Lockdown Beam: eldoc-eval


As mentioned briefly at the end of the previous entry, today we are going to play with Emacs’ Eldoc. Sometimes I forget about it, but eldoc-mode is one of those subtle things which improve my daily Emacs routine. Besides giving me useful information in Elisp, eldoc-mode is always helpful when I am programming in Clojure thanks to its integration with CIDER.

However, there is another place where Eldoc comes in handy. You surely know that when you press M-: you can type an expression in the minibuffer and then evaluate it by pressing RET. But wouldn’t it be great to have Eldoc for these quick runs to?

The answer is not “Well, yes!”, but “Hey, there is a mode for it!”, which is what an Emacser regularly replies when asked about any matter whatsoever. This time the mode comes with the package of the day: Thierry Volpiatto’s eldoc-eval.

Once installed, activating eldoc-eval is easy. Turn on eldoc-in-minibuffer-mode and everything is set.

Nice and simple. You may not like the Eldoc information appearing in the mode-line, but Thierry got you covered with eldoc-in-minibuffer-show-fn. If you use tooltips, try setting this to #'tooltip-show. There are other features in eldoc-eval worth of notice, so be sure to check out its README if you want more juice.

As for me, I am happy with just enabling eldoc-in-minibuffer-mode. I patched eldoc-show-in-mode-line to fit the help message properly in my custom mode-line, but that’s it. If you are using your own mode-line too, I am leaving that as a little exercise.1

Next time we will meet a Git-related package which doesn’t include the letters “m” and “a” in its name.

Stay safe.

  1. I used el-patch for this.