I’ve started dieting (I need to lose at least 10 kg), and I use Emacs Org mode and Beeminder (obviously). In case anyone is interested: https://mbork.pl/2023-05-13_Dieting_with_Org_mode
I used vim a while back for some tracking stuff via a plugin and demoting via Tailscale with my phone. But I have heard eMacs has a ton more features. How does it compare in your opinion if you have used vim in the past? Is it hard to setup. I was considering setting up a Linux box on a spare computer I have and setting it up to be remote able via Tailscale. Also it sounds like you have Beeminder setup in it? If so that is cool.
I’ll read your blog some later and it might answer some of my questions. But I reading this right before I am about to take a nap.
Well, it has. (And it’s Emacs, not eMacs, btw.) Including a very good (or so I heard) Vim emulation.
I’ve only used Vim a tiny bit, so I can’t compare from my experience. But the internet is full of people who do compare them without getting into old jokes. Basically, Vim is an excellent text editor (probably the fastest one in existence, in terms of enabling the user to edit text extremely fast), and Emacs is a platform for developing text-centric applications, with a very good text editor included “as an example”.
That said, Emacs has quite a lot of other apps in its package repositories, like an excellent file manager, a few email clients, at least one multimedia player, an excellent Git front-end, many IDE-like apps for various languages (some better than others), at least two spreadsheets, front-ends to external tools like spell-checkers, dictionaries and thesauri, and yes, a Beeminder client with some unique features (written by yours truly; the code is atrocious, I didn’t know as much about Elisp then as I do now, but I’ve been using it daily for the past ~8 years and it works very well). And there’s Org mode, which is a platform to create productivity and writing/outlining workflows. (My Emacs Beeminder client is integrated with Org mode; also, I wrote e.g. a simple Org mode/Toggl integration, and there are many more.)
No. You can install vanilla Emacs and add packages/settings one by one (this is what I did), but you can also install an opinionated “distro” (like Spacemacs, which comes with Vim keybindings). Also, Emacs is one of the best documented pieces of software I know.
(but don’t feel overwhelmed - most of my Emacs posts are highly technical and niche). You might be interested in these two for starters:
- Marcin Borkowski: 2014-07-25 What is Emacs, really
- Marcin Borkowski: 2023-01-30 The benefits of everything being a buffer
About half of the things I’d like to automate with Beeminder are related to Emacs/org-mode.
@mbork is being modest by not mentioning his great elisp hacking book, which I’m halfway through. Here’s hoping for those extra chapters / a possible public release!
By the way, are you open to feature/bug reports for your Beeminder client? Or would you personally go for a rewrite? Is there a certain aspect of the design you regret?
There’s some features I’d like to take a stab at implementing myself. Off the top (way at the back, rather) of my mind: an ask option for the amount property; inherited slugs, i.e. submitting to multiple goals, etc.
A bug I’d like to look into one day, is the error message “Error running timer ‘beeminder-clear-notification’: (wrong-type-argument ewoc nil)” I consistently get when submitting a datapoint. I think there’s also an issue with marking currently clocked in habits linked to Beeminder as done, but I didn’t get to the bottom of that yet. But the client is still as useful as ever, so thanks a lot!
Vim emulation in emacs?? This is genius. I might give it a try again!