Repeat with me: Avy actions are awesome!
Too long; didn't read
Repeat the last Avy action to multiple places in the buffer.
Somebody on the Emacs Reddit channel shared a link to an amazing blog post by Karthik: https://karthinks.com/software/avy-can-do-anything/. That was greatly inspiring for me and made me finally move into a way of navigating and acting on text that is really rewarding for me.
Also what a combination that Karthik jumped onto the Emacs Buddy initiative! That gave me chance to discuss to him the problem that I am presenting to you now.
Given you read his post, you know that using Avy is not only about moving to a place in the visible buffer. Avy also lets you act on that.
Then my issue is simple: what about repeating the same action on many matches? Imagine I am in the Org Agenda buffer and I want to mark many entries done: the plan is making an Avy command for that and repeating it on matches until I am satisfied.
Since you can create a command for anything, you could have one to open links or even reply the same Slack message to many recipients.
How difficult would that be?
And there is a solution
Well if you get Karthik as a buddy, that is pretty straightforward! He helped me understand where to modify things.
Let me show you the result:
This is how Avy
(defun avy-goto-char-timer (&optional arg) "Read one or many consecutive chars and jump to the first one. The window scope is determined by `avy-all-windows' (ARG negates it)." (interactive "P") (let ((avy-all-windows (if arg (not avy-all-windows) avy-all-windows))) (avy-with avy-goto-char-timer (setq avy--old-cands (avy--read-candidates)) (avy-process avy--old-cands))))
(avy--read-candidates) asks you the input and selects your
candidates overlaying letters on them.
instead applies the action on one of them.
After reading Karthik's advice I thought I could manage by simply
(avy-process avy--old-cands) again in my action, and that
worked badly. The highlights would be broken after my first match.
So, after another email exchange I was given a plan: refactor Avy in smaller functions to reuse the bits I needed for my feature.
And I (mostly) followed it. This is what I got to:
(defun my/avy--read-candidates () (let ((re-builder #'regexp-quote) break overlays regex) (unwind-protect (progn (avy--make-backgrounds (avy-window-list)) ;; Unhighlight (dolist (ov overlays) (delete-overlay ov)) (setq overlays nil) ;; Highlight (when (>= (length avy-text) 1) (let ((case-fold-search (or avy-case-fold-search (string= avy-text (downcase avy-text)))) found) (avy-dowindows current-prefix-arg (dolist (pair (avy--find-visible-regions (window-start) (window-end (selected-window) t))) (save-excursion (goto-char (car pair)) (setq regex (funcall re-builder avy-text)) (while (re-search-forward regex (cdr pair) t) (unless (not (avy--visible-p (1- (point)))) (let* ((idx (if (= (length (match-data)) 4) 1 0)) (ov (make-overlay (match-beginning idx) (match-end idx)))) (setq found t) (push ov overlays) (overlay-put ov 'window (selected-window)) (overlay-put ov 'face 'avy-goto-char-timer-face))))))) ;; No matches at all, so there's surely a typo in the input. (unless found (beep)))) (nreverse (mapcar (lambda (ov) (cons (cons (overlay-start ov) (overlay-end ov)) (overlay-get ov 'window))) overlays))) (dolist (ov overlays) (delete-overlay ov)) (avy--done)))) (defun my/avy-repeat-action () (setq avy--old-cands (my/avy--read-candidates)) (avy-process avy--old-cands))
I extracted only the bits I needed of
my/avy--read-candidates. The driving idea is that since I am
repeating an action, I don't want to ask the user again for input, but
reuse the old one. So I removed that part of
The rest looks like the original Avy function.
So how do we use this? Define your Avy action like this:
(defun avy-action-org-agenda-done (pt) (save-excursion (goto-char pt) (org-agenda-todo)) (select-window (cdr (ring-ref avy-ring 0))) (my/avy-repeat-action) t) (setf (alist-get ?D avy-dispatch-alist) 'avy-action-org-agenda-done)
(org-agenda-todo) to change the state of your Org Agenda
entry. So if you match over TODO and press the D key and start
following Avy's hints you can keep marking tasks done until you need.
When you are finished just press C-g.
Now you can repeat Avy commands without a sweat! I hope this repetition will save me tons of (little) time :)