Lockdown Beam: bm.el

Lockdown Beam

I guess there is no need to explain the choice of the word “lockdown” in the title. I don’t know about you, but here in Italy things are getting worse and worse. Every time I look outside the window I see desolation, and for a George Romero fan this is getting scarier and scarier. I am lucky, though. I can work from home (thank you, 7bridges) and study from home (thank you, Ca’ Foscari). But I can also take the time to spread words of love about some Emacs packages I rarely talk about.

Lockdown Beam aims to be a series of small articles on packages that deserve more attention, but I can’t tell now how long this series is going to run. I tend to use all the packages configured in my init.el, and most of them are fairly popular, so it’s not like digging obscure entries from the dust of my setup. However, out of more than 100 packages, I am pretty sure I can find a decent amount of poor neglected things in there.

Let’s start with Jo Odland’s bm.el.

There are many great ways to bookmark things in Emacs1, but sometimes a visual clue just adds a good feeling of immediacy one (e.g., myself) can find pleasant. The README says this is a feature from Visual Studio that the author was missing in Emacs, but you will have to check for yourself whether this is something Visual Studio does. You know there is no such thing as a different text editor for me.

Following the documentation, setting up bm.el is easy. If you use use-package, there a is nice example ready for copy-and-paste at Configuring bm.el with use-package. I started from there, but I replaced the hook on vc-before-checkin-hook with a hook on magit-pre-refresh-hook.

I find bm.el really useful when studying source code from others, or when I want to quickly set jumping points in a log file cluttered with stacktraces. It’s quicker then moving around with Isearch or helm-occur, and unlike avy it’s not limited to what is currently visible on the screen.

That’s all for today. Next time a little friend will help me exploit Eldoc.

Stay safe.


  1. Check out what Protesilaos Stavrou has to say about registers