be great for people used to Vim modal approach to interacting with buffer and text. However, I feel like it is too much for Emacs users (even with the Holy mode), and I stand on my custom settings.

Emacs Org-mode and literate programming

I’ve been using Emacs for editing and evaluating R code with ESS for a long time now. I also like Emacs for editing statistical reports and compiling them using knitr (and before that, Sweave), using plain $\LaTeX$ or just RMarkdown. Now, I’m getting interested in org-mode as an alternative to noweb, which I previously used when looking for a way to integrate different programming languages (e.g., sh, sed, and R) into the same document.

A modular configuration for Emacs

In this post I describe how I decided to organize by Emacs configuration files after having used for more than 10 years a monolithic .emacs file. There are many ways to configure Emacs, but you always need an init file. Several ‘ready-to-use’ system have been proposed, including starter-kit, prelude, and various flavours based on those packaging systems (e.g., Eric Schulte’s Starter Kit for Emacs 24, Kieran Healy’s Starter Kit for the Social Sciences, or Xiao Hanyu’s oh-my-emacs inspired by oh-my-zsh; see also Where I can find the most popular Emacs settings?

Using mu to manage e-mails (followup)

Here are further thoughts on managing IMAP accounts on a Mac without any GUI. I have been reading with pleasure this post: Email done right. In my case, I’m not so much concerned with the need for an unified inbox: I have several accounts but I only use Gmail. I have a .mac address that I will probably drop by little, and I don’t use my server (@aliquote.org) address (maybe I sould!

Emacs auto-completion for Python

Here are some notes on how to enable auto-completion for Emacs. I already have auto-complete installed and enabled for some major modes. Together with other goodies from ess or yasnippet it really makes life easier when working with R code. Following a recent post by John D Cook, I decided to try to enhance my default Emacs setup for Python (which barely consists in python-mode, ac-python and some custom hooks for indentation and tabs/spaces management).

GNU Emacs on OS X 10.7

I have been using Aquamacs for over 5 or 6 years now, but I recently decided to go back to a more simple version of Emacs, namely the latest build of Emacs for OS X. Why? There are several reasons: I wanted to rewrite a cleaner configuration file and use the ELPA package manager. OS X has no package manager, at least no one that I use (e.g., Homebrew)–anyway, I like compiling everything from scratch so that I know where things go to be installed.

Color schemes for Emacs and TeX

I lastly tried the Solarized color theme for Emacs which provides a nifty colorscheme (for light or dark backgrounds). This led me to wonder whether I could use this theme for highlighting code chunks in my $\LaTeX$ documents. Although it looks great, I gave up on it for Emacs because I had difficulties reading my text with the base color for body text (base0 or base00, depending on the background color).

Getting started with Slime

Slime provides a complete environment for Lisp development with Emacs. It includes a minor mode that enhances lisp-mode, a common lisp debugger (SLDB), an REPL, and an inspector. It supports several CL implementation, including CMUCL, SBCL, Clozure CL, or CLISP. It comes prepackaged for Aquamacs users, see the Download page on aquamacs.org. Basic usage Start Slime with M-x slime. The first time, a lot of elip files will be compiled on the fly, but the next time it will start much faster.