“Hi, I’m Mike, and I am an alco… emacs user.”

I can be found at http://mpwilson.com/ and madwilliamflint@gmail.com

I’ve been running various flavors of emacs for something distressingly close to 20 years, according to comments in my .emacs file, and I’m still a n00b. Currently I’m running on windows (x and nt varietals), on SunOS and RHEL… all at once. So it gets messy.

I’m looking for a trailhead into more advanced usage (org-mode, embracing bbdb, writing my own elisp, etc.) but I’m having trouble.

Mostly what I use it for (besides all my coding work, which mostly consists of C++, perl and various flavors of shell scripts) is keeping my daily work log/journal.

On execution, a file “~/TheOneFile.out” is copied to ~/journal/YYYYMMDD.tof.out” for backup, then opened (in outline-mode.) Then a top-level entry is placed at the top of the file with a date:time string… like so.

“* Thu Jul 1 09:58:22 2010”

That way I can muck around with the file however I want while having a reasonable poor-man’s backup system.

As a ‘to do’ list, I use an outline hierarchy with a slightly different format:

“** - Top level item.”

“*** - Second level item.”

Then I use the ‘-’ character to indicate status.

‘-’ not started ‘@’ in progress ‘/’ deferred ‘!’ complete ‘x’ skipped.

Works for me as I can keep full procedural “run books” in the TheOneFile outline and just copy them forward and reset the status when I need them again.

Welcome to the wiki. – DrewAdams

Welcome to the wiki!

What you are doing now with the currenty ad hoc journal format is also possible with org-mode. Its feature list is quite impressive and it includes stuff like: archiving of completed to-do entries; an agenda view mode to look at what’s a good candidate for the next thing to work on; a nice default set of task “states” and the ability to use custom ones; time-tracking to see how much time you have spent to work on a specific task, including a break-down of large to-do tasks to smaller chunks of time, and so on.

I’m sure you will enjoy working with org-mode too. It is a magnificent package for Emacs. I instantly fell in love with it and I use it for pretty much all my to-do and daily journal tasks now. – GiorgosKeramidas

Thanks. Last time I dipped my head in to org-mode I found it a little too… ‘comprehensive’ might not be the right word. It just seemed a bit arcane (though that’s a pretty bold complaint from an emacs user I suppose.) The thing is, I don’t actually need time tracking, next action analysis, etc. Breakdowns are wonderfully handled in outline mode by just creating nested tasks.

It works as sort of a ‘minimally marked-up’ flat file, which I like.

I’ll definitely give it another look though.

Ya know what I wish I had? An AnnotationMode that would allow me, while visiting any file, to pull up in a right-hand pane a list of file annotations that were reasonably synchronized by line number.

Hmm… there’s no AnnotationMode page. I’ll expand on this there.

As an admin would notice, I take disturbing amounts of pleasure in bouncing on the RandomPage link. Aside from making ~/emacs/ swell, it’s done very little aside from convincing me that I really need to break out of this emacs plateau I’ve been in for about a decade. Still trying to figure out how to do that.

ClearCase integration would be a nice start I suppose.

One problem I find is that I use emacs on Red Hat and xemacs on win32, so I get hit with (perhaps not so) bizarre compatibility restrictions.

Perhaps it’s just a matter of printing up cheet sheets and keeping them right in front of my eyes to avoid the “meh, too lazy to look it up. I’ll do it manually.”


Just took a first bite out of OrgMode. I didn’t realize it was PERFECTLY compatible with my ad-hoc OneHugeTextFile format. Plus, using <TAB> to cycle folding states is addictive.