named perspectives(set of buffers/window configs) for emacs
Emacs Lisp Makefile

README.md

persp-mode

Intro

Perspectives for emacs, based on the perspective-el by Nathan Weizenbaum.
But the perspectives are shared among frames + ability to save/restore its state from/to a file.

Installation

The persp-mode is available from the MELPA. So if you use this repo then the installation is easy:
M-x: package-install RET persp-mode RET
Alternatively you can download the persp-mode.el from github and install it as a package:
M-x: package-install-file RET 'path_to_where_you_saved_persp-mode.el' RET

Another(oldschool;p) way:
Place the persp-mode.el file somewhere in the emacs' load-path and add (require 'persp-mode) (persp-mode 1) to your configuration file.

Suggested configuration

If you use the workgroups.el it is good idea to switch off the restore windows animation.
(it's clashing with the golden-ration-mode for example, sometimes erring when creating new frames and it is slow on remote network connections.)
You can do it with: (setq wg-morph-on nil).
If you want buffers to be killed after they were removed from perspectives, see the persp-autokill-buffer-on-remove variable.

When installing from MELPA

(with-eval-after-load "persp-mode-autoloads"
  (setq wg-morph-on nil) ;; switch off animation
  (setq persp-autokill-buffer-on-remove 'kill-weak)
  (add-hook 'after-init-hook #'(lambda () (persp-mode 1))))

When installing without generation of autoloads

(with-eval-after-load "persp-mode"
  (setq wg-morph-on nil)
  (setq persp-autokill-buffer-on-remove 'kill-weak)
  (add-hook 'after-init-hook #'(lambda () (persp-mode 1))))
(require 'persp-mode)

If you run emacs <= 24.3 the macro with-eval-after-load is not defined. You can fix it by adding to your .emacs(or .emacs.d/init.el or another init file that loads before the persp-mode) these lines:

(unless (fboundp 'with-eval-after-load)
  (defmacro with-eval-after-load (file &rest body)
    (declare (indent 1) (debug t))
    `(eval-after-load ,file '(progn ,@body))))

Dependencies

Ability to save/restore window configurations from/to a file for emacs < 24.4 depends on the workgroups.el which also available from MELPA.

Keys

n -- next perspective.
p -- previous perspective.
s -- create/switch to perspective.
S -- create/switch to perspective in a window.
r -- rename perspective.
c -- copy current perspective.
C -- kill perspective(if you try to kill 'nil' persp -- it'll kill all buffers). Calling with prefix argument will not kill perspective's buffers.
a -- add buffer to perspective. Calling with prefix argument reverses the effect of the persp-switch-to-added-buffer.
b -- switch to buffer in perspective.
t -- switch to buffer without adding it to the current perspective. Calling with prefix argument allows to remove a buffer from perspective without killing and switching to another buffer.
i -- import all buffers from another perspective.
I -- import window configuration from another perspecive.
k -- remove buffer from perspective. Calling with prefix argument reverses the effect of the persp-auto-kill-buffer-on-remove.
K -- kill buffer.
w -- save perspectives to file.
W -- save subset of perspectives to file.
l -- load perspectives from file.
L -- load subset of perspectives from file.
o -- switch off persp-mode(you can quickly switch off persp-mode after emacs start and before autoresuming previous perspectives state if you only need to edit a single file).

These key sequences must follow the persp-keymap-prefix which you can customize(by default it is C-c p in older releases it was C-x x), so if you want to invoke the < s - create/switch perspective > command you must first type the prefix(C-c p) and then s(full sequence is C-c p s).
If you want to bind a new key for persp-mode, use persp-key-map:
(define-key persp-key-map (kbd ...) ...).

If you kill a buffer with C-x k(kill-buffer command) it will be killed only if it belongs to a single perspective, otherwise it'll be only removed from the current perspective and not killed.
But if you kill a buffer from the 'none'(nil) perspective -- it will be removed from all perspectives and then killed.

Customization

M-x: customize-group RET persp-mode RET

Custom save/load buffer function example

Suppose you want to save the *ielm*(M-x ielm RET -- elisp repl) buffers.
Then the save function would be:

(lambda (b)
  (with-current-buffer b
    (when (string= major-mode "inferior-emacs-lisp-mode")
      `(def-ielm-buffer ,(buffer-name) ,default-directory))))

You must prepend that function to the persp-save-buffer-functions list (before the standard filtering functions because it filters buffers starting with the '*').

The load function:

(lambda (savelist)
  (when (eq (car savelist) 'def-ielm-buffer)
    (with-current-buffer (get-buffer-create (cadr savelist))
      (setq default-directory (caddr savelist))
      (require 'ielm)
      (inferior-emacs-lisp-mode))))

Add load function to the persp-load-buffer-functions list.
That's it. Now the persp-mode could save and restore ielm buffers.

Python shell example:
gist

Also you can use the def-persp-buffer-save/load:

;; eshell
(def-persp-buffer-save/load :mode 'eshell-mode :tag-symbol 'def-eshell-buffer
  :save-vars '(major-mode default-directory))

;; compile
(def-persp-buffer-save/load :mode 'compilation-mode :tag-symbol 'def-compilation-buffer
  :save-vars '(major-mode default-directory compilation-directory compilation-environment compilation-arguments))

;; magit-status
(with-eval-after-load "magit-autoloads"
  (autoload 'magit-status-mode "magit")
  (autoload 'magit-refresh "magit")
  (def-persp-buffer-save/load :mode 'magit-status-mode :tag-symbol 'def-magit-status-buffer
    :save-vars '(major-mode default-directory)
    :after-load-function #'(lambda (b &rest _) (with-current-buffer b (magit-refresh)))))

switch-to-buffer, display-buffer hook, and other advices

Some time ago there were switch-to-buffer and display-buffer advices in the persp-mode.
If you still need them, I can suggest you the way:

(with-eval-after-load "persp-mode"
  (defvar after-switch-to-buffer-functions nil)
  (defvar after-display-buffer-functions nil)

  (if (fboundp 'advice-add)
      ;;Modern way
      (progn
        (defun after-switch-to-buffer-adv (&rest r)
          (apply #'run-hook-with-args 'after-switch-to-buffer-functions r))
        (defun after-display-buffer-adv (&rest r)
          (apply #'run-hook-with-args 'after-display-buffer-functions r))
        (advice-add #'switch-to-buffer :after #'after-switch-to-buffer-adv)
        (advice-add #'display-buffer   :after #'after-display-buffer-adv))

    ;;Old way
    (defadvice switch-to-buffer (after after-switch-to-buffer-adv)
      (run-hook-with-args 'after-switch-to-buffer-functions (ad-get-arg 0)))
    (defadvice display-buffer (after after-display-buffer-adv)
      (run-hook-with-args 'after-display-buffer-functions (ad-get-arg 0)))
    (ad-enable-advice #'switch-to-buffer 'after 'after-switch-to-buffer-adv)
    (ad-enable-advice #'display-buffer 'after 'after-display-buffer-adv)
    (ad-activate #'switch-to-buffer)
    (ad-activate #'display-buffer)))

After that you can add functions to after-switch-to-buffer-functions and after-display-buffer-functions:

(add-hook 'after-switch-to-buffer-functions
    #'(lambda (bn) (when (and persp-mode
                              (not persp-temporarily-display-buffer))
                     (persp-add-buffer bn))))

Auto perspectives

You can now define an auto perspective using the def-auto-persp function.
This kind of perspective is intended to be dynamically created/destroyed/hided/unhided when a specific kind of buffers appears/disappears.

The argument list of the def-auto-persp macro:

The first argument is a string which will serve as a name for the auto perspective.

Other arguments is a key - value pairs:

:buffer-name -- regexp to match against a name of a buffer.
:file-name -- regexp to match against a filename of the buffer.
:mode -- symbol to compare with the major-mode of the buffer.
:mode-name -- regexp to compare against mode-name of the buffer.
:minor-mode -- check if a minor mode is active for the buffer.
:minor-mode-name -- check if minor mode with name matching this regexp is active for the buffer.
:predicate -- function to check if the buffer is a good one(return nil if not).

:hooks -- the list of hooks (or symbol) to which you want to add checks.
def-auto-persp tries to be smart about hooks to which it'll add checks, but sometimes you need more control.
:dyn-env -- the list of variables and values to dynamically bind when the checks and action takes place. The format is the same as in the let form.
:get-name-expr -- expression or function to get a perspecive name.
:get-buffer-expr -- expression or function to get the buffer.
:get-persp-expr -- expression or function to get the perspective.
:switch -- how to switch to the auto perspective: nil -- do not switch, 'window -- switch in window, 'frame -- switch for frame.
:parameters -- list of parameters for perspective(see the modify-persp-parameters function).
:noauto -- if non nil then do not set the auto field of the perspective.

:on-match -- function to run when the buffer passed all checks, instead of standard actions(create/get perspective, add buffer to it).
arguments passed to that function:

  1. the name of perspective;
  2. the perspective;
  3. the buffer;
  4. the hook that was triggered;
  5. arguments passed to that hook.
  6. parameters argument;
  7. noauto argument;
  8. after-match argument;
    if this function return another function it will be run as :after-match action.

:after-match -- function to run after the buffer has passed all checks and standard or custom action finished their work.
arguments passed to that function:

  1. the name of perspective;
  2. the perspective;
  3. the buffer;
  4. the hook;
  5. the hook arguments;
  6. parameters argument;
  7. noauto argument;
    if this function return not nil -- the default after-match action will be run, which will set perspective parameters and an auto flag if needed.

Only the name string(first argument) is required. All other arguments could be omitted or combined in any way you like.

The def-auto-persp function creates an auto persp definition and adds it to the persp-auto-persp-alist. If a definition with same name already exists it will be replaced. If you want to delete a definition pass t as the :delete parameter.
Unless you pass t as the :dont-pick-up-buffers argument all existing buffers will be checked against the new auto persp definition.

Example of usage:

(with-eval-after-load "persp-mode-autoload"
  (with-eval-after-load "dired"
    (def-auto-persp "dired"
      :parameters '((dont-save-to-file . t))
      :mode 'dired-mode
      :dyn-env '(after-switch-to-buffer-functions ;; prevent recursion
                 (persp-add-buffer-on-find-file nil)
                 persp-add-buffer-on-after-change-major-mode)
      :hooks '(after-switch-to-buffer-functions)
      :switch 'window)))

Interaction with side packages

Buffer lists

See the persp-hook-up-emacs-buffer-completion variable if you want the persp-mode to try to restrict buffer lists completion for emacs commands commands.
Also you can bind persp-switch-to-buffer and persp-kill-buffer to default keys:

(with-eval-after-load "persp-mode"
  (global-set-key (kbd "C-x b") #'persp-switch-to-buffer)
  (global-set-key (kbd "C-x k") #'persp-kill-buffer))

or

(with-eval-after-load "persp-mode"
  (substitute-key-definition #'switch-to-buffer #'persp-switch-to-buffer global-map)
  (substitute-key-definition #'kill-buffer #'persp-kill-buffer global-map))

Universal

This must work for most buffer listing commands that internally use the buffer-list function, just wrap 'your function' with the with-persp-buffer-list:

(with-persp-buffer-list () (your-function))
bs-show
(global-set-key (kbd "C-x b") #'(lambda (arg)
                                  (interactive "P")
                                  (with-persp-buffer-list () (bs-show arg))))
ibuffer
(global-set-key (kbd "C-x b") #'(lambda (arg)
                                  (interactive "P")
                                  (with-persp-buffer-list () (ibuffer arg))))

And here is something ibuffer-specific: gist.

ido

M-x customize-variable RET persp-set-ido-hooks RET
There is also the with-persp-ido-hooks macro.

You can set the persp-interactive-completion-function:

(with-eval-after-load "persp-mode"
  (setq persp-interactive-completion-function #'ido-completing-read))

or just use the ido-ubiquitous-mode.

iswitchb

gist.

ivy

gist.

helm

(Note that helm-buffer-list, helm-mini are using ido's ido-make-buffer-list internally).
Buffer filtering support: gist#1, gist#2.
Also, you can take a look at Spacemacs, and especially this.

Speedbar

(add-to-list 'speedbar-frame-parameters (cons 'persp-ignore-wconf t))

Hints

If you often launch emacs to edit a single file and you don't want to wait the persp-mode resuming process(and don't want to use the emacs daemon) -- you can create a script like that:

 #!/bin/bash
 emacs --eval '(setq persp-auto-resume-time -1.0 persp-auto-save-opt 0)' $@;

call it editor.sh, save somewhere in the $PATH, and add export EDITOR="editor.sh" to your .bashrc.
Or add

(add-to-list 'command-switch-alist
               (cons "persp-q"
                     #'(lambda (p)
                         (setq persp-auto-resume-time -1
                               persp-auto-save-opt 0))))

To your emacs config. Then the editor.sh would be:

 #!/bin/bash
 emacs -persp-q $@;

Troubles

If you updated or changed something or simply something goes wrong don't warry to lose/overwrite perspectives' state, remember that the persp-mode makes backups in `persp-save-dir' for you(3 previous states by default).

When you create a new frame(with emacsclient -c for example) the selected window of the created frame is switching to the *scratch* buffer. This behaviour is fixed in the emacs version >= 24.4(and in current emacs trunk). Alternatively you can save the server.el from /usr/share/emacs/${your_emacs_version_number}/lisp/ (or from source tree, or from somewhere else) to a directory in your load-path and edit it like that(this works for emacs 24.3 at least):
replace

(unless (or files commands)
  (if (stringp initial-buffer-choice)
      (find-file initial-buffer-choice)
    (switch-to-buffer (get-buffer-create "*scratch*")
                      'norecord)))

by

(unless (or files commands)
  (let ((buf
         (cond ((stringp initial-buffer-choice)
                (find-file-noselect initial-buffer-choice))
               ((functionp initial-buffer-choice)
                (funcall initial-buffer-choice)))))
    (switch-to-buffer
     (if (buffer-live-p buf) buf (get-buffer-create "*scratch*"))
     'norecord)))

and set the persp-is-ibc-as-f-supported variable to t.