Friday, July 31, 2009

A summarized introduction to emacs lisp

You may have noticed, for the past month or so I have been blogging about how to program in emacs lisp. Most of the content that you find in the last fourteen posts is available in the elisp reference manual, albeit, in a more elaborate manner. In my blog, I have tried to provide a simple and concise gist of what I consider the most basic and most important information that will enable one to program in emacs lisp.

This information should be really helpful to people who want to understand just enough of emacs lisp to start writing a few basic programs. Once the basic concepts are understood well, it is much easier to learn the more advanced concepts by looking in the info manual.

For who?

If you already know a programming language prior to this, then, you can breeze through most of the topics pertaining to the introduction to emacs lisp in my blog. However, really understanding the initial topics is what is going to be a challenge for you. On the other hand, if you are a beginner then you might have the upper hand in the initial topics and then you will have to work hard to understand the later topics.

The topics discussed in the last fourteen posts is the route that I would reccommend any newcomer in lisp to take. Another major reason for writing these posts is for me to recall the basics in case I forget or become rusty in (emacs) lisp. Thus if you already know (emacs) lisp, the topics given below might help you, too, to refresh your knowledge a bit.

The summary

All topics can be accessed in reverse order by clicking here. You can also access it by clicking on "introduction to Emacs Lisp" under the Index on the right.
  1. Introduction to lisp
  2. Program evaluation
  3. Basic functions
  4. String manipulation
  5. Side effects
  6. Error handling
  7. Variables
  8. The defun form
  9. Boolean Logic
  10. The List Data Structure
    1. Part 1
    2. Part 2
    3. Summary
  11. Arrays, Sequences and Vectors
  12. Control Structures
Should be enough to get started. I would recommend that you start by writing some functions to extend the emacs editor to do the things that you would like it to do.


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