April 28, 2014

prefer emacs-in-terminal to emacs-with-native-ui

Filed under: Uncategorized — @ 12:00 a.m.
prefer emacs-in-terminal to emacs-with-native-ui

Until today, I was using Yamamoto Mitsuharu's emacs-mac-port which is highly customized for OS X. It's a beautiful integration featuring per-pixel scrolling, mapping of the command key to emacs-Meta, and some other things I can't think of nor do I miss too terribly now that I'm not using it1.

I've been using the shell from inside Emacs, and I've come to the conclusion that it's entirely unsuited for my purposes. It'd be really neat if shell-mode were usable for me, and perhaps it will become so at some point but I've determined that any shell implementation that doesn't do man pages well and correctly is an inadequate shell and I'll go elsewhere, thank you very much.

I strive for any combination of the following onto 1 screen, with 1-chord focus switching between the regions:

  • editor
  • test runner
  • shell
  • compiler

The list continues, but that's the general top of it.

My flow now is to run Emacs daemonized2 in iTerm 2 (an open-source OS X terminal), and use the 'panes' functionality to get that much-desired one-chord access to my test runner or shell or IRC client or another Emacs client with an important org-file in it…

Now I just need to wire the terminal up correctly so that my arrow keys are sent correctly over my mosh connection3.



Two finger swipes between buffers, with beautiful left/right animations including acceleration and whatnot. Gorgeous! Not terrifically useful for my flow, though.


This is definitely speed related. Sometime in the near future I'll need to profile my elisp so that it takes less than 6 seconds to boot Emacs the way I like it setup on an AWS t1.micro.

As a side note, running my full emacs config AND a Datomic transactor AND a Clojure webapp ALL on an t1.micro is just too much for the tiny little web instance to handle. Linux ends up randomly killing processes to get enough memory back


After #bitcoin-assets moved to the new voicing model, I didn't much feel like constantly authenticating with the Web of Trust bots and then the channel-operating bot, so I…installed Emacs 24 with all relevant dotfiles on my VPS and let it stay logged in for as long as my dirt-cheap hosting provider can keep it up and attached to the internet. This process actually kicked off my discontent with my old Emacs setup as I was now having to juggle the UI widgetry and the shell+Emacs commands in my poor, extremely limited brain!

Oh yeah, mosh. It's the most awesome thing ever - I've yet to need to restart my connection into the VPS in question or have it drop permanently. Mosh: say goodbye to broken pipes!

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