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Re: You learn something every day...


From: Loris Bennett
Subject: Re: You learn something every day...
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2018 08:17:45 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.1 (gnu/linux)

Skip Montanaro <address@hidden> writes:

> I've been using some version of Emacs since 1981, when I installed
> Gosling Emacs from a DECUS tape on VMS. (I had gotten used to a "full
> screen" editor on the PR1ME computers we used at school, and
> complained about what was effectively an ed(1)-style editor on VMS.
> Not sure EDT was available yet.) So though I long ago stopped messing
> with Emacs at the Lisp level other than to define some keys in my init
> file, I have used many versions of Emacs, plumbed the depths of its
> user interface and have tried any number of packages.
>
> Still, there is always something new under the sun. Today I learned
> about M-n and M-p in the minibuffer. I pass this along in case there
> are any other Emacs users as apparently oblivious as I've been all
> these years.
>
> For the past couple days, I have been monitoring the logfile from an
> uncooperative server process using occur to match and highlight
> interesting bits. A simple keyboard macro looks like this:
>
> * revisit the log file
> * return to the top
> * execute occur, accepting the default pattern
> * scroll the *Occur* buffer to the end
> * return point to the log file
>
> This all goes swimmingly, unless I need to tweak the pattern or use
> occur for some other task. The pattern grows and shrinks over time,
> but basically looks like this:
>
> subpat1 \| subpat2 \| ... \| subpatN
>
> where N is generally five or less and the various subpatterns aren't
> too complex, often just simple strings.
>
> It was getting to be a royal PITA to have to retype the pattern from
> scratch any time I wanted to alter it. As I went looking for how to
> load the last regular expression into the minibuffer to edit it, I
> stumbled on the Minibuf menu and its M-n and M-p bindings. I almost
> *never* use the graphical menu (remember how long I've been using
> Emacs, old habits die hard - I used to suppress it altogether as a
> waste of screen space). I don't know what possessed me to glance at
> the menu bar at just the right time, but that glance saved me a trip
> down a deep, dark rabbit hole.
>
> M-p-is-your-friend-ly, y'rs,

I probably first came across the bindings in shell-like buffers when I
was trying to access the history and realised that the arrows keys
weren't the way to go ... 

However, being a relative newbie, having only used Emacs since the late
'80s, I have never come across the "Minibuf menu".  What's that?

Cheers,

Loris

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