Anything.else

Last time I blabbed about why anything.el is rad, but left you hanging with just a few out-of-the-box implications or that rad-ness. This time, let’s use anything.el to make our own anything.

The simplest anything.el customization is making your own anything command. You’ll find an example of this in anything-config.el.

(defun my-anything ()
       (interactive)
       (anything-other-buffer
        '(anything-c-source-buffers
          anything-c-source-file-name-history
          anything-c-source-info-pages
          anything-c-source-info-elisp
          anything-c-source-man-pages
          anything-c-source-locate
          anything-c-source-emacs-commands)
        "*my-anything*"))

anything-other-buffer is a simplified version of anything that takes a list of sources for its first argument and a buffer name as its second. So M-x my-anything now gives you an anything selection buffer for all them sources there. You’ll find a wealth of pre-baked sources to choose from in anything-config.el.

The next level of awesomeness comes when you create your own source, which is cheese easy. Do a C-h v on anything-sources. Here you’ll get a lengthy description of how to set one of these buggers up. I’ve made the world’s simplest, most contrived, and most stupidly named source below.

(setf my-pretend-files-source
      '((name . "Name for My Source")
		(candidates . ("a" "list" "of" "files"))
		(type . file)))

There are three mandatory keys: name, candidates, and either action or type. Here I’m pretending to be looking at a list of files, so my type is file. Types provide common actions for things you’ll commonly be working with. They’re a shortcut to actually writing your own actions.

Now that we’ve got a source, let’s make an anything command that uses it.

(defun anything-for-pretend-files ()
  (interactive)
  (anything-other-buffer '(my-pretend-files-source)
                         "*anything-select-buffer-name*"))
anything-for-pretend-files

anything-for-pretend-files

Try out this custom command and hit tab on one of the items to see what you can get with the file type. You can find a list of types with a C-h v of anything-type-attributes.

The "file" type

Options for the file type

If you’re not using a type, you’re using an action. The action key takes a list of alists, each of which maps one name string to one function. Something like this:

(action . (("Action name" . (lambda (selection)
                              (do-some-crazy-shit-to selection)))))

Of course, that lambda could be a function name. Let’s make a real action. A real stupid action!

(setf things-to-say-source
      '((name . "Things To Say")
        (candidates . ("Llama" "Guano" "Mochaccino" "Colostomy"))
        (action . (("Say it!" .
                    (lambda (selection)
                      (message selection)))
                   ("Spray it!" .
                    (lambda (selection)
                      (message (concat selection "thpppt"))))))))

(defun anything-things-to-say ()
  (interactive)
  (anything-other-buffer '(things-to-say-source)
                         "*anything things to say*"))
anything-things-to-say

anything-things-to-say

“Say it!” is the default action, it’s what happens when we hit return. “Spray it!” is an alternate action, which we can select by hitting tab on an item. Remember that this action selection screen is another anything screen, so you can arrow and C-n, C-p through it, but you can also just start typing what you want.

Spray it!

Spray it!

colostomy

Yes!

Next steps

Now these examples are collosally stewpid. What’s more, they use only a tiny fraction of the shite tonne of source options anything‘ll take. If your curiosity is tingling, C-h v anything-sources and prepare to have your amazement blown.

And if you’re really and truly rapt, tune in next time, when we’ll make a for real anything-project-files source that lets you fly around the files of your gigantic, deeply nested project like an airbus on an eightball. It’ll be fun.

About selah

Programmer at aTherapy. Also dabbling musician. Also cycling commuter.
This entry was posted in Emacs, Programming and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Anything.else

  1. elwood says:

    when I type c-h v anything-sources it says
    “It is deprecated, you should not use this.
    Use instead individual sources or list of sources of your own choice.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> <pre lang="" line="" escaped="">