emacs undo; emacs cult problem

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Emacs Undo & Emacs Cult Problem

Xah Lee, 2011-04-08

Goddamn motherfucking emacs undo.

Emacs undo is a motherfucking problem. There's a “redo” mode, which i've been using since about 2006. However, that mode sometimes corrupt your undo. That is, it doesn't behave correctly.

Sometimes in 2010 i discovered a improved redo mode, called “redo+”. I was happy, and put it in ErgoEmacs replacing the redo mode. However, now having used it for several months, i discovered that it's got a worse problem, a major one. Sometimes in a text file “.txt” (text-mode), it simply doesn't let you undo at all. It says “undo-more: No further undo information” — My ass! (at that point, you have to call “revert-buffer”.)

Fuck emacs fuckfaces. Those so-called “leet”, “hacker”, scumbags.

What's emacs undo problem? Emacswiki said the best http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/RedoMode, quote:

Emacs treats “undo” as just another command. Therefore you can undo the undo. This is powerful and confusing, because if you are doing several undos and miss the “correct spot”, and do anything at all which is not an undo command, you will be stuck: You broke the chain of undos. When you realize your mistake and try to undo some more, you will first undo your previous undos, then undo the dos, and then you can finally undo some more to find the correct spot. The problem is at least as confusing as this description.

Fundamental problems like this cannot be fixed by a 3rd-party packages. It needs to be fixed in emacs core. Similar issues are copy/cut keys starting with【C-c】 and 【C-x】, and down arrow key for moving down a visual line (fixed since emacs 23). Issues that are likely to become a cult problem are those that somewhat are unique in emacs. Another is the “*scratch*” buffer. These problems, on the surface are technical design issues, but have become identity crisis issues. (because, if it is changed, to the lurid-news sucking populace it indicates a admittance defeat and bad design. (which is not true, because tech and need changes. (Apple had the same problem in some areas, e.g. 1-button mouse ◇ menu bar at top of screen ◇ window cannot be resized by any edge.)))

Whenever these problems are raised, and they are raised frequently on blogs and programing sites such as hackernews, reddit, by common programers, a bunch of emacs diehards will insist that emacs way is the superior way. (and quickly the thread will degenerate into “emacs vs vi” inane cult fuck) The problem is not due to lack of due diligence or intelligence, but stem from a cult problem. As long as the emacs cult isn't killed, it will continue to harm emacs. Typically, emacs will adopt a superior but non-emacs-originated design after 5 to 10 years after the industry. (e.g. mouse and GUI support, syntax highlighting, arrow-down to move by visual line, all happened after 5 to 10 years)

What to do if you love emacs and want emacs to improve? Persistent in spreading what is true. Fight the emacs cult. Remember: PERSIST. Each person may have different styles and time to devote on this. You may, like me, simply tell the emacs cultists to fuck off and eat shit and die. Or, perhaps you are like most people, who are not so radical in manners, and participate in debates in mild and reasonable manners. But remember one thing: PERSIST.

To simply insist my point of view, is not ME. But it is my belief that many emacs issue are by all scientific judgments without doubt to be against the traditional emacs leet view, to the point that to still participate in a mild reasonable debate is in fact bordering on cowardice and lie.


Ballet: how do ballet dancers tiptoe dance

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Ballet: Bach BWV1007

Xah Lee, 2011-04-06

Here's a video of a ballet. Incredibly beautiful.

“Nicole Ciapponi in Olivier Wevers new piece BWV1007”.

  • Music: “Bach BWV 1007” amazon

I always wondered, how do ballet dancers do those tiptoe? When they stand on tiptoe, how do their feet look exactly? is it just the big toe touching the ground? How is possible? What kinda basic training to do that?

Pointe Shoe

The answer, lies in Pointe shoe, which is specially designed shoe with a little box in front.

“pointe shoe”

Thanks to Kiara Smythe in Second Life for the answer.


web browsers unicode support compared

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Web Browsers Unicode Support; Firefox 4 Sucks

Xah Lee, 2011-04-06

The unicode support in Firefox 4 sucks.

Here's a test page to see how your browser support unicode: Web Browser Unicode Support Test Page.

Here's a screenshot of Firefox 4.0.

firefox4 unicode sucks

Screenshot of Firefox 4.0 on Windows, showing a lot missing characters.

All other browsers show all characters, while IE9 misses just a few.

With respect to unicode support, the best to worst are: Google Chrome, Safari, Opera, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 4. (all latest public release on Windows as of 2011-04-05.)

To fix the Firefox problem, you have to use CSS to specify font. (See: Best Fonts for Unicode.)

For example, you might say this css:

body {font-family:"Arial Unicode MS","DejaVu Sans",sans-serif}
pre {font-family:"DejaVu Sans Mono",monospace}

Chiptune, Fugue, Pure Music

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Chiptune, Fugue, Pure Music

Xah Lee, 2010-05-25, 2011-04-05

A nice Chiptune.

DDDot video game music.

  • Game Sound: An Introduction to the History, Theory, and Practice of Video Game Music and Sound Design amazon

Note that chiptune (aka 8-bit music) is a sound style of music from arcade video games of the 1980s. The characteristics is simple synthesized sound, back then due to technological limitations.

However, somehow i love chiptune, because they capture the music itself, without the complex sound from musical instrument. In a sense, it's pure music. (“pure music” in music theory is composition that focuses on the notes combination itself, not sound. (though, few seconds of web search i didn't find the term, for some reason. Maybe i got the term wrong.))

In fact, i always wanted to have a piano such that each key produces a simple beep sound of the right frequency, or a slightly modified pure tone with the right ADSR envelope (so the sound isn't jarring to the ear as pure tones tend to be). This would be great when playing Bach's music, in particular, his fugues, e.g. Well-tempered clavier. See: Liszt & Bach, 4 Songs to Die ForMusic: MIDI Collection of Bach.

8-bit - Franz Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsody No.2

Here's a fantastic 8-bit version of Liszt's famous song. (thanks to anonymous for mention)

“8-bit | Franz Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsody No.2”

8-bit Chopin Etude Op.10-1

“8-bit Chopin Etude Op.10-1”

8-bit Chopin Etude Op.10-5 'Black key'

“8-bit Chopin Etude Op.10-5 'Black key'”

8-bit Bach BWV 1007

“8-bit version: BWV 1007”

Emacs grep Problem in Windows

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Emacs grep Problem in Windows

Xah Lee, 2011-04-05

2 month ago i wrote How to Write grep in Emacs Lisp. In it, i documented a few problems of calling unix grep within emacs. Today i run into a problem again. Here's a more concrete example.

In my vocabulary page Wordy English — the Making of Belles-Lettres, i use the unicode BOX DRAWINGS LIGHT VERTICAL “│” as a temp marker for processing the word list. Today i need to grep pages containing that character.

Calling 【M-x grep】 in emacs with grep -inH -e "│" *html returns a error:

-*- mode: grep; default-directory: "c:/Users/xah/web/xahlee_org/emacs/" -*-
Grep started at Tue Apr 05 15:37:47

grep "│" *html
warning: extra args ignored after 'grep "│\'

Grep finished with no matches found at Tue Apr 05 15:37:47

Starting “shell” in emacs (which runs Microsoft cmd.exe in Windows Vista) doesn't work neither. (it works fine when grepping ASCII string) Here's a session log:

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.0.6002]
Copyright (c) 2006 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.

c:\Users\xah\web\xahlee_org\emacs>grep "│" *html
grep "â”? *html

It stuck there. 【C-c C-c】 doesn't get out. I had to kill the buffer.

Calling “msys-shell” works. (msys-shell is bundled with ErgoEmacs. msys-shell is part of MinGW, which is a subset of cygwin port.) Here's a log:

sh-3.2$ grep "│" *html
antonymous_synonyms.html:<li> cry, decry │ you can cry, as in crying out loud, but you can also decry, by crying out loud </li>
antonymous_synonyms.html:<li> linear, rectilinear │ linear algebra, rectilinear motion. Rectilinear is the linearness of motion.</li>

Calling it in cygwin bash running inside Windows Console also works.

So, this means, the problem isn't “grep” not understanding unicode. Both cygwin bash grep and msys bash grep works. It must be something that got screwed up when emacs talks to shell. Though, what exactly is the problem? Well, i'm not about to spend few hours to find out.

in PowerShell, it also works. e.g. with this command select-string -path *.html -pattern "│". However, calling PowerShell thru emacs does not work. (See: Emacs PowerShell Modes.)

So, the problem obviously is the interface between emacs and OS, though, msys does work...

Here's my system setup:

  • I'm running ErgoEmacs 1.9.2.
  • Windows Vista with latest patches.
  • Cygwin installed. (too lazy to lookup version)
  • MSYS of MinGW installed as part of ErgoEmacs. (too lazy to lookup version)
  • Windows PowerShell installed (too lazy to lookup version)
  • PowerShell emacs interface mode installed (too lazy to lookup version)

O, The Complexity & Tedium of Software Engineering.


Sexy Women: Katie Couric, Camille Paglia, Jane Hamsher

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Sexy Women: Katie Couric, Camille Paglia, Jane Hamsher

Xah Lee, 2011-04-04

Katie Couric is on the news. O, what a sexy woman. I haven't watched TV since 2000. But i learned of her in my writings. Here's some youtube videos i've watched in past years where i learned of her.

CBS Exclusive: Sarah Palin interviewed by Katie Couric, 2008-10-31.

Above from The Bimbo from Alaska: Sarah Palin.

Michael J Fox, interviewed by Katie Couric.

Above is from The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect: Chapter 3.

“The Late Show with Dav...: David Letterman - Katie Couric Leaving CBS?”

OMG, she sooo attractive.

Here's another video, more informal, about her colonoscopy.

“Katie Couric's Colonoscopy Prep”

I wonder what she looks like when she's young. She must be fucking HOT. Though, often it is very hard to find info of celebrities about their younger life.

Intelligent Women

I'm extremely attracted to intelligent women. Though, many of them, as celebrities, when you heard of them, they are well in their 40s or 50s. The situation is similar to mathematicians or authors. By the time you learned about them, they are old. Yet, i'll do them anytime. Here are few:

Camille Paglia

“Charlie Rose: January 30, 1995”, interviews Camille Paglia. (Camille starts at 26:40)

Above from Camille Paglia: Modern Sex Goddess.

Jane Hamsher

“EXPOSED: Attack on Wikileaks”. Jane Hamsher.

Above from Wikileaks, Bank of America, Anonymous, US Government, Espionage.


Emacs Featured in Tron

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Emacs Featured in Tron

Xah Lee, 2011-04-03

Emacs has been featured in the movie “Tron: Legacy”. Here's a screenshot:

emacs TRON GFX BR 07

Tron Legacy screenshot featuring emacs

What's interesting is that it is actually running eshell. So, it's a real life advanced use of emacs.

The person who worked for Tron blogged about it here: Source jtnimoy.net

HTML Title Tag: not context dependent

HTML Title Tag

Learned a great tip. The “title” tag is supposed to be meaningful even without context. Here's a quote from Source dev.w3.org:

The title element represents the document’s title or name, and should be meaningful even when read out of context.

So, for example, my article on functional programing: What's List Comprehension and Why is it Harmful?, the title element would better be: “Computer Programing: What's List Comprehension and Why is it Harmful?”. Note that you should keep it under 200 chars.

See also: Google Search Ranking Ingredients (SEO secrets).

emacs dired: delete marked files list cannot be viewed

Emacs Dired Bug: Delete File List Not Visible

This seems to be a bug. Define this:

(defalias 'yes-or-no-p 'y-or-n-p)

Then, in dired, type ~ to flag backup files. Then, type x to delete them. Dired will prompt you with “Delete D [251 files] (y or n)” with a list of files to be deleted on the top pane. When you have more files to fit in a window, part of the list is not visible, and there's no way to view them. You can't page with 【Alt+PgDn】 or 【Alt+PgUp】, can't use mouse to drag the scrollbar, scroll wheel just produce beeps. I haven't found a way to view it.

(thanks to Eli Zaretskii, Drew Adam for helping track down the cause. Source groups.google.com)

Barefoot Running & Shoes

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Is Barefoot Running Healthier?

Xah Lee, 2009-01-02

Am surprised to learn that when you run barefoot, your forefoot is the point that contact the ground first, not your heel. (“forefoot” is the front part of your foot.)

In recent years there's reports that running shoes are not healthy, while barefoot is better, because with running shoes and its heavy padding and flat bottom, you always land on the heel first, which supposedly put burden on your knee to absorb the impact.

When running barefoot, your forefeet touchs the ground first, and almost simultaneous with heel. The arc in your feet act as the natural shock absorber. So, good for your health.

At first i find it hard to believe that the forefoot touches the ground first when you run barefoot. Today i actually tried it, and it is true.

This is slightly not intuitive, because one'd think that running shoes with all the thick tech padding that are designed to absorb shock. Though, the problem is that when the padding is thick, inevitably you have to land on heel first, thus it neutralize the natural shock absorber that's the arc in your feet.

Here's Wikipedia articles: BarefootBarefoot running. Quote:

The human mechanics of running are changed quite significantly when shoes are used – with natural, shoeless human running, the lateral edge of the forefoot is the part which strikes the ground with the most force. Running in padded shoes typically alters this as more emphasis is placed on the heel and the area towards the back of the foot.

Though, there's no conclusive evidence that running barefoot is healthier practice than with running shoes.

I first noticed this controversy when i saw a ad for a funky natural shoe.

vibram fivefingers shoe 1 vibram fivefingers shoe 2

Vibram Fivefingers KSO. amazon

Advantage of Going Barefoot

Asides from the issue of running... if you go barefoot everyday, your feet will develop quite some flexibility and mobility. Ι recall, in ~2005 or so, there's a guy talking about his book on this on the radio NPR.

With shoes, your feet is like in jail, all your life. You can hardly even wiggle your toes. Without shoes, your feet become much more flexible and dexterous, like your hand. (just imagine some tree monkey's feet).

For modern people, if you take off your shoes, you will probably not be able to walk in a unpaved road for few minutes. It's gonna be like, ouch, ouch! Every tiny rock is pain.

Barefoot is great especially in natural environment where the ground is not paved concrete. But in modern society, it is close to impossible to find a walking ground that's not paved. So, i think in some sense, the advantage of feet's ability to grasp the ground, is not applicable if you live in developed country.

Walking and running barefoot in warm asphalt feels great. I think am going to do 10 minutes barefoot walking/running everyday now. For the joy, and also for picking up what my feet is naturally capable of.

Though, there's the esthetic issue. I'm sure going barefoot will make your feet more tough in appearance, and probably thicker skin in some parts. But does this means your feet will be more ugly? For guys, this doesn't matter much. For ladies, can you go barefeet for years and have beautiful feet?

Alterative to Barefoot

One disadvantage of barefoot is that without shoes your feet is subject to all the abrasion with the ground, in particular on concrete asphalt. That's very harsh on your feet's skin, and un-natural (because the paved road is man-made). In natural environment, the groud would be soil, dirt, grass, sand, occasionally stone.

A alternative is to wear shoes without heavy padding. I've been wearing one made by Nike since early 2000s, and it's my favorite shoe.

nike acg neoprene sandals 3

“Nike ACG Tekapo Slide”? img src sneakermestupid.com

Nike Zvezdochka charcoal grey

“Men Nike Zvezdochka Charcoal Grey” img src www.ussandals.com

Mine's design looks similar to the above. (i can't find the exact name or picture.)

High-heels for Health!

high heels pretty feet

On the other hand, the media is reporting that: Scientists Say High-Heels Good for Your Health.