Still Emacs, still Tufte
Quite long ago, I started to use
Tufte style for my blog posts. The liquid
tags used is from
Immaculate. As with all plain-text formatting, these tags
eventually get in the way.
From Word-like WISIWIG to plain-text formats like the venerated
Tex or much simpler ones
Org-mode, the key differences are whether the formatting tags are seen and how demanding the formatting requirement is. The formatting requirement of
Tufte style is more demanding than conventional markdown documents and thus the tags feel more cluttering. As a weekend project, I hacked a
markdown-tufte extension for
Emacs. It help me cope with the
The above is the screenshot for the extension. You can find the code at
markdown-tufte, it’s still just a hack and packaged as a
And the rest of this post are some thoughts (murmuring).
The question of writing too little
Often as it is, my thoughts upon why I’ve written so little did myself no good. Nevertheless, this is still what I did in the last weekend.
I thought that I was busy, that I was learning too many things in the meantime, that I did not really write nothing as there are some unfinished drafts laying around, that I was lazy and undisciplined, that the tool chain was too complicated.
All these excuses have some truth in it. And I started with the tool chain - the concrete one. Yes, more disciplines about writing have been written down and I shall carry them out by the words! Well, at least so I claimed ;P
The quest for better tool.
habit tool was over-engineered and are being converted to simple bash
script. But for the weekend, I looked at the editor and the environment with/under
which I author and publish.
Here are the requirements for the editor:
- vim-like keybinding: unrivalled for smooth English post editing. Maybe all alphabetical languages share similar features. Emacs are not that good at Chinese as word-level navigation is useless for Chinese.
- Support Tufte style.
- Almost all platform, at least
- Markdown, better with live preview.
I have doubts over the usefulness of live preview: they seem to be only useful, when one is new to the syntax of
Markdown, and it’s a great source of distraction.
Visual Studio Code
Behind the scene
VSCode uses the same technology as
Atom editor, and I like
Web technology pioneered by
ES6_. To me,
VSCode is the best
Microsoft to the open source community (other than
Linux Subsystem, maybe, if
WLS is more stable and has less edge corners.)
Well, if some day I do not use
Emacs any more, this would be my number 1
choice. Other than
Tufte support, it has everything I want. And it might just
take a few days hacking to put together an extension to add support for
The problem is, for post writing, it doesn’t beat
Emacs and I know one thing
or two about how to write
ELisp, a plus for Emacs. If I need to do
some Web hacking, particularly in
A flavour of
RStudio. Among all other features, this one
It’s just that
RStudio is a beast and I am not doing any data science, yet.
Also I only used
RStudio once before to learn some basics about
R and it was
quite a while ago. The learning cost would be too high just for the posts.
Writage is a tool … converting
MS Word to
Markdown! It’s still
early stage, and it’s not open source, though it is “available for free trial”
for now. Despite all above, it’s an interesting project: after all, like it or
MS Word is the king of the
About Habit and Discipline
My previous English teacher Alex Just two weeks ago, we had the last class. He is a funny guy. His class makes you feel like a group of young folks chitchatting together, sharing childhood stories and small, funny quarrels with his Chinese girlfriend. said he forced himself to write something in the early morning to form a habit of writing. Anything, anything will do, even lines like “I do not know why I am sitting here, I do not have anything to write, and I just forced myself to do so. Oh, I just finish brushing my teech and blabla”. And by this method, as he claimed, he manages to finish writing a book about his 4-year stay in China.
I should learn something from this.
While writing this post, I noticed what a bliss it is not to try to get reference for everything. I wrote once before that references are important. I still believe so, but the extra work for references might as well cost my writing productivity. As thus the benefits do not justify the cost. Let’s only make important references for important posts. And along this line we should relax some of the rules I laid before about writing to encourage writing more.
Well, this post also serves as a test ground for the
so far so good. Happy posting now ;)