A few weeks ago I learnt about bug-reference-mode, a neat little Emacs
minor-mode that automatically links text to a bug tracker. A few of my projects
use bug trackers or GitHub issues, and different clients often have their own
There are two variables that I usually want to set for bug-reference-mode:
The URL of an individual bug, with %s used
as a placeholder for the bug ID.
The regular expression that finds bug ID
references. This is usually something like #1234.
I use directory local variables1 for a lot of projects, but Emacs also
supports file local variables for more fine-grained settings. org-mode has its
own syntax for setting file local variables, so I needed to adjust things
slightly to get it all working.
Setting local variables for a bug tracker looks like this:
I've been using zetteldeft to manage my notes for about six months now. Recently
I've been wanting to reorganize my notes as some of them don't follow the
zettelkasten principal of one idea per note.
Okay, most of them don't follow that principal if I'm honest about it.
I wanted to slice up my existing notes into smaller files and then link them all
together. In my mind the process would go something like:
Highlight the region to extract.
Enter a title for the new note.
Emacs would automatically move the text to the new note and insert a link
where it used to be.
Emacs macros are handy for this kind of repeatable behaviour, so I started
recording with an example note.
However, I quickly ran into a roadblock due to zetteldeft's behaviour when
creating a new note. zetteldeft will create a file, insert the title, and save
the file name to the Emacs kill ring. This meant any text I'd copied would be
overwritten by the note title.
I decided to abandon the macro method and use a dedicated function instead. I
wrote a little function called sodaware/zd-extract-region-to-note that
extracts a highlighted region to a new note:
(defun sodaware/zd-extract-region-to-note (title)
"Extract the marked region to a new note with TITLE."
(interactive (list (read-string "Note title: ")))
(let* ((deft-use-filename-as-title t)
(note-id (zetteldeft-generate-id title))
(note-filename (concat note-id zetteldeft-id-filename-separator title))
(note-text (kill-region (region-beginning) (region-end))))
(when (featurep 'evil) (evil-insert-state)))
(sodaware/zd-insert-link note-filename title)))
(defun sodaware/zd-insert-link (note title)
"Insert a link to NOTE with TITLE as its link text."
(insert (format "[[zdlink:%s][%s]]" note title)))
I use the zdlink protocol for my links, but the sodaware/zd-insert-link
function can be modified to use any kind of link. Eventually I'd like this to be
controlled via a variable.
I'd also like a function that returns focus to the original note after
extraction, but for now I'm pretty happy with how things work.
Each month I set primary and secondary goals as part of my Groundhog Day
Resolutions process. Setting goals is good, but I have a nasty habit of
forgetting about them until a few days before they're due. Not good.
To combat this issue I wanted to add my goals somewhere I would see them every
day: my org agenda.
My daily agenda display currently looks like this (minus client/private tasks):
I wanted to keep the same agenda information, but with my monthly goals at the
top so that I can't ignore them.
The first step was to create a place to store my goals. I created an org file
with TODO entries for each goal, all stored under a headline for the
month. These entries are tagged with :GHD: so they can be filtered, and I
added an :ACTIVE: tag for the current month.
The finished goals.org is laid out like this:
* TODO March 2021 [0/7] :GHD:ACTIVE:
** TODO [#A] Finish version 1.0 of Writing PHP with Emacs
** TODO [#A] Complete another session of deliberate practice
** TODO [#A] Finish version 0.3 of Craft Roulette
** TODO [#A] Contribute to a free software project
** TODO [#C] Run 120 miles
** TODO [#C] Read a book
** TODO [#C] Add detail pages to my secondary goals
The tag properties are inherited from the parent for each child goal, which
makes setting the active month much simpler.
My first attempt used A and B for the priorities, but org-agenda gives all
tasks a priority of B by default so the month headline was showing in the
final view. Using A and C for my primary and secondary goals fixes this.
The custom agenda is made up of three parts:
A list of primary goals.
A list of secondary goals.
The regular org agenda which shows scheduled tasks and deadlines.
I used the tags-todo command to list goals; it can filter tasks by file, tag,
and priority which makes it perfect for the job. The configuration to show my
primary goals is fairly simple:
emojify is an Emacs package that adds emoji support to any Emacs buffer.
Running M-x emojify-mode will turn on emoji support for the current buffer. It
does not alter the contents of the buffer, only how it's displayed. This makes
it safer to use, but it does have some weird side-effects when aligning text in
certain buffers (like org-agenda).
There is also no support for html export, although there's a GitHub issue open
with some workarounds.
Any required images will be downloaded the first time running emojify-mode,
and a full list of supported emojis can be viewed with
emojify-list-emojis. There are over 5,000 so it can take a while to display.
global-emojify-mode can be used enable the mode everywhere:
;; Enable everywhere via an init hook.
(add-hook 'after-init-hook #'global-emojify-mode)
;; Or with use-package.
I prefer to enable emojify on a per-project basis, so I use .dir-locals.el
to enable it for org and markdown buffers:
One of my major goals for this year is to improve my processes. It's a bit of a
vague goal at the moment, but the general idea is to examine how I currently get
things done and to tweak things as needed.
I've been doing the same job for over a decade now (and programming computers
even longer) so I feel like there there are plenty of areas where I've
The first step is finding where I can make improvements. There are a couple of
different ways I can do this:
Thinking through things – This is a bit like proofreading my own work; it
finds problems, but it misses just as many. I still think it's useful to sit
down and examine my routines, but it's not a foolproof strategy.
Get outside help – If the previous method is proofreading, this is hiring
an editor. I get regular feedback on my work from clients, but it's usually
on what I've done, not how I've done it.
Record myself working – It's pretty common for people to record
themselves to check their form when working out. This is the same thing, but
with boring work instead of lifting weights.
Right now I'm trying out #3 with some success. It's a little time consuming to
watch videos of my work, but it's helped me find a couple of small things
When working BlitzMax code I spend a fair amount of time typing closing
statements like End Function or End Method. This is something I can fix
I'm not comfortable renaming files I'm working on from within Emacs, so I'll
open the file manager to do it.
I'll switch to a browser to look something up and usually end up getting
distracted. Either blocking distracting sites or using Emacs to search
documentation would fix this.
There are still plenty of things I'd like to improve on, but these came up
within a few sessions of recording myself.