Emacs as a fast $EDITOR

 24 Feb 2009


I’ve been using vim as my $EDITOR setting for quite some time, and recently started using emacsclient. Two things about this setup bothered me. First I would have to switch to my emacs workspace in Xmonad in order to reach the editor, and when working on svn or git commits my cursor would be where it was last time I edited a commit. Not wanting to change the way Xmonad keeps emacs windows appearing on the same workspace or the way emacs saves my cursor position I found a way around both problems.

# Setup common ultilities
export EDITOR="emacsclient --tty"

This is in my bash config (a sourced file in .bashrc). The --tty option on emacs client uses the new Multi-tty code in Emacs 23 to load a terminal emacs (connected to my running emacs) in the current terminal. This works beautifully. With a 256-color xterm and the same font selected I almost can’t tell I’m not in my Xwindows emacs frame. No more switching windows when I want to quick edit something. I also alias e to $EDITOR so I can open files super quick.

;; Multi TTY
(add-hook 'server-visit-hook
          '(lambda ()
             (goto-char (point-min))))

This is a snippet from my .emacs.d/init.el file. This adds a hook so that when Emacs visits a file via the server it will move the pointer to the top.

Problems solved.