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Re: beginner questions

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: beginner questions
Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2013 14:18:20 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3.50 (gnu/linux)

> me get down to work. Otherwise, not yet being familiar with emacs,
> I have to look up every second or two to see what it's doing,
> to make sure I'm not doing something it's already done for me, etc.

Emacs generally tries to make it so that what you see is all there is
to see.  So while it may perform extra edits for you, it should always
be immediately visible on screen.  IOW as long as you look at your
screen, you should immediately see when something's going on.

Also, usually by default Emacs tries not to perform changes you haven't
explicitly asked for.  This is not always the case (e.g. the
auto-indentation of after inserting ; in C mode), but these exceptions
so they should be reasonably rare.

IOW, I recommend you don't try to force fundamental-mode everywhere, but
instead to use Emacs in its vanilla form and then to ask how to disable
specifically those things that bother you.

> different than yours. I absolutely hate colors,

(global-font-lock-mode -1)

> parentheses matching,

(setq blink-matching-paren nil)

> indenting.

This normally only happens when you explicitly ask for it by hitting TAB.
The exceptions will depend on the major-mode in use, so when you bump
into a problematic case, post it here (and/or do a M-x report-emacs-bug
pointing out that this major-mode should obey electric-indent-mode).

>  Speaking of which, I hadn't really exercised that fundamental-mode
> properly when I remarked in preceding post that it worked fine.
> It stops "parentheses" matching <stuff>, which is what I'd noticed
> since I'm currently writing some html (but mostly write C nowadays).
> But it still matches (stuff) and [stuff] and {stuff}. Any way to
> turn that off? Thanks.

In most cases I've seen (tho not all), beginners misunderstand the
default paren-matching and have the impression they have to wait for
"the cursor to come back".  Once they discover that they do *not* have
to wait (IOW the cursor comes back as soon as they type something), they
tend to like it (it's really designed to be "as unintrusive as we
But if you still dislike it, just add

   (setq blink-matching-paren nil)

in your ~/.emacs file.

> The only colors I like are black fg on white bg -- for >>everything<<.

Same for me.  So, I use

   M-x customize-face RET font-lock-<yourchoicehere>-face RET

to change those nasty default colors and replace them with


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