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Easily define multiple repeat-maps in Emacs and associate them with commands.

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repeaters

This package requires Emacs 28.

Objective

Easily define multiple repeat-maps in Emacs and associate them with commands.

This package provides two things:

  • a convenient function for defining multiple repeat-maps for Emacs’s new ‘repeat-mode’, and
  • a set of small pre-defined repeat-maps for commands that might be called repeatedly.

By using ‘repeat-mode’ this way we can reduce the need to hold down modifier keys when entering commands. Hopefully this will be more seamless and in keeping with Emacs conventions than other modal editing options.

Installation

To use, place repeaters.el within your load-path, and add something like the following to your configuration:

(require 'repeaters)
(repeaters-define-maps repeaters-maps)
(setq repeat-exit-key "g"
      repeat-exit-timeout 30)
(repeat-mode)

Use

To define your own repeat maps, you could redefine any of the maps defined in ‘repeaters.el’. Or you could start from scratch.

To define or re-define repeat-maps, do something like this:

(require 'repeaters)
(repeaters-define-maps
 '(;; Yank same text repeatedly with “C-y y y y”...
   ("yank-only"
    yank                              "C-y" "y"
    yank-pop                          "M-y" "n"                     :exitonly)

   ;; Cycle through the kill-ring with “C-y n n n”...
   ;; You can reverse direction too “C-y n n C-- n n”
   ("yank-popping"
    yank-pop                          "M-y" "y" "n")))
(repeat-mode)

The ‘repeaters-define-maps’ function takes a single argument, which is a list of repeat-map definitions.

Each definition contains the following items:

  • NAME is a string designating the unique portion of the repeat-map’s name (to be constructed into the form ‘repeaters-NAME-rep-map’ as the name of the symbol for the map).

  • One or more command ENTRIES made up of the following:

    • The COMMAND’s symbol;
    • One or more string representations of KEY-SEQUENCES which may be used to invoke the command when the ‘repeat-map’ is active;
    • Optionally, the KEYWORD ‘:exitonly’ may follow the key sequences.

A single map definition may include any number of these command entry constructs.

If a command construct ends with the ‘:exitonly’ keyword, the map can invoke the command, but the command will not invoke that map.

However, if the keyword is omitted, the command will bring up the ‘repeat-map’ whenever it is called using one of the keysequences given in the ‘repeat-map’. A given command may only store a single map within its ‘repeat-map’ property. But a command may be found in more than one repeat-map.

This means that you can place related groups of commands into different repeat-maps. And you can jump from one repeat-map to another depending on the command called. The ‘yank-only’ and ‘yank-popping’ definitions shown above demonstrate the idea.

One benefit of this is that you can usually avoid having to explicitly exit the map, because only a few keys have been remapped. As soon as you press a key which isn’t found in the current repeat-map, the repeat-map goes away, and you can insert text freely.

If you prefer a style of editing which is more like evil-mode or god-mode, you could create one or more comprehensive ‘repeat-map’ definitions, placing most or all of the available keys into a single map. This would be a “command-mode” of sorts. But then you would always need to explicitly exit this ‘large-repeat-map-command-mode’ (by pressing the ‘repeat-exit-key’) before entering text.

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