Questions tagged [elisp]

*ONLY* for questions about Emacs Lisp as a language, compared to other languages, in particular, compared to other Lisp dialects. That is, it is for questions *about the language* itself. *DO NOT USE IT* for questions about *using* Emacs Lisp. Emacs Lisp is the scripting and programming language that the Emacs editor is built on.

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How can I create block (multiline) comments in Lisp code?

How can I do multiline / block comments in Lisp code - e.g. in the init.el. In Python I would do it like this """Block comment """ In C/C++ like this /* Block comment */ ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Validating Arguments to a Function

I would like to validate the argument to a function before its action is executed. The main concern is the passing of a void variable. How can I trap this? (defun is-it-bound(item) (if (boundp 'item)...
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1 answer
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Does elisp have a way to jump to (goto) labels in the code, ala common lisp's go?

Does elisp have a way to jump to (goto) labels in the code, ala common lisp's go? (tagbody (setq val 2) (go lp) (incf val 3) lp (incf val 4)) => NIL val => 6 PS: This is a ...
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  • 620
1 vote
1 answer
44 views

Access hash table by value, not key?

Q: how can I access a hash table by its value, not its key? Association lists can be accessed via either their key or their value: (setq alist '((a .1) (b . 2) (c . 3))) (assoc 'a alist) ...
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3 votes
1 answer
83 views

How to distinguish input from the return value of body in while-no-input?

(while-no-input &rest BODY) Execute BODY only as long as there's no pending input. If input arrives, that ends the execution of BODY, and while-no-input returns t. Quitting makes it return nil. ...
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  • 151
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4 answers
335 views

Equivalent of `continue' in `cl-loop'?

Does the cl-loop macro implement an equivalent to the continue keyword of other languages? The behavior of break can be achieved by using until or while clauses by placing them in the middle of cl-...
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  • 1,481
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1 answer
100 views

How to run shrink-window-horizontally multiple times, or how to repeat a function multiple times in general?

I wanted to define a function to execute a command multiple times and ended up using fset: (fset 'my-shrink (kbd "C-u 43 C-x {")) Now, I want to include this in a function, like this: (...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How to use face-remap-set-base to substitute a face for another?

I'd like to locally remap a face to other custom face. The docstring reads: (face-remap-set-base FACE &rest SPECS) Set the base remapping of FACE in the current buffer to SPECS. This causes the ...
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  • 314
2 votes
1 answer
79 views

Why can't I directly invoke the result of apply-partially?

I'm confused about return value of apply-partially. Documentation states that it returns a function, and source of the function shows that it actually retruns a lambda. But I can't invoke the return ...
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  • 237
6 votes
1 answer
225 views

What's really behind an assignment in Emacs lisp?

[Warning : these are noob questions.] I'm a beginner in Emacs Lisp and I would like to be sure that I understand well what I'm really doing when I set a value to a variable with setq or let. Here is ...
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1 answer
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Difference between pcase-let & cl-destructuring-bind?

I noticed both pcase-let and cl-destructuring-bind seem to perform the same operation. Is there any difference or reason to use one instead of the other? eg: (pcase-let ((`(,filename ,buf) (pop ...
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  • 7,179
3 votes
1 answer
271 views

Why does `make-symbol` work in macro expansion, just as `gensym` works?

In the dash library I noticed the use of make-symbol to avoid symbol conflicts during macro expansion. (defmacro --filter (form list) "Anaphoric form of `-filter'. See also: `--remove'." (declare ...
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  • 1,283
0 votes
2 answers
137 views

What is #'eq and how does it differ from 'eq [duplicate]

I've seen a few snippets of code where symbols were prepended by #' instead '. like the following snippet (seq-count #'not (seq-mapn #'eq seq1 seq2)) What is the difference and why couldn't I just ...
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6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Are local nested functions possible in elisp?

It it possible to declare functions whose names are only available in the scope of another function, similar to let? e.g.: (defun my-fn (x y) (let ((my-local-fn (lambda (a b) (message "%S" (- a b)...
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  • 7,179
2 votes
0 answers
100 views

Has elisp some object inspector? [closed]

Do you know about some elisp object inspector? I want object tree view similar to ones in javascript consoles in browsers. Object: (list (list "foo" "bar" "baz") "some" "thing") Inspector: list | ...
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  • 241
1 vote
1 answer
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Updating code from lexical-let to lexical-binding: t

This code shows an elisp function (third example) using lexical-let, which is now passe as I understand. How would it be written today with lexical scope now being a quasi-built-in feature of elisp? ...
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5 votes
1 answer
343 views

About closure creation

After reading this article about readable closures, I check that: Since closures are byte-code function objects, they print readably. You can capture an environment in a closure, serialize it, ...
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2 votes
2 answers
235 views

Evaluating symbol in function arguments affected by destructive operations?

While evaluating a function call, the arguments is from left to right. For example, (let ((x '(1 2 3))) (list (nreverse x) x)) ;; => ((3 2 1) (1)) The first argument (nreverse x) evaluates to (...
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1 vote
1 answer
141 views

are braces `{` and `}` used at all in elisp?

What is the convention for using { and } characters in Emacs Lisp if they are used at all? Do macros make use of them?
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1 vote
1 answer
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Return Value of apply-partially

I'm playing around with apply-partially and I'm confused about what gets returned when calling this function. The documentation states that apply-partially returns a function, but then I'd expect to ...
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10 votes
3 answers
322 views

Why does defvar scoping work differently without an initvalue?

Suppose I have a file named elisp-defvar-test.el containing: ;;; elisp-defvar-test.el --- -*- lexical-binding: t -*- (defvar my-dynamic-var) (defun f1 (x) "Should return X." (let ((my-dynamic-...
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1 vote
1 answer
345 views

What paradigm shift of my thinking must happen to understand the essence of Emacs/Emacs Lisp? [closed]

I've always had "AHA!"-moments when encountering new concepts or ideas in programming. That's when things start clicking for me. And I think I haven't yet had that moment with Emacs/Emacs Lisp yet. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
150 views

is there a function that can partially apply arguments on a function with order?

apply-partially cannot specify the order. Is there one from the default Emacs installation that can specify order?
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5 votes
2 answers
183 views

How can I define new places for setf?

Q: how do I teach setf about new places it can set? In common lisp, one uses the macro defsetf to tell setf about new places it can set. In elisp, that macro exists in in the cl library, but, as far ...
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17 votes
2 answers
2k views

When should sharp quotes be used?

I see sharp quotes being used in other people's eLisp code, and I use them myself, but I'm not completely clear on when they are appropriate and when not. Could anyone clarify on exactly when it's ...
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4 votes
0 answers
276 views

Is there an ELISP decompiler?

I'm thinking of writing one so that when I get those horrible tracebacks from bytecode files, I can better see where I was at. Is there one already? Are there any other tools for showing an error ...
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  • 858
7 votes
3 answers
976 views

Is there an equivalent for defparameter on emacs-lisp?

I know we have defvar and setq. defvar has a special meaning on defining global variables because the assignment only happens once. So I was thinking about use setq to get the desired behavior of ...
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2 votes
1 answer
550 views

How to use custom macro indentation in elisp?

This blog post shows that its possible to indent like this: (lispy-dotimes arg (when (= (point) (point-max)) (error "Reached end of buffer")) (forward-list)) Instead of this: (lispy-dotimes ...
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  • 7,179
2 votes
1 answer
162 views

practical relevance of storing value and function into one symbol

With Emacs Lisp it is possible to store a value and a function within the same symbol. (setq foo 6) (defun foo () (message "blah %d" foo))) Then you can do: (symbol-function 'foo) which returns the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
147 views

How to print a quoted sexp using '... (reader syntax) instead of using (quote ...)?

The result of (print 'foo) is (quote foo). Is there a similar function whose result is 'foo, which is what people generally write?
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  • 999
0 votes
0 answers
89 views

Byte Compiling Functions Using `defalias` for `progn`

The following code: (defalias 'new-progn 'progn) (defun foo () (new-progn "foo")) (byte-compile 'foo) (foo) gives this error: Debugger entered--Lisp error: (invalid-function #<subr progn>) ...
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5 votes
0 answers
226 views

Structure-preserving copying of sequences

The form (cl-copy-tree TREE t) returns a deep-copy of a sequence TREE. The the Common Lisp Hyper Spec explains that copy-tree does not preserve circularities and sharing of substructures. I.e., even ...
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0 votes
2 answers
329 views

Wrapper objects / types for Emacs Lisp primitives?

I'm curious if there's any precedent for wrapper objects or types in Emacs Lisp. Javascript notably has built-in types that wrap built-in literal types and those objects can largely be used in the ...
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7 votes
2 answers
824 views

The default value of buffer-local variable not set until first `setq`

Say I define a buffer-local variable foo, and its default value is "a": (defvar foo "a") (make-variable-buffer-local 'foo) (default-value 'foo) ;; => "a" Immediately after this I run the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Passing a symbol as an argument to a function

I'm trying to understand why this doesn't work, and how to make it work: (defvar test/var-1 nil) (defvar test/var-2 nil) (defun make-setter (var-to-set) (lambda (val-to-set) (setq var-to-set ...
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  • 1,501
0 votes
2 answers
169 views

Warning assigning variables

I'm rebuilding my emacs configuration, and trying to compile without warnings. I'm using also cask. I have this case: (require 'magit) ;; Enable a right limit of 70 chars for git logs (add-hook '...
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  • 697
4 votes
3 answers
454 views

Reflection on function argument signatures

Is there anything built into elisp for reflection on function argument signatures? I have used (length (cadr (symbol-function #'my/function))), but this notably fails on built-in C functions. I'm ...
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0 votes
1 answer
106 views

converting xemacs lisp to run in emacs [closed]

I have used xemacs for years and have a lot of lisp code I have written. Now I want to switch to emacs and convert all the lisp code over to work in emacs. This is on an winXP machine. I'm sure I am ...
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7 votes
2 answers
728 views

An efficient set data structure in elisp

Does elisp provide a builtin efficient set data structure, similar to set in Python and std::set in C++?
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3 votes
2 answers
230 views

How to evaluate a symbol in a lambda function when defining it?

For example, (lambda () (message "%s" x))) But I would like x to be evaluated -- the lambda function should always use that value, instead of the current value of x. How should I do it? Preferably ...
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2 votes
1 answer
134 views

When is it not possible to quote nil? [duplicate]

I've never quoted nil before, as I can't see any sense in doing that, but I just played around with some code and it seems that in most cases it is possible to quote nil without any effect. However ...
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  • 1,639
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Meaning of period in (. 123)

I learnt . /path/to/file in bash is used to execute a file. Just out of curiosity, I eval something like the following in Emacs (. 123) ⇒ 123 (read "(. 123)") ⇒ 123 It looks like Emacs ...
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2 votes
3 answers
281 views

Bringing a function into a lexical environment

I'm using a closure to keep track of some stuff to do with state; I want to be able to ‘include’ a function into that closure, so it can access the state. The only way this is possible is by creating ...
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2 votes
1 answer
198 views

Why is org-table-calc-current-TBLFM throwing Wrong type argument: integer-or-marker-p Error?

Why does my code generate the error when used with org-table? No error message when code used outside of org-table #+NAME: get-country-or-area-name #+HEADER: :var iso-alpha2-code="ca" #+HEADER: :...
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  • 4,224
0 votes
1 answer
403 views

Define key inside dolist

I am trying to avoid duplicating code and also trying to avoid introducing unnecessary global symbols. So I tried to use let, dolist and lambda when defining the same keys in two different keymaps: (...
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4 votes
2 answers
353 views

apply partially last arg

Is there something like apply-partially (apply-partially FUN &rest ARGS) Return a function that is a partial application of FUN to ARGS. ARGS is a list of the first N arguments to pass to FUN. ...
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  • 175
4 votes
2 answers
443 views

Elisp backquote comma eval puts a space in between

Here's an example: (defmacro test (arg) `(message foo-,arg)) (defmacro test-with-space (arg) `(message foo- ,arg)) (macroexpand-1 '(test-with-space bar)) (macroexpand-1 '(test bar)) Both eval ...
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18 votes
2 answers
751 views

Why do setq and set quote act differently on let-bound variables with lexical scope?

I had a bug in one of my extensions that eventually turned out to be caused by set not working as I expected: ;; -*- lexical-binding: t -*- (let ((a nil)) (setq a t) (print a)) (let ((a nil)) ...
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  • 1,261
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Pass function symbol as argument via function or single quote?

Are 'function-name and (function function-name) completely equivalent, or are there conditions under which I must use the more verbose (function function-name)? (apply 'message ( list "call func via ...
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  • 1,887
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

How to make local function binding for closure?

For example, when defining the natural number sequence stream, I can use ;; -*- lexical-binding: t; -*- (defun nats (n) (cons n (lambda () (nats (1+ n))))) (nats 0) => (0 closure ((n . 0) ...
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