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light-symbol.el 0.1: highlight current symbol

From: Tom Tromey
Subject: light-symbol.el 0.1: highlight current symbol
Date: 09 Apr 2007 14:15:49 -0600
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.4

This implements a feature that Eclipse has, "sort of".  It also takes
some inspiration from hi-lock and also from eldoc.

If you use light-symbol-mode and pause on a symbol, Emacs will
highlight the other occurrences of the symbol in the buffer.  When you
move the highlighting is removed.

What I would really like is something that only highlights other
instances of the "same" variable, for instance in Emacs Lisp it could
stop at the innermost 'let' which binds the variable.  But, this looks
harder and what I've got appears to be just as useful.

I've uploaded this to ELPA; if you're already running package.el just
refresh and you can be trying this in a couple seconds :-)


;;; light-symbol.el --- Minor mode to highlight symbol under point

;; Copyright (C) 2007 Tom Tromey <address@hidden>

;; Author: Tom Tromey <address@hidden>
;; Created: 8 Apr 2007
;; Version: 0.1
;; Keywords: faces, matching

;; This file is not (yet) part of GNU Emacs.
;; However, it is distributed under the same license.

;; GNU Emacs is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
;; it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
;; the Free Software Foundation; either version 2, or (at your option)
;; any later version.

;; GNU Emacs is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
;; but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
;; GNU General Public License for more details.

;; You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
;; along with GNU Emacs; see the file COPYING.  If not, write to the
;; Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor,
;; Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA.

;;; Commentary:

;; This defines a new minor mode which highlights the symbol under
;; point in the current buffer.  You must pause briefly in order to
;; see the effect.  The highlight is removed when you take any action.

;; ToDo:

;; - should use defcustom
;; - don't do anything when in string syntax - ?
;;   also perhaps not in comment syntax?

;;; Code:

(require 'thingatpt)
;; For hi-blue face.
(require 'hi-lock)

(defvar light-symbol-idle-delay 0.50
  "*Number of seconds of idle time to wait before highlighting.
If this variable is set to 0, no idle time is required.")

(defvar light-symbol-face 'hi-blue
  "*Face to use when highlighting.
Default is the `hi-blue' face from `hi-lock'.")

;; Our timer object.
(defvar light-symbol-timer nil)

;; The last argument we passed to font-lock-add-keywords, or nil if
;; there wasn't one.
(defvar light-symbol-previous-symbol nil)

(defconst light-symbol-rx-start
  (if (< emacs-major-version 22)
  "Start-of-symbol regular expression marker.")

(defconst light-symbol-rx-end
  (if (< emacs-major-version 22)
  "End-of-symbol regular expression marker.")

(defun light-symbol-schedule-timer ()
  (unless (and light-symbol-timer
               (memq light-symbol-timer timer-idle-list))
    (setq light-symbol-timer
          (run-with-idle-timer light-symbol-idle-delay t

(defun light-symbol-refontify ()
  (unless font-lock-mode
    (font-lock-mode 1))

(defun light-symbol-show-symbol ()
  (when (and light-symbol-mode
             ;; FIXME: this should prevent us from changing when
             ;; isearch is running but does not... ?
             (not this-command))
    (let ((refontify nil))
      (when light-symbol-previous-symbol
        (font-lock-remove-keywords nil light-symbol-previous-symbol)
        (setq refontify t))
      (let ((sym (thing-at-point 'symbol)))
        (if sym
              (set-text-properties 0 (length sym) nil sym)
              (setq light-symbol-previous-symbol
                    (list (list
                           (concat light-symbol-rx-start
                                   (regexp-quote sym)
                           (list 0 (list 'quote light-symbol-face) t))))
              (font-lock-add-keywords nil light-symbol-previous-symbol)
              (setq refontify t))
          (setq light-symbol-previous-symbol nil)))
      (if refontify

(defun light-symbol-pre-command ()
  (when light-symbol-previous-symbol
    (font-lock-remove-keywords nil light-symbol-previous-symbol)
    (setq light-symbol-previous-symbol nil)

(define-minor-mode light-symbol-mode
  "Toggle Light Symbol mode.
With no argument, this command toggles the mode.
Non-null prefix argument turns on the mode.
Null prefix argument turns off the mode.

When Light Symbol mode is enabled, pausing will highlight the
symbol under point in the current buffer."
  ;; Initial value.
  ;; Indicator.
  " LS"
  ;; Keymap.
  ;; Body.
  (if light-symbol-mode
        (add-hook 'pre-command-hook #'light-symbol-pre-command)
    (remove-hook 'pre-command-hook #'light-symbol-schedule-timer)
    (when light-symbol-timer
      (cancel-timer light-symbol-timer)
      (setq light-symbol-timer nil))))

;;; light-symbol.el ends here

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