Ideas for talks and sessions for EmacsConf 2015.

TODO state legend:

  • IDEA (or none): might be a good talk, but no one has signed up for it yet.
  • IDENTIFIED: potential speakers for this talk have been identified.
  • INVITED: someone has actually reached out to the potential speakers and invited them. :-)
  • ACCEPTED: we have a speaker for the talk.
  • SCHED: we have a speaker and a timeslot for the talk.


IDENTIFIED The State of Emacs

The kernel of this idea is basically to have a "State of the Union" address, where the Union is Emacs. I think it would be awesome if someone really embedded in Emacs development (specifically thinking of Stefan) talked about the current state of Emacs development with regards to

  • how development today is functioning. What are major development process problems that need to be fixed but haven't? What do the maintainers of Emacs stress about (letting patches rot in debbugs, having bugs rot in debbugs, being unsure of the general brokenness of Emacs because of the lack of testing), and what processes can be put in place to ease their anxieties?
  • new contributors. Making Emacs easier for new contributors was a huge topic in the Fall of 2014 on emacs-devel. The switch to git was seen as the first step, what were the next steps and how did they work?
  • whether anything surprisingly good/bad has happened this year.
  • the general state of emacs-devel.
  • and what we can do to help! :D

(suggested by Samer)

Possible people:

  • Stefan Monnier?

IDEA What's new in Emacs 25?

Roadmap, how we can help

What's new for users?

What's new for developers?

IDEA Hearing from Emacs beginners

:interested: Daniel Gopar and Miguel Flores

  • What's the experience like?
  • What got you interested?
  • What helped?
  • How can we help more beginners like you get deeper into Emacs?

IDEA Q&A for new Emacs users

IDEA Things you want more people to know about Emacs

  • Tips, tricks, workflow ideas

Updates on interesting things

IDENTIFIED Guile Emacs I think it would be awesome if Robin

Templeton or BT Templeton (there is a chance that they're the same person, I'm still not clear on that...) talked about the state of Guile Emacs.

  • What works? What's left to be done?
  • What does Guile replace in the core Emacs engine?
  • Is Guile Emacs the future of Emacs? Is Guile Emacs going to happen and be merged into trunk at some point in the future? If so, what's needed to get us there, otherwise, why not?
    And what can we do to help! :D :D

Suggested by Samer

IDEA Emacs forks and variants?

What's going on with Emacs variants? Interesting news?

What are good workflows for common needs?


  • C/C++
  • Rails
  • Javascript
  • Java
  • Clojure
  • Scala
  • Python
IDEA interactive development

I'd love some talks about interactive development with Emacs: making changes in code and getting immediate feedback (think Light Table). The Emacs Rocks episode about swank-js is a perfect example of what I mean:

Suggested by Tikhon Jelvis

Writing and research

  • Reproducible research
  • Writing prose
  • Org for publishing
  • Knowledge management
  • Efficiently managing and using bibliographic databases
IDEA Reproducible research
  • How do you manage your literature review?
  • How do you analyze your data?
  • How do you work with charts and graphs?
  • How can you publish in the required formats?
  • What have your experiences been like using this? Advantages? Gaps?
IDEA How can a student use Emacs/org-mode effectively?
  • Note-taking
  • Agenda
  • Scheduling
  • Writing papers
    • Outlines
    • Export
  • Attachments

IDEA Data science

  • ESS
  • Org Mode and reproducible research

ACCEPTED How to start an Emacs Meetup!

Talk by Harry Schwartz, founder of the NYC Emacs Group

  • Experiences
  • Encouraging people to give talks

:interested: Harry Schwartz

Maybe also hear from the London Meetup?

Identifying people by area who might be interested in an Emacs meetup

See also Samer's Google Form

  • San Francisco: Samer

IDEA Introductory Emacs Lisp

:interested: Harry Schwartz

  • How to read Emacs Lisp
  • How to start writing your own
  • Modifying other people's code
  • Writing your own

IDEA Talk on engine-mode (and defining other conveniences?)

:interested: Harry Schwartz

This would be a great short demo. If you want, you can also flesh it out into a behind-the-scenes "this is how to write stuff like this", or describe other little conveniences along these lines that people can use. -- SachaChua

What are some surprising uses of Emacs?

IDEA Update from the Emacs music scene?

ACCEPTED Literate Devops

Howard Abrams

  • Why sysads should consider Emacs
  • Neat things you can do
  • Demonstration

IDEA How can people contribute to Emacs core?

Walkthrough of how to:

  • find a small bug to work on
  • navigate the source code
  • prepare a patch
  • work with emacs-devel

IDEA Where is the Emacs package system going?

Nic Ferrier? Steve Purcell? Milkypostman? Tom Tromey?

What can we build with interesting capabilities available in Emacs? How?

IDENTIFIED What can you do with a web server?

  • httpd, elnode, skewer, impatient, etc. - @skeeto or Nic Ferrier?

IDENTIFIED What can you do with REPLs?

  • comint, NREPL

IDENTIFIED Design and Evolution of Spacemacs by @syl20bnr

  • Why evil + spacebar
  • Why guide-key
  • Why layers
  • Vim concepts being brought over - Vundle, etc.
  • State of evil - what is not ideal yet? what are missing features from the ecosystem?
  • How can contributors help?

IDEA What can improve the usability of Emacs?

Concrete tips, demonstrations

  • tutorials
  • discoverability
  • command mode / god-mode / composable commands
  • Hydra

People: Xah Lee? bbatsov? Steve Purcell? abo-abo?

Improving discoverability

With all the tools that are available, this could be a separate talk:

  • Ido
  • Ido Ubiquitous
  • Smex
  • Guide Key
  • Helm (helm-M-x, helm-descbinds)
  • Hydra
  • ...

IDENTIFIED What are good development practices for Emacs Lisp?

  • Automated testing
  • Continuous integration and testing on multiple Emacsen
  • Code coverage reporting
  • Emacs Lisp style and package linting
  • Refactoring
  • Performance

I'm working on a series with John Wiegley on this topic, so we might be able to spread this one out over lots of little demos. -- SachaChua

IDENTIFIED Useful utilities

Maybe with before/after code?

  • s.el
  • f.el
  • dash.el
  • writing asynchronous code

I think Magnar would be able to talk a lot about this. =) -- SachaChua

How can we get more people from beginner to intermediate?

IDENTIFIED How can we get more people to begin using Emacs and stick with it for a while?

Lightning talks: Workflow tips and favourite packages






abo-abo, naturally. I'd love demonstrations of what people use this for =) -- SachaChua

Org contrib


How can you create a package and submit it to the Emacs package repositories?

How can you add tests and coverage reporting to a package?

I can prepare something along these lines -- SachaChua

IDENTIFIED How can you build better interactive tutorials?

  • Phillip Lord?