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  • 05:01 UTC (new) (history) 2018-03-18 My Org-mode hydra . . . . Marcin Borkowski I mentioned a lot of times that I am a big fan of Org-mode clocking feature. Even if I clock some things only for myself, I find it useful to learn how much time I actually need for some task. This is often surprising – for example, I think most people are completely unaware of how much you can accomplish by spending five to ten minutes every day on something (notice the “every day” part!). Of course, I want my clocking to be as smooth as possible.
  • 04:59 UTC (diff) (history) Comments on 2018-03-10 A tip on yanking . . . . Marcin Borkowski That's interesting. I don't use helm, but a quick search shows that Ivy has something similar. I'll try it out!


  • 05:14 UTC (new) (history) 2018-03-10 A tip on yanking . . . . Marcin Borkowski I have a few longer posts in the works, but for today I want to share a simple trick. We Emacs users all know and love the kill ring, and many of us know about M-y (yank-pop) and even C-u ... C-y (i.e., a numeric argment to yank). For those who don’t know: C-u 1 C-y is equivalent to plain C-y, but C-u 2 C-y (or just C-2 C-y) inserts the previous killed text (much like C-y M-y), and also marks it as the current one. With higher arguments, it inserts earlier kills.



  • 07:13 UTC (new) (history) 2018-02-25 Simple way of assigning formulas to fields and columns in Org tables . . . . Marcin Borkowski Today I’m going to share a simple trick concerning Org-mode spreadsheet tables. I knew that I could press C-u C-c = in an Org-mode table cell to install a formula in that cell (or C-c = to install a column formula). However, there is a simpler way: you can just type := followed by the formula and press TAB, RET or C-c C-c. (Without a colon, it installs a column formula.) Very handy! (And it was in the manual all along… Once more I learned that at least skimming through the manual from time to time is a good idea!)



  • 20:23 UTC (new) (history) 2018-02-12 append-next-kill . . . . Marcin Borkowski Today I’d like to share a simple trick which I learned a few days ago. It is well-known that if you perform a few killing commands in a row (like C-k or M-d), only one entry is put into the kill ring. Sometimes, however, I want to kill things in different places and still combine them into one kill ring entry. Enter C-M-w, or M-x append-next-kill. It makes the next killing command append its prey to the last kill ring entry.



  • 20:52 UTC (new) (history) 2018-01-29 A simple script for shuffling exam questions . . . . Marcin Borkowski As we approach the end of the semester, my free time shrinks to nearly zero. Today I’m only going to share a simple tip. Last week, I prepared an exam. I wanted 10 questions, each one taken from one chapter of the lecture. I also wanted 6 sets (4 for the exam and 2 for the retake). And I wanted no bias (even unconscious) – problem sets for the retake should be neither easier nor harder than for the first attempt etc.


  • 04:31 UTC (new) (history) 2018-01-22 Info-edit . . . . Marcin Borkowski There was an interesting (and sometimes quite amusing) discussion about Info on the help-gnu-emacs mailing list. Apart from learning that there exist people who do not even want to use the amazing Info mode, I learned that there is a very little known Emacs command Info-edit. It used to be bound to e in Info, but has been deprecated some time ago and now the only way to invoke it seems to be by M-: (Info-edit). It puts the browsed Info buffer into an editing mode; after the edit, you can press C-c C-c and be asked about where to save the edited file.


  • 05:08 UTC (new) (history) 2018-01-15 Counting LaTeX commands in a bunch of files . . . . Marcin Borkowski I hope that I want bore anyone to death with blog posts related to the journal I’m working for, but here’s another story about my experiences with that. I am currently writing a manual for authors wanting to prepare a paper for Wiadomości Matematyczne. We accept LaTeX files, of course, but we have our own LaTeX class (not yet public), and adapting what others wrote (usually using article) is sometimes a lot of work. Having the authors follow our guidelines could make that slightly less work, which is something I’d be quite happy with. (Of course, making a bunch of university mathematicians do something reasonable would be an achievement in itself.) When I presented (the current version of) the manual to my colleagues in the editorial board, we agreed that nobody will read it anyway. And then I had an idea of preparing a TL;DR version, just a few sentences, where I could mention the one thing I want to get across: dear authors, please do not do anything fancy, just stick with plain ol’ LaTeX. And one component of that message could be a list of LaTeX commands people should stick to. (If you have never worked for a journal or somewhere where you get to look at other people’s LaTeX files, you probably have no idea about what they are capable of doing.) So here I am, having 200+ LaTeX files (there are twice as many, but I had only about 200 on my current laptop), meticulously converted to our template (which means our class and our local customs, like special commands for various dashes or avoiding colons at all costs), and I want to prepare a list of LaTeX commands used throughout together with the information about the frequency of using them.


  • 20:22 UTC (new) (history) 2018-01-07 A small editing tool for work with AMSrefs . . . . Marcin Borkowski As I mentioned many times, I often edit LaTeX files written by someone else for a journal. One thing which is notoriously difficult to get right when writing academic papers is bibliographies. At Wiadomości Matematyczne, we use AMSrefs, which is really nice (even if it has some rough edges here and there). (BTW, BibLaTeX was not as mature as it is today when we settled on our tool; also, AMSrefs might be a tad easier to customize, though I’m not sure about that anymore…) One of the commands AMSrefs offers is \citelist. Instead of writing things like papers \cite{1}, \cite{2} and~\cite{3}, you write papers \citelist{\cite{1}\cite{2}\cite{3}}, and AMSrefs sorts these entries and compresses runs into ranges (like in [1-3]). The only problem is that most authors have no idea that this exists, and we often have to convert “manual” lists of citations into \citelist‘s. Well, as usual, Emacs to the rescue.