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      This, and the Embark blog post from karthinks, were gamechangers for my Emacs setup. I had been scared to try Embark until these super-detailed essays convinced me. Now I use avy and Embark all the time. Yank lines across frames! Find file under point as a natural composition of commands instead of a dedicated package! Rename files before visiting them!

      In many ways, the writing and the work remind me of the Quicksilver.app docs that talked about the philosophy of noun-verb UX. I love the ambition behind stuff like this – there were people who implemented circular context menus in the early Mozilla Phoenix days that were sort of like that too. There are people out there who write like 10,000 lines of Emacs Lisp and make hundreds of other people more productive for it! It really enforces my faith in open-source tooling.

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      The post itself is all over the map and I had a very hard time figuring out what it was trying to say. But I looked into Avy and I have to say that with the number of times I want to jump to a specific word on screen and the amount of time I spend navigating to such places, using Avy would save me almost no time in a typical workday.

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        What I took from the post is that it’s not really about “jumping to specific word” (even if that’s what avy advertises itself for) - but more about executing an action on that very thing I’m looking at. You don’t have to explicitly think about what the thing is, or where it is in relation to your point (“cursor”). The author observes that it’s a generic UI paradigm, and avy as a library is structured in such a way you can use the selection mechanism alone - unlike with other packages addressing the same use cases avy does, but mix together selection, filtering and action.

        This links to the author’s earlier post on Embark. Where avy can be seen as a generic “this thing I’m looking at” selection mechanism, Embark is a “context menu” for arbitrary things. Combined together, they implement a universal “do this to the thing I’m looking at” pattern.

        Or at least so they say. I’m convinced, but I’m yet to try it.

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          executing an action on that very thing I’m looking at

          When I was writing a lot of LaTeX (book quantities), I wrote a Vim macro bound to F2 that parsed the token under my cursor and expanded it into a template for a LaTeX environment (e.g. table, figure, and so on). It was a huge win for my productivity. I’ve wondered a bit about how that kind of pattern would apply in other contexts.

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      Great post. Thanks for sharing. I learned a lot more about Avy. Keen to try to work them into my muscle memory.