Making SVG images in Emacs

While working on the Emacs Network Security Manager, it was suggested that Emacs implement a visual hash for certificates.  It turned out to be a not-unproblematic idea, so I didn’t do that, but by then I had already written an SVG library.

While staring at it, it occurred to me that it would be kinda neat if the image created would update in real-time.

So I did that.

I think this library will probably end up on GNU ELPA.

Today’s Best Email Confidentiality Signature

Isn’t it fascinating that people thing they can send you things and attach a “confidentiality signature”, and that supposed to be binding for the recipient?

Fascinating, but deeply deluded.

NOTICE OF CONFIDENTIALITY: The information contained in or attached to
this email is private and confidential, is protected from disclosure
and is intended only for the person to whom it is addressed. Review,
reproduction, or use of this information by unintended or unauthorized
recipients is prohibited. If you have received this email in error,
please notify the sender, delete it from any and all your computer
systems, and do not read, retransmit, retain, print, publish,
distribute, disclose or copy this information, or take any action in
reliance thereon. This also means that it's expected that the content
of this message will not be shared with others without the consent of
the sender.

Make Free Money Now

I was rooting through the Cupboard Of Mysterious Odds’n’Ends a month back, and I found a major stash of pre-Euro money.  It must have been in there for years and IMG_0342years.  I vaguely remember thinking that I should, perhaps, bring it with me to an airport sometime to put into those “spare change” charity things, but I forgot, of course.

I thought the notes were worthless by now, but I binged about a bit, and it turns out that they’re not really.  There are several businesses that exchange them still.  Nothing in Norway, but lots in the UK.  I selected Leftover Currency, because nothing says “trustworthy bankers” more than green text on a black background.  I put the money into an envelope with instructions to deposit the money into my Paypal account, and sent it off to the UK.

Putting cash into an envelope felt very old skool.  If it’s lost, it’s lost.  On the other hand, I didn’t know that I had the money, anyway, so if it’s lost, it’s lost.

But behold!

DSC00982Money!  For me!  Haha!!!

I’m guessing the rates they’re giving me leaves them a healthy profit margin, but that’s fine.

(This has not been a paid advertisment.  Or has it?  I mean, they gave me money, and now I’m flogging their URL.  Hm…)

Welcome, New Emacs Developers

Emacs switched the version control system from Bazaar to git yesterday, so now is the time to start hacking away at Emacs.

Emacs: The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread If It Wasn’t For The Fact That Emacs Was Actually Invented Before Sliced Bread.

This is a very short how-to guide on building and then contributing to Emacs.

Depending on what OS you’re running, you should install some libraries and stuff.  On Debian/Ubuntu you’d say something like

sudo apt-get build-dep emacs24

(See the end of this post for instructions for other operating systems.)

Then you need to get the Emacs sources and build Emacs.  Here’s how on most Linux systems:

git clone git://
cd emacs
./src/emacs &

And you’re off! If you know what you want to add to Emacs, just start hacking away. If not, you should have a look at the wishlist in the Emacs bug tracker.  Starting with a new feature can be less daunting than starting with a bug, since it’s more open ended.  And more fun.

First we need to get the bug tracker into Emacs.

M-x package-install RET debbugs RET

Ready for action!

M-x debbugs-gnu RET C-a C-k wishlist RET

debbugs3This will list everything that anybody wanted, but nobody got around to doing anything about.  Find one you think look interesting, hit enter to read more about it, and if you think you want to have a go, start hacking away.

debbugs4When you’re done, make a diff, reply to the bug report with F, and include the diff in the email.

Emacs requires a copyright assignment on all bits that are larger than 15 lines.  Send an email to saying you wish to assign your Emacs code to the FSF, and they’ll get back to you on the paperwork, which is very un-daunting.

If you’re fixing lots of bugs and adding lots of new code, just ask for commit rights to the Emacs repository, and your code will fly out a lot faster.

Go forth and Emacs!



If apt-get build-dep doesn’t work for you on Debian/Ubuntu, you could say something like

sudo apt-get install gcc automake autotools libmagick++-dev \
  libgtk2.0-dev libxft-dev libgnutls-dev libdbus-1-dev libgif-dev

On Fedora you’d say

sudo yum-builddep emacs


sudo yum install gcc makeinfo texinfo gtk3-devel gnutls-devel\
 giflib-devel ImageMagick-c++-devel autotools automake \
 libXaw-devel libpng-devel ncurses-devel libxml2-devel  

If you have instructions for other OS-es, or these instructions here are wrong, please leave a comment.

If you need more information on the git flow for Emacs developers, have a peek here.