‘The half minute which we daily devote to the winding-up of our watches is an exertion of labour almost insensible; yet, by the aid of a few wheels, its effect is spread over the whole twenty-four hours.’
Benjamin Slade

Equake(!) Quake-style overlay console in StumpWM

I’ve been alternatively using both KDE Plasma 5 and StumpWM on various machines and have got a working model for using the Equake drop-down in StumpWM. I haven’t figured out how to get the same sort of partial drop-down/variable size in Stumpwm, and suspect that it may not currently be possible (see the “float-splits” item in the StumpWM wishlist). But this works as a general sort of “overlay console”, and moves seamlessly between StumpWM groups.

Equake: A drop-down console written in Emacs Lisp

Over the holiday break I’ve been working on developing a Quake-style drop-down console, dubbed Equake / equake. It is not yet on Melpa, but is accessible at https://gitlab.com/emacsomancer/equake.1 equake, written fully in Emacs Lisp, is designed as a ‘classic’ drop-down console interface like Yakuake, inspired by ‘cheat’ consoles in games like Quake. It provides access to various ‘shells’ implemented in Emacs, including shell (an Emacs wrapper around the current system shell), term and ansi-term, (both terminal emulators, emulating VT100-style ANSI escape codes, like xterm does), and eshell (a shell written entirely in Emacs Lisp).

Browsing the Web with Common Lisp

I was a long-time user of Conkeror, a highly-extensible browser with an Emacs ethos. It still exists, but since the changes in the Firefox back-end away from XULRunner, which Conkeror uses, running Conkeror became increasingly difficult to use, so I’ve largely switched to just using plain Firefox. However, John Mercouris has been developing Next Browser (originally styled nEXT Browser), a browser with a Common Lisp front-end, allowing for customisability and extensibility along Conkeror/Emacs lines:

Confusion: PDP-10 Zork

I grew up playing Infocom, Magnetic Scrolls, and Level 9 text adventures, with the Zork trilogy, the Enchanter trilogy, Planetfall, Wishbringer, The Guild of Thieves, The Pawn, Knight Orc, and Silicon Dreams being particularly prominent in my memory (somewhat re-activated through recent listening to the Eaten by a Grue podcast). I would have played all of these on an Atari 8bit or ST computer, and didn’t have any access to anything like a mainframe, and so never actually played the original Zork, which was written in the Lisp-derived MDL language (which formed the basis for the MDL-subset Infocom-specific ZIL language used for their subsequent offerings) for the DEC PDP-10.

Quake-style drop-down terminal in StumpWM

One thing I’ve missed in StumpWM is a Quake-style drop-down terminal, like what Guake provides (and I have a Lua-one in my AwesomeWM config). It may be that I’m still haven’t fully absorbed the StumpWM-mindset and that I should be doing this a different way. But up until now when I’m using StumpWM I’ve tended to end up with a heap of terminal windows that are a pain to navigate through (I have a run-or-raise command associated with xterm, but it starts from the first xterm window and usually I want the last – something else to figure out how to do).

Dockerised Firefox on GuixSD

So GuixSD doesn’t currently package Firefox (though hopefully that is changing), but only IceCat (which is now EOL). On freenode#guix, pkill9 suggested that Firefox (and Chromium etc.) could be installed on Guix via the Nix installer (install as per instructions on their site and then nix-env -i firefox) with the following trick, create a file ~/.local/bin/firefox with the following content: # Wrapper to run the Firefox built and packaged by Nix MESA_LIB=$(dirname $(realpath /run/current-system/profile/lib/libGL.

Grab word etymologies in Emacs

On Xah Lee’s blog I noticed an entry on linking to word etymologies from Emacs (2018-08-16: “emacs, create link of word etymology”). What his function does is create a html link to the Etymonline.com page on the currently selected word. But I thought: it would be great to have a quick way of pulling up etymological information within Emacs itself. So, with a little help from Links (i.e. you’ll need to have Links installed), here is a first attempt at such a function:

Managing emacsclient windows in StumpWM

I’m still working on getting my GuixSD machine configured, including working on getting familiar with StumpWM – a windows manager written in Common Lisp – which is the desktop paradigm I’ve decided upon for this Lisp-centric machine. I’m somewhat habituated to (my) AwesomeWM keybindings, which involve the Super key in combination with various other keys, including say s-1 for tag/workspace 1, s-3 for tag/workspace 3, &c., and s-E (i.e. hold Super and Shift and press e) to launch an emacsclient (see below on the Emacs client/daemon configuration).

Guix: You are in a maze of lispy little passages, (map equal? '('all 'alike) '('all 'alike))

So I finally made a serious go of running GuixSD, a GNU Linux distro which is largely built on GNU Guile Scheme (a dialect of Lisp) on one of my machines (one I had actually put together with GuixSD in mind: an X200 Thinkpad, which I Libreboot‘ed and put a Atheros Wi-Fi card in), and, to increase both the quantity and variety of Lisps involved, am trying to use with StumpWM (which is written in Common Lisp).

New blog using Emacs, Org mode & Hugo

I’ve been wanting to have an Emacs-powered blog for some time. Finally, thanks largely to the yeoman’s work put in by Kaushal Modi on ox-hugo, an exporter from native Org mode format to Hugo-ready markdown files, as well his theme/configuration for Hugo, hugo-refined (which the theme used here is largely based on), I finally have an ideal Emacs-centric blogging environment, though I’m sure I’ll continue to tweak things a bit.