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C'est la Z

Using Emacs Episode 80 Vertico, Marginalia, Consult, and Embark

In today's video, we'll take a look at a few new completion frameworks for Emacs. For years I've been using Ivy and have been very happy with it but since I decided to rebuild my Emacs config from scratch I thought I'd try the new kids on the block, Selectrum and Vertico along with some support packages.

I've liked Ivy from day one and still do. To be honest, from a day to day point of view, I didn't notice much difference between Ivy and the newcomers but I do like their philosophies - they're supposed to be simple and minimalist and focus on the Emacs completion API without extending it. You can read about their respective philosophies on their GitHub pages. Conveniently, both have sections comparing themselves with the other frameworks.

For configurations, I just cut and pasted the suggested configs.

Ultimately I settled on Vertico but both are worth a look.

The video shows off Vertico but arguably more importantly, it covers some of the ancillary packages. First, although I don't show much about them are Prescient and Orderless - they let you control how your selections pop up. I'm using Orderless which lets me search for components by typing partial completions and using spaces to separate but it lets you do it in any order. What I mean is that if I'm looking for the command "vertico-mode" I can search by typing something like "vert mode" which is what I've always done, but I can also do the search for "mo vert" - typing the second part first. That's pretty slick.

Next is Marginalia which brings up extra context information when you search for things. Things like command descriptions or file modes.

The third one we look at is Consult which is basically a collection of useful commands using completions. Basically an answer to Ivy's Counsel commands.

Finally, and this is the show stopper, the video shows Embark.


and of course, the video:

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