Monday, October 10, 2011

ScreenWM Follow-up

So I had enough theorizing last week, and am currently putting the setup through the Compaq Test™.

Preliminary observations are good; now that I've fixed the minor ui annoyances pertaining to screen and blog-mode, this is a very comfortable editing environment. I don't actually have the wireless drivers installed on this machine yet, so I'll have to plug into the router later in order to post this piece, but it's quite snappy considering the hardware I'm actually working with[1].

Hell, slime works pretty well too. Except that paredit[2] seems to have it in for me in various ways. It's nothing I can't work around with some judicious re-binding, but it's extensive enough that I don't want to attempt it today.

I started with a fresh install of Debian Squeeze[3] and basically just ran the following

## Basic dev tools
apt-get install emacs slime git-core mplayer lynx screen openssh-server gnupg
apt-get install sbcl python-setuptools ruby-full erlang

## app configuration
su inaimathi -c "sbcl --load install.lisp"

## I. Fucking. Hate. Caps. Lock.
sed -i 's/XKBOPTIONS=""/XKBOPTIONS="ctrl:nocaps"/g' /etc/default/keyboard
/etc/init.d/console-setup reload

in order to get everything running the way I like. install.lisp contains

(load "quicklisp.lisp")


(ql:quickload :linedit)

(with-open-file (s (merge-pathnames ".sbclrc") :direction :output :if-exists :append :if-does-not-exist :create)
  (format s ";;; Check for --no-linedit command-line option.
(if (member \"--no-linedit\" sb-ext:*posix-argv* :test 'equal)
  (setf sb-ext:*posix-argv* 
        (remove \"--no-linedit\" sb-ext:*posix-argv* :test 'equal))
  (when (interactive-stream-p *terminal-io*)
    (require :sb-aclrepl)
    (ql:quickload \"linedit\")
    (funcall (intern \"INSTALL-REPL\" :linedit)
             :wrap-current t)))"))

(ql:quickload (list :drakma :cl-who :cl-ppcre :cl-fad :hunchentoot :clsql :cl-smtp :cl-base64 :ironclad :trivial-shell))

Which just configures quicklisp and linedit to run whenever I start sbcl. After that , it was just a matter of importing my Emacs settings[4], and .screenrc file. I didn't end up keeping the fancy settings I was thinking about last week, by the way. It currently contains, in its entirety

screen -t emacs emacs -nw

startup_message off

bind S split -v
bind s split
bind R remove
bind ^e screen emacs -nw
bind ^w screen webjump

markkeys "h=^b:l=^f:$=^e"

which is as basic as it could possibly be, except for the line that calls a program named webjump. That's actually a convenience script of my own devising that simulates my conkeror webjumps from the desktop machine. It reads


require 'uri'

print "Webjump: "
input = gets.chomp.split(" ", 2)

def get_url(input)
  jump = input[0]
  query = URI.escape(input[1])
  jumps = {
    "youtube" => "{query}\&aq=f",
    "stockxchange" => "\&txt=#{query}\&w=1\&x=0\&y=0",
    "google" => "{query}\&ie=utf-8\&oe=utf-8\&aq=t",
    "wikipedia" => "{query}\&sourceid=Mozilla-search",
    "gmail" => ""  
  jumps[jumps.keys.find{|k| k =~ /#{jump}/}]

url = get_url(input)
if url
  system("lynx", url)
  puts "Can't find webjump '#{input[0]}'"

which is quite useful when I need to search for something quickly. I'm thinking about changing it such that it just takes a command-line option for which webjump to use so that I could actually keybind google-search as opposed to webjump (I've observed that "go something something" is used far more commonly than any of the others).

Like I said, that's it. It's an extremely minimal system, and it doesn't have any kind of multi-monitor support, but it gives me the important little comforts I've been used to (like tabbing between applications and convenient, keyboard-based browsing) without the need to start up an instance of X[5]. That greatly increases the universe of useable machines for me.

The only things I'm still missing:

  • a klavaro-analogue I still have no way of practicing typing from the command line (which is kind of ironic)
  • more shell-friendly bindings for paredit
  • multi-monitor support which I have no idea where to even start on


1 - [back] - An old Presario R3000 with a 1.4ghz processor and 256MB ram.

2 - [back] - Which I've installed, and actually gotten to like under X, at the recommendation of a friend from the Toronto Lisp User Group. It's actually fantastic, but there are various key that just barf when you try using it from terminal. The default bindings for slurp, barf, forward and back s-exp operations are outright ignored, and it does something funky to my home and end keys so that they insert odd square-bracket escape sequence instead of doing what they say on the key. It's paredit because, all of the above works just fine in other modes.

3 - [back] - Since the Compaq still had a copy of Parabola running from last time.

4 - [back] - Including the steadily-growing blog-mode, which I've added several functions to since I started writing this piece.

5 - [back] - Also, conveniently, lynx doesn't let me waste any time on Reddit, since I can't actually post or upvote from it.

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