Announcing the (Paris (Emacs) Meetup) Group

I am lucky to sit in front of Julien Danjou at work and as the sole Emacs users on the side of our office it was come to our attention that we needed as emacsian to unite ourselves to preach the good parole of the church of Emacs and sexy mens.

It was quite obvious that the only way to convince those in the unkown was to find an excuse for drinks good food between good people and set-up a meetup.

And since eNovance have now a very new fancy office with a large room to organise geeky (or not) oriented meetups, it was just a perfect time.

Within three clicks, three steps of dancing and after 10 minutes trying to do that straight from Emacs before coming back to a modern web browser (Emacs users are pragmatic) the Parisian OpenStack User Group

This is with great success, In less than 5 days we had already 50 members and an informal drink-up organised for thursday.

So if you are based in Paris and you have a love for Emacs or just want to discover what’s that all about come join the group.

How do I manage my copyright headers in Emacs

My day to day being work or personal is to create OpenSource code. As an habit I have taken lately I am adding licenses to all new files I am creating.

I have historically used the `auto-insert-mode with a default template. For example for my newly created python files I would have this for configration :

(auto-insert-mode 't)
(setq auto-insert-alist '((python-mode . "")))

and in my `auto-insert-directory directory there would be a template with my license files.

But that’s not so smart, since I wanted to find a mechanism to switch between work email and personal emails for my copyright I needed those templates to be more dynamic.

Things with auto-insert templates taken from a directory they are not so dynamics and reading through the always excellent emacswiki page it seems that you need to `define-auto-insert the templates to get dynamic variables.

I didn’t want to go to the define-auto-insert because I am always using the yasnippet package for my snippets which has a great expansion support and a nice templating language.

As it’s mostly always the case if you have a problem you can be sure it’s already resolved by others, so a quick search on the internet leaded me to a gist file written by a guy three years ago that does exactly what I wanted :

So now that I had my header loaded from yasnippet I could add some smartness into it. I have first written this function :

(defun yas--magit-email-or-default ()
  "Get email from GIT or use default"
  (if (magit-get-top-dir ".")
      (magit-get "")

this function would check if we are in a git directory and get the git configuration, if we are not it would just reply by the standard emacs variable `user-mail-address.

I have just to plug that in my template like this :

# -*- mode: snippet -*-
# name: header
# --
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
# Author: Chmouel Boudjnah < `(yas--magit-email-or-default)`>

and depending of my local configuration of my git repo it will add my license email according to that.

If I really needed to override the user-mail-address without using git I could always just drop a .dir-locals.el with something like this :

((nil . ((user-mail-address . ""))))

which would override the default user-mail-address to whatever I want.

emacs anything with magit

I have been using quite a bit the anything-mode for Emacs, it’s basically a Quicksilver/Alfred or Gnome-do for Emacs and allow to configure a lot of different sources to complete some chosen ‘source’with different actions.

With my work on OpenStack I have found myself jumping a lot between git directories and due configured the variable ‘magit-repo-dirs for easy access to most of them easily.

Plugging those two just seemed natural I had already this in my emacs to quickly open those magit repository directories :

(global-set-key (read-kbd-macro "C-S-o") '(lambda ()(interactive) (dired (magit-read-top-dir nil))))

But going with anything is much nicer and I can add another action for openning the source to  magit so I quickly came up with this magit source :

so now I open my different OpenStack Swift projects quickly with only a few keyboard touch (I bind my custom anything function to C-z) which shows graphically like this :

anything switch to magit dirs.

as always my full emacs config is available here:

Emacs and nosetests

Sometime you just need a long trans atlantic flight and a stupidly long stop-over in a random city to do some of those task that can improve your day to day but you never take some time to do it.

When using emacs I wanted a simple way to launch a nosetests on the current function my cursor is in Emacs. The syntax on nosetests is a bit tricky and I actually always have to look at my shell history to know the proper syntax (nosetests directory/

I created a simple wrapper for emacs for  that which allow to just hit a key to copy the nosetests command to feed to your shell or to use it for the compile buffer.

It’s available from here :

I have binded those keys for my python mode hook :

(local-set-key (kbd "C-S-t") 'nosetests-copy-shell-comand)
(local-set-key (kbd "C-S-r") 'nosetests-compile)

Happy TDD!!!!

UPDATE: There was an another nose mode already that does much more available here :

Customize face at point in Emacs

It’s probably interesting only for the hardcore Emacs users but the last CVS version of emacs (2009-12-17) get a nifty new improvement if you need to customize a face property.

If you point on the text where you want to customize it will detect it automatically which face point you are on and ask you if this is what you want to customize (after launching the command M-x customize-face). No guessing around with list-face-displays anymore.

I am just mentioning that because it does not seems to me mentioned in the CHANGES file.

Emacs transparency with mouse wheel

Emacs is playing fancy on the latest version (since emacs 23) it has now support for transparency at least on Linux when you have a composited Windows Manager.

As explained on the Emacs wiki here everything is controlled by this frame parameter like this :

 (set-frame-parameter (selected-frame) 'alpha '(85 50))

I have automated the thing to allow the transparency to increase or decrease when combined with the alt key just put this code somewhere in your $HOME/.emacs or $HOME/.emacs.d/init.el :

(defun my-increase-opacity()
  (let ((increase (+ 10 (car (frame-parameter nil 'alpha)))))
    (if (> increase 99)(setq increase 99))
    (set-frame-parameter (selected-frame) 'alpha (values increase 75)))

(defun my-decrease-opacity()
  (let ((decrease (- (car (frame-parameter nil 'alpha)) 10)))
    (if (< decrease 20)(setq decrease 20))
    (set-frame-parameter (selected-frame) 'alpha (values decrease 75)))

(global-set-key (kbd "M-") 'my-increase-opacity)
(global-set-key (kbd "M-") 'my-decrease-opacity)

python syntax warning in emacs

One of the best feature to have with Emacs when doing python development is to have a real time syntax error/warning check highlighted in your code to avoid many errors or superfluous code.

This code is taken from the brillant Emacswiki python page.

You need to install pyflakes first which should be available on your linux distro by default in a package or for the other OS you may follow the procedure from the pyflakes webpage.

and add this configuration to your .emacs :

(when (load "flymake" t)
(defun flymake-pyflakes-init ()
  (let* ((temp-file (flymake-init-create-temp-buffer-copy
         (local-file (file-relative-name
                      (file-name-directory buffer-file-name))))
    (list "pyflakes" (list local-file))))
(add-to-list 'flymake-allowed-file-name-masks
             '("\\.py\\'" flymake-pyflakes-init)))

make sure pyflakes is in your path and enable flymake-mode by default if you like for all python mode :

(add-hook 'python-mode-hook 'my-python-mode-hook)

go by M-x customize flymake as well if you like to customise some variables.

emacs daemon and Xdefaults

It does not seems that emacs started with –daemon read the .Xdefauls resource it seems that the only way setting it is by the default-frame-alist variable.

I have my setup like this :

(setq default-frame-alist '((font-backend . "xft")
                            (font . "Inconsolata-14")
                            (left-fringe . -1)
                            (right-fringe . -1)
                            (fullscreen . fullboth)
                            (menu-bar-lines . 0)
                            (tool-bar-lines . 0)

PS: inconsolata font can be installed from the package ttf-inconsolata

Update Emacs/VIM tags with inotify

When you use the tags interface for Emacs or with VIM you have to generate your tag file everytime you have a new class or things get changed.  Would not be cool to have inotify monitoring your project directory and run the etags command to generate it.

With incron you have cron that can watch some portion of the filesystem and generate an action if certain event appears.  So after installed (aptitude/urpmi) it I have configured this incrontab entry :

/home/chmouel/git/myproject IN_CLOSE_WRITE /home/chmouel/ py $@ $@/$#

The script takes 3 argument one is the type of file to update when it’s changed it accept multipe of them if you delimit with a pipe ie: py|inc|php|c and the two others are identifier from incron to give the base directory and the full path which is something you should not have to change.

The update-ctags is simple as follow which could be hacked for your convenience :


ACCEPTED_EXTENSION="$(echo $1|sed 's/|/ /g')"

[[ -z ${FILE_EXT} ]] && exit

for extension in $ACCEPTED_EXTENSION;do
    [[ $extension == $FILE_EXT ]] && processing=true

find ${BASE_DIR} ! -wholename './.git/*'  -a ! -wholename './.svn/*' -a ! -name '*.pyc' -a ! -name '*~' -a ! -name '*#' -print0| xargs -0 etags -o ${BASE_DIR}/TAGS 2>/dev/null >/dev/null
/home/chmouel/git/swift-container IN_CLOSE_WRITE /home/chmouel/ py $@ $@/$#

FFAP and Ruby in Emacs

If you want to use FFAP (find-file-at-point) in ruby-mode you can add this to your .emacs

(defvar ruby-program-name "ruby")
(defun ruby-module-path(module)
      ruby-program-name " -e "
      "\"ret='()';$LOAD_PATH.each{|p| "
      "x=p+'/'+ARGV[0].gsub('.rb', '')+'.rb';"
      "if(File.exist?(x))};printf ret\" "

(eval-after-load "ffap"
  '(push '(ruby-mode . ruby-module-path) ffap-alist))

When you do ffap (i bind it to C-x f) near a require ‘PP’ for example it will find it in your ruby path.