Endless Parentheses

Concise ramblings on Emacs productivity.

Visit Directory inside a Set of Directories

Almost every directory I work with, is either directly under “~/Dropbox/” or under “~/Dropbox/Work/”. However, I never actually visit these two directories, only the directories inside them. The number of possible targets for find-file is approaching the outer borders of two-digit land, so there's no hope for my brain to remember registers for all of these.

The best solution I've found is to compile a list of all possible targets (directories inside those directories) and offer them using ido. This is somewhat similar to using a bookmark for each possible destination, except it it's always up to date with the directory contents and doesn't clog up my actual bookmarks.

(require 'ido)
(require 'cl-lib)

(defcustom endless/favorite-directories 
  '("~/Dropbox/Trabalho/" "~/Dropbox/")
  "List of favorite directories.
Used in `endless/visit-favorite-dir'. The order here 
affects the order that completions will be offered."
  :type '(repeat directory)
  :group 'endless)

(defun endless/visit-favorite-dir (files-too)
  "Offer all directories inside a set of directories.
Compile a list of all directories inside each element of
`endless/favorite-directories', and visit one of them with
With prefix argument FILES-TOO also offer to find files."
  (interactive "P")
  (let ((completions
         (mapcar #'abbreviate-file-name
            (if files-too #'file-readable-p
            (apply #'append
              (mapcar (lambda (x)
                         (expand-file-name x)
                         t "^[^\.].*" t))
     (ido-completing-read "Open directory: "
                          completions 'ignored nil ""))))

;; Note that C-x d is usually bound to dired. I find
;; this redundant with C-x C-f, so I don't mind
;; overriding it, but you should know before you do.
(define-key ctl-x-map "d" #'endless/visit-favorite-dir)

Some random notes:

  • Having a quick key for this is fantastic. Whenever I want to get work done, I just hit C-x d and I'll my options are presented before me.
  • With a prefix argument it also shows files instead of just directories.
  • If ido is not your completion engine of choice, that's trivial to change.
  • This works best when combined with ido-vertical.

Tags: init.el, emacs

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