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Re: Emacs internals + lisp guru question

From: D . Goel
Subject: Re: Emacs internals + lisp guru question
Date: 29 Sep 2002 02:47:34 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.2

It is pleasing to see someone post under the name gnuist :=) Please do
note, however, that posting to multiple newsgroups is not considered
polite.  Also, a more descriptive subject will get more people to
actually open your mail and you will get more reply.  (Also, i am
copying you on this one, but read follow-ups in the same newsgroup in

> There are some functions that take a list as argument.
> Text can be read from the buffer as a string.
> There are some functions that take a "symbol" as an argument.
> A string can be converted to a symbol.
> However, when symbol is provided to the function by converting a string
>  it is not working.
> For example:
> (describe-function quoted-SYMBOL) works
> (make-symbol "describe-function") works

Do a C-h f make-symbol, to see that:

make-symbol is a built-in function.
(make-symbol NAME)

Return a newly allocated uninterned symbol whose name is NAME.
Its value and function definition are void, and its property list is nil.

viz. To repeat: Its value and function definitions are void.

Perhaps what you are looking for is "intern".

(describe-function (intern "describe-function")). 

Again, see manual. and use C-h f, and use M-x find-function. 

> How can we get the code of describe-function?

M-x find-function. 

> What is the meaning of the gibberish from (insert (format "%s"
> (symbol-function 'describe-function) ))

See manual and use C-h f. 

> What is out there to learn more about emacs/emacs_lisp and become
> more sophisticated?

Emacs, by itself, has the most extensive self-documentation than
probably any other software.  Make sure you do have the elisp
manual, intro to emacs-lisp programming, emacs FAQ installed.

(On debian gnulinux, this means:  
apt-get install emacs-lisp-intro elisp-manual, 
in addition to the regular apt-get install emacs21). 

Now, here's one possible order in which to go through all the
documentation.  (mix and match as you please :=) -->

C-h t (tutorial) 
C-h i and read tutorial on Info. 
C-h i and go to the Emacs FAQ node. 
C-h i and EMACS FAQ
C-h i and EMACS manual
C-h i and Elisp intro (an awesome tutorial written by Robert Chassell)
C-h i and Emacs lisp manual 
browse the english and lisp in source-files.  
        (use M-x find-function, M-x finder-commentary etc. etc.)
Browse the Emacs's core C files for more internals! :-)


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