camcorder.el - Creating Animated Gifs & Videos for Spacemacs

Using animated gifs are a lightweight way to show Emacs in action, as can be seen at Emacs Gifs.

I am creating a workshop on developing Clojure with Spacemacs, so here is a little guide as to how I create animated gifs and videos for this workshop directly from Emacs itself using camcorder.el.

There are several different ways to create animated gifs and so far I have found camcorder.el to be the easiest. This approach has been tested on Ubuntu Linux 16.10.

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Kanban in Emacs Org-Mode to Get More Work Done

A Kanban board is a way to visualise your work and help you get more work done. You organise your work into tasks that need completeing and use the board to show the state of each card. Kanban encourages you to get work finished before starting new work.

The amazing Emacs Org-mode can be used to create a very fast and easy to use Kanban board that is with you where ever you are.

Update: Using Org-mode doesnt give me everything I want from a Kanban board, but it was an interesting exersice. For now, I am just sticking to my list view of a Kanban board.

Org-mode is built into Emacs / Spacemacs so there is no need to install any packages or layers for any of the following.

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YASnippets for Faster Clojure Coding

Using snippets saves you time typing common coding structures and helps you avoid silly typos too. Simply typing in a snippet name and pressing M-/ or using M-x yas-expand gives you the full text & code structure from the snippet template.

For example, if you are defining a new function in Clojure then type defn and press M-/ to expand to the full definition structure, including all parens. Then use TAB to move through the structure to complete the name, doc-string, arguments and behaviour of the function.

Lets look at the built-in snippets that come with the Clojure layer in Spacemacs (and should be the default in Emacs YASnippet package).

Its easy to wrtie your own snippets for Clojure or any other language you use with Spacemacs / Emacs

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Spacemacs - Adding Custom Snippets to Yasnippet

Using yasnippet saves time by avoiding the need to write boilerplate code and minimising other commonly typed content. YASnippet contains mode-specific snippets that expand to anything from a simple text replacement to a code block structure that allows you to skip through parameters and other sections of the code block. See YASnippet in action in this Emacs Yasnippet video.

To use a specific snippet simply type the alias and press M-/. For example, in html-mode typing div and pressing M-/ expands to <div id="▮" class="▯">▯</div> and places the cursor so you can type in the id name, then TAB to the class name, finally TAB to the contents of the div.

You can also combine yasnippets with autocompletion select snippets from the autocompletion menu.

Spacemacs has lots of snippets for most of the languages and modes it supports. However, YASnippets also uses a simple template system in plain text, so its pretty easy to learn. Lets look at how to add your own snippets with Spacemacs.

In regular Emacs, yasnippets expand funciton is usually bound to TAB, but that key is used already in Spacemacs so M-/ is used instead.
If you just want text replacement you can also use Emacs Abbrev mode.

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Using Github Gists From Spacemacs

Github Gists are really useful when you want to share a piece of code or configuration without setting up a version control project. Rather than copy & paste into a Github Gists website, you can create a Gist from any Spacemacs buffer with a single command.

All you need is to add the github layer to your ~/.spacemacs configuration file and reload your configuration M-m f e R or restart Spacemacs. Lets see just how easy it is to use Gists with Spacemacs.

You can also use gist.el with your own Emacs configuration

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Spacemacs for Clojure Development With Emacs - Configure Clojure

Adding the Clojure layer to Spacemacs provides great support for the language via CIDER, Clojure-mode, clj-refactor and lots of useful tools.

The Clojure layer also adds to the auto-completion layer, providing matches for anything currently defined in the current namespace. The yasnippets package also allows you to expand shortcuts for common Clojure code structures, eg. def, defn, let, require.

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Spacemacs - First Impressions From an Emacs Driven Developer

Spacemacs is a community developed configuration for Emacs that makes it easier for anyone to use this amazing developer tool. Spacemacs is a well thought out way to apply the vast and diverse power of Emacs, making it more accessible especially to those who are used to using Vi.

Unless you’ve spent the last few years hand-crafting your own Emacs configuration, then I think you will enjoy Spacemacs. Here are some reasons why I love Spacemacs as an Emacs user.

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