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It is curious to track the path by which the word `argument' came to have two different meanings, one in mathematics and the other in everyday English. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word derives from the Latin for `to make clear, prove'; thus it came to mean, by one thread of derivation, `the evidence offered as proof', which is to say, `the information offered', which led to its meaning in Lisp. But in the other thread of derivation, it came to mean `to assert in a manner against which others may make counter assertions', which led to the meaning of the word as a disputation. (Note here that the English word has two different definitions attached to it at the same time. By contrast, in Emacs Lisp, a symbol cannot have two different function definitions at the same time.)


Actually, you can use %s to print a number. It is non-specific. %d prints only the part of a number left of a decimal point, and not anything that is not a number.


Actually, by default, if the buffer from which you just switched is visible to you in another window, other-buffer will choose the most recent buffer that you cannot see; this is a subtlety that I often forget.


Or rather, to save typing, you probably typed just part of the name, such as *sc, and then pressed your TAB key to cause it to expand to the full name; and then typed your RET key.


Remember, this expression will move you to your most recent other buffer that you cannot see. If you really want to go to your most recently selected buffer, even if you can still see it, you need to evaluate the following more complex expression:

(switch-to-buffer (other-buffer (current-buffer) t))

In this case, the first argument to other-buffer tells it which buffer to skip--the current one--and the second argument tells other-buffer it is OK to switch to a visible buffer. In regular use, switch-to-buffer takes you to an invisible window since you would most likely use C-x o (other-window) to go to another visible buffer.


Actually, you can cons an element to an atom to produce a dotted pair. Dotted pairs are not discussed here; see section `Dotted Pair Notation' in The GNU Emacs Lisp Reference Manual.


More precisely, and requiring more expert knowledge to understand, the two integers are of type `Lisp_Object', which can also be a C union instead of an integer type.


You can write recursive functions to be frugal or wasteful of mental or computer resources; as it happens, methods that people find easy--that are frugal of `mental resources'---sometimes use considerable computer resources. Emacs was designed to run on machines that we now consider limited and its default settings are conservative. You may want to increase the values of max-specpdl-size and max-lisp-eval-depth. In my `.emacs' file, I set them to 15 and 30 times their default value.


The phrase tail recursive is used to describe such a process, one that uses `constant space'.


The jargon is mildly confusing: triangle-recursive-helper uses a process that is iterative in a procedure that is recursive. The process is called iterative because the computer need only record the three values, sum, counter, and number; the procedure is recursive because the function `calls itself'. On the other hand, both the process and the procedure used by triangle-recursively are called recursive. The word `recursive' has different meanings in the two contexts.


You may also add `.el' to `~/.emacs' and call it a `~/.emacs.el' file. In the past, you were forbidden to type the extra keystrokes that the name `~/.emacs.el' requires, but now you may. The new format is consistent with the Emacs Lisp file naming conventions; the old format saves typing.


When I start instances of Emacs that do not load my `.emacs' file or any site file, I also turn off blinking:

emacs -q --no-site-file -eval '(blink-cursor-mode nil)'


I occasionally run more modern window managers, such as Sawfish with GNOME, Enlightenment, SCWM, or KDE; in those cases, I often specify an image rather than a plain color.

This document was generated by Dohn Arms on March, 6 2005 using texi2html