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Emacs, Day 02

Had an extremely busy day with studies today, so could not spend time learning much Emacs.
Decided to do a little bit of plucking the low hanging fruit and customising Emacs a bit to my liking.

I created an init.el file in the emacs.d folder in my home directory, to add all my custom stuff into.

Adding Package Managers

Yesterday, I had learnt, that I could install additional functionality by downloading extra Emacs packages from the GNU repo at ELPA.
But since the FSF requires the authors to fork over their copyrights to them, (and most authors being justifiably, unwilling), most packages are found at third party package sites, like MELPA and the now discontinued Marmalade.

So I added this little snippet to my init.el to add the repos to my Emacs.

(setq package-archives
      '(("gnu" . "http://elpa.gnu.org/packages/")
    ("melpa" . "http://melpa.milkbox.net/packages/")))


and then restarted my Emacs, for it to see the new repos.1

And that led me to,

Markdown Mode

I realised that, the best way for me to learn Emacs, would be to write in Emacs.
And I write, most of what I write, in Markdown.
I had also learnt that Emacs has modes, which basically adapt Emacs and related shortcuts to the task at hand.
I went looking to see if there was something that would help me write Markdown more easily and found Jason Blevins’ excellent Markdown Mode for Emacs. 2

Since I had MELPA configured, it took only a few seconds to get Markdown mode installed.
All I had to do was M-x package-install RET markdown-mode RET
(that is, mash the ALT-x keys, then type package-install, hit the return/enter key, then type markdown-mode followed by another return.)
More details on installation and usage at the Markdown Mode site.

A couple of minutes with it and I’m blown away.
I’ve heard of people switching to Emacs to use the excellent Org Mode, for taking notes and task organisation.
I am a convert to Emacs for Jason’s Markdown Mode.

And then to round up the day, I also installed the Ayu theme, because I love it and use it everywhere I possibly can :) 3

More tomorrow!


  1. I know there is a way to evaluate and run changes immediately, but I still haven’t gotten around to learning that bit yet. 

  2. Excellent choice of name, Jason! High Five! 

  3. Been a fan, ever since I saw it in a Corey Schafer video.