Posted: Feb 17, 2017 10:45 am
by VazScep
Something good has happened upstream for my Linux distribution, and I'm now able to use something called pdf-tools in Emacs, which means I can do all my PDF reading in my editor. It supports search, annotations, editing PDF text and synchronisation with LaTeX. I'll need to add some stuff so that I can link to my PDF annotations from org files, but that shouldn't be too hard to write myself.

I'm getting close to living entirely within Emacs. I moved email entirely to Emacs a few years ago, and that was such a joy. Emacs has always had an email solution, but I've always struggled to get it to work. Then I discovered something called mu4e, which is awesome. It has a pretty novel approach to email: you don't organise your email by tags or folders. You just have big flat INBOXes, and then you use "bookmarks" which are search queries into a database of all your mail, bound to simple keystrokes. My email has never felt so uncluttered.

The latest major version of Emacs now has an experimental "Cairo" backend. Cairo is being pushed to be the official standard library for C++ vector graphics programming, and is the backend used by Mozilla for their GUIs. As such, it turns out that it isn't difficult to get the core of Firefox running directly inside Emacs, and thus start watching youtube videos in the editor.

The Cairo thing is experimental and apparently not stable, so I'm not trying it just yet. However, I'm excited to see what the future of Emacs modes will be with native support for vector graphics. As for surfing the web, I'll occasionally use w3m in Emacs (as I'm doing now), but I'm happy enough with Firefox, especially with the various extensions I use. I just need Vimperator to be working again: this lets you use Firefox in the style of Vim, with insert and command modes, and Vim keybindings. Vimperator should mean I'm not having to move my right arm constantly to do some pointless shit with the mouse.

I still haven't switched away from using xterm for command line stuff, but it won't be long before I've jumped that ship too.