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Best way to get hang of an elisp file?

From: Marcin Borkowski
Subject: Best way to get hang of an elisp file?
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2013 18:52:32 +0200

Hi all,

I'd like to look at AUCTeX sources.  This means that I have a rather
large elisp file, and I'd like to skim through it.  Since I want to
know more or less /what/ functions, variables etc. there are and what
they /do/ instead of how they are implemented, I'm curious whether
there exists something like "outline mode", hiding everything but the
signature of a function and its docstring etc.  (Or better yet,
generating a file with everything but signatures and docstrings etc.
deleted.)  Or is there any other way to accomplish my goal?

I know that there are tags etc., but this is not what I want: I'd
prefer to skim through the file /sequentially/, just to learn what's in
there, I'm not interested in jumping to a function whose name I know -
since I don't know these names, and I want to learn them.

I also know that I can navigate through sexps, and probably jumping "to
the end of the outermost sexp" could be easy.  But I don't want to
limit myself to Emacs when reading the file: my workflow would be to
transfer it to an ebook reader (I spend more than one hour commuting
almost every day, you know;)).  (Of course, in this case hiding won't

I am also aware that there exists a Perl script doing exactly this
but for some strange reason I get the feeling that using Perl to
manipulate Elisp sources is... strange at least.

Any hints?

(If not, I'll try to implement something like this myself.)

Marcin Borkowski
Adam Mickiewicz University

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