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Re: buffer management in emacs

From: Xah Lee
Subject: Re: buffer management in emacs
Date: Tue, 4 May 2010 06:55:19 -0700 (PDT)
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Apr 18, 2:17 pm, (.Martin.) wrote:
> Hi all,
> 1. Is there any way of temporarily bookimaring buffers so that I can switch
> between them more efficiently? Gnus itself has a good few buffers (of
> which I only use the main one where groups are listed), then
> when I open a few messages the buffers usually stay. I usually switch
> between buffers by C-x and right/left arrows. I bet there's a much
> better way of doing it.
> I know of C-x b, but then I have to press TAB to list buffers and do
> autocompletion. How do you switch between buffers?

there are several buffer switching packages, many comes with emacs 22
and 23.

Personally, i use ibuffer. Just type Alt+x ibuffer. You should also
replace the default keybinding.

there's also iswitch, and ido, among others.

they all help you manage buffers.

The emacs buffer management problem really has to do with emacs's lack
of closing file command. There's kill-file, but it requires you to
confirm, even a saved file. Plus, there's no keyboard shortcut for it.
So, this tends to get people to leave behind lots of opened files.

Usually hundreds of buffers that are accumulated in weeks or months
are reported by long time emacs users.

for me, i prefer to close a file or buffer whenever i'm done with it.
So, my open buffers represent things i am working on, or need to work
on. Typically they are no more than 10 open files. I've also
customized my emacs extensively, so that i have single shortcut to
close buffer (or create new one), and without asking me if the buffer
is already saved, and can open accidentally closed buffer (similar to
accidentally closed tabs in browsers). Also, for switching to next/
previous buffer, i have easy shortcuts the same as switching tabs in

If you are interested in this UI, you can try it or get the code at

some of these ideas are written here:


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