Yay Emacs: Using elisp: links in Org Mode to note the time and display messages on stream

| yay-emacs, org

I like adding chapters to my videos so that people can jump to sections. I can figure out the sections by reading the transcript, adding NOTE comments, and extracting the times for those with my-youtube-copy-chapters. It could be nice to capture the times on the fly. org-timer could let me insert relative timestamps, but I think it might need some tweaking to synchronize that with when the stream starts according to YouTube. I've set up a capture, too, so I can take notes with timestamps.

It turns out that I don't have a lot of mental bandwidth when I'm on stream, so it's hard to remember keyboard shortcuts. (Maybe if I practise using the hydra I set up…) Fortunately, Org Mode's elisp: link type makes it easy to set up executable shortcuts. For example, I can add links like [[elisp:my-stream-message-link][TODO]] to my livestream plans like this:

Figure 1: Shortcuts with elisp: links

I can then click on the links or use C-c C-o (org-open-link-at-point) to run the function. When I follow the TODO link in the first item, Emacs displays a clock and a message based on the rest of the line after the link.

Figure 2: Displaying a clock and a message

In the background, the code also sets the description of the link to the wall-clock time.

Figure 3: Link description updated with the time

If I start the livestream with a clock displayed on screen, I can use that to translate wall-clock times to relative time offsets. I'll probably figure out some Elisp to translate the times automatically at some point, maybe based on something like org-timer-change-times-in-region.

I figured it might be fun to add a QR code automatically if we detect a URL, taking advantage of that qrencode package I started playing around with.

Figure 4: With a QR code

You can also use elisp: links for more complicated Emacs Lisp functions, like this: elisp:(progn ... ...).

Here's the code that makes it happen. It's based on emacsconf-stream.el.

(defvar my-stream-message-buffer "*Yay Emacs*")
(defvar my-stream-message-timer nil)

(defun my-stream-message-link ()
    (when (and (derived-mode-p 'org-mode)
               (eq (org-element-type (org-element-context)) 'link))
      (goto-char (org-element-end (org-element-context)))
      (my-stream-message (org-export-string-as (buffer-substring (point) (line-end-position)) 'ascii t)))))
(defun my-stream-update-todo-description-with-time ()
  (when (and (derived-mode-p 'org-mode)
             (eq (org-element-type (org-element-context)) 'link))
    (my-org-update-link-description (format-time-string "%-I:%M:%S %p"))))

(defun my-stream-message (&optional message)
  (interactive "MMessage: ")
  ;; update the description of the link at point to be the current time, if any
  (switch-to-buffer (get-buffer-create my-stream-message-buffer))
  (when (string= message "") (setq message nil))
  (face-remap-add-relative 'default :height 200)
   "Yay Emacs! - Sacha Chua (sacha@sachachua.com)\n"
    'stream-time (lambda () (format-time-string "%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S %Z (%z)")))
  ;; has a URL? Let's QR encode it!
  (when-let ((url (save-excursion
                    (when (re-search-backward ffap-url-regexp nil t)
    (insert (propertize (qrencode url) 'face '(:height 50)) "\n"))
  (insert  "\nYayEmacs.com\n")
  (when (timerp my-stream-message-timer) (cancel-timer my-stream-message-timer))
  (setq my-stream-message-timer (run-at-time t 1 #'my-stream-update-time))
  (goto-char (point-min)))

(defun my-stream-update-time ()
  "Update the displayed time."
  (if (get-buffer my-stream-message-buffer)
      (when (get-buffer-window my-stream-message-buffer)
        (with-current-buffer my-stream-message-buffer
            (goto-char (point-min))
            (let (match)
              (while (setq match (text-property-search-forward 'stream-time))
                (goto-char (prop-match-beginning match))
                 (prop-match-beginning match)
                 (prop-match-end match)
                 (list 'display
                       (funcall (get-text-property
                                 (prop-match-beginning match)
                (goto-char (prop-match-end match)))))))
    (when (timerp my-stream-message-timer)
      (cancel-timer my-stream-message-timer))))

Let's see if that makes it easy enough for me to remember to actually do it!

View org source for this post
You can comment with Disqus or you can e-mail me at sacha@sachachua.com.