January 18, 2012

Emacs: Telling external processes about terminal capabilities, and watching over other people’s shoulders

January 18, 2012 - Categories: emacs

Justin Giancola (@elucid) wanted to use full-ack.el to search through his project files using the Ack tool, but Ack refused to run because it didn’t think his terminal had enough capabilities. A simple fix was to set the TERM variable with

(setenv "TERM" "xterm")

which told Ack that Emacs was fine with its output.

(Speaking of Ack integration – This being the Emacs world, there’s more than one way to do things. You might also want to check out ack-and-a-half.el, which is midway between ack.el and full-ack.el.)

It was interesting hanging out with someone else who used Emacs, and being able to share tips. I don’t run into many other Emacs geeks, but I sporadically hang out in the #emacs channel or browse Planet Emacsen to be inspired. It’s funny how many of the meetups I go to end up involving Emacs conversations. It’s like I have a big M-x banner hovering over my head. =) It’s awesome, actually!