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C'est la Z

Using Emacs 72 - Customizing Elfeed

I made this video write after I made the openwith one so even though I don't mention anything in this video, I wanted to share some updates on dired and openwith.

I got a lot of suggestions on alternate ways to achieve the workflow I was seeking - being able to open a file using an external viewer. One person noted that under newer versions of Emacs, the W key is bound to the command (browse-url-of-dired-file) which does exactly what I wanted. Problem solved with no customizing or extra packages.

It's a good thing I got a solution when I did - I needed it. I've been reviewing applications for my new Teacher Certification program. It's a 21 credit graduate program that results in participants receiving a brand spanking new New York State Computer Science teaching license. The applications consist of a bunch of files incuding PDFs, images (photos), doc and text files and source code samples. I've got all the applications in a Google drive which I've downloaded and now I can just drop into dired and go through each directory, hit enter for source code and it's loaded in an Emacs buffer and W for everything else.

Now for today's video. It's about a small customization I made to the elfeed RSS reader. It's also about the advantages and limitations of Emacs built in documentation. I'm not particularly strong in elisp - I'm a dabbler at best but even so, using Emac's built in help I was able to get to elisp code that was very close to what I wanted to do and then customize it. It also looks at the limitations - there still some code that I looked at that I have no clue as to what it does.

Specifically, elfeed lets you open a link in an external brower by hitting b. That's how I like reading most of my feeds. I'll scroll up and down and hit b for what I want to read. The trouble is that when you hit b focus goes to the browser and at the same time, elfeed marks the entry as read and advances. I want it not to mark as read. After I made the video, I decided I also didn't want elfeed to advance to the next story.

Here's what I did.

I went in to elfeed and instead of typing b on an entry, I ran (describe-key)~ which is bound to C-h k. I then typed b which revealed that it ran elfeed-search-browse-url. I followed the hyperlinks in the help to open elfeed-search.el and found the function. From there I just copied it over to my Emacs config, tweaked it and voila, problem solved.

The video has all the details. Enjoy.

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