The Lumber Room

"Consign them to dust and damp by way of preserving them"

Posts Tagged ‘organisation

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  1. Are half of all views by comment-spam bots?
  2. If WordPress had introducted tags earlier (or if I went back and tagged all my old posts), I’m sure I would have more tags than posts :-)

Written by S

Thu, 2007-11-01 at 07:45:58

Gmail has IMAP!

with 3 comments

Finally. Many thought this would never happen.

And just like Free software usually, it seems to be the handiwork of someone scratching an itch.


  • IMAP folders are Gmail labels. Gmail labels show up as folders in your client, and moving a message to a folder in your client simply adds that label in Gmail.
  • In particular, be careful creating folders, and avoid making a mess. Try reusing the default Gmail labels: Set your client’s drafts folder to “[Gmail]/Drafts”.
  • Messages with multiple labels appear in each of those folders. So there is some duplication at the client end, of course, but this is unavoidable; the price you pay for forcing a tagging philosophy on software that has different beliefs.
  • Conversely, if you want to apply multiple labels to a message through your client, you can use the “poor man’s tagging” that has always been possible — copy the message to each of those folders.
  • If you delete a message from a “folder” (other than “[Gmail]/Trash” and “[Gmail]/Spam”), Gmail only removes that label. It is still present in “All Mail”. To actually delete, move to “[Gmail]/Trash”. What happens if you delete email from “All mail”?
  • Recommended IMAP client settings: Don’t save sent messages on the server; any mail sent through gmail’s smtp is automatically copied to “[Gmail]/Sent Mail” folder.
  • In general, actions sync neatly; see the full table.
  • IMAP and POP work with messages, so if you move only one message from a thread to a folder, only that one will get that label, but the Gmail web interface will show the entire conversation with that label. Note that this is only a display thing — it’s not that opening Gmail will give all the messages the label, and when you reopen your client suddenly things are different. (I need to actually check this.)
  • You still have Gmail’s amazing server-side spam filtering.
  • Some things don’t work.
  • Some other things are alleged not to work that I don’t even understand
  • Everything.

They got everything in order, made all those pages, and turned on IMAP without making any advance announcement…

Written by S

Fri, 2007-10-26 at 04:29:14

Symbol’s function definition is void: outline-font-lock-level

with one comment

Using Emacs and todoo-mode (the todoo library / todoo.el).
I got the message

Symbol’s function definition is void: outline-font-lock-level

whenever I tried to insert a new sub-item (using C-c M-i which is bound to todoo-insert-sub-item) in my TODO file. Searching Google gave someone’s old diary, from which (although it’s in Japanese ;-)) I found that it’s related to Debian bug 244681: emacs-goodies-el: todoo.el doesn’t work at XEmacs21. I’m using GNU Emacs and not XEmacs, though.

Update: Before you try the “fixes” below (and in the comment), try just downloading the latest version from Debian. It appears that this got reported as bug 447760, and got fixed.

Anyway, the fix (I haven’t learnt Emacs lisp, so this may be far from the “best” way to do it):

  1. Open the todoo.el file (M-x find-library RET todoo RET) and find the todoo-insert-sub-item function. (Better, use C-h f todoo-insert-sub-item RET and follow the link.)
  2. Replace (outline-font-lock-level) with a value, like 3 or something. You might also want to do the same in the other place that (outline-font-lock-level) is used — in the function todoo-indent-line
  3. Another solution, if you don’t want to / can’t edit the file (no permissions, for example), might be to define the function (outline-font-lock-level) — put (defun outline-font-lock-level nil 3) somewhere.

    Another solution might be to redefine the function entirely. This requires knowledge that I don’t have, but, for example, making some local transformations, I replaced it with this:

    (defun todoo-insert-sub-item ()
      "Insert a new todoo-sub-item."
      (goto-char (- (todoo-item-end) 1))
      (insert (concat (make-string todoo-indent-column ? )
                      todoo-sub-item-marker " \n"))

    The space after the ? is important.

Written by S

Sun, 2007-02-04 at 20:14:31

Idleness, leisure, procrastination

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Here is a very interesting article called Quitting the Paint Factory by Mark Slouka. Although, of course, I’m the one who needs it the least.

Anyway, at least it led me to the Wikipedia article on procrastination (nothing great there) and to discover that there is (at least currently) a separate article on academic procrastination!?

Reading Aaron Swartz’s essay today, I learnt that rewards and punishments do not work.

There are a lot of myths about productivity — that time is fungible, that focusing is good, that bribing yourself is effective…

He also quotes Alfie Kohn, who has written books and articles on related ideas, and especially quotes one particular article. Others agree: Wanting to do the tasks is most important. Even David Allen thinks so. There’s also Paul Graham’s essay, in which he points out that having a to-do list and doing the things on it — the minor, unimportant “errands” — is also actually a form of procrastination that avoids doing the really important things, and that most of us use the errands as an excuse, and make sure we don’t have time to do the important things.

Ubuntu/Debian have a nice small useful package called gtimelog.

There is also planner mode for Emacs, and Timeclock, and they can be used together. There is a step-by-step tutorial here.

, but I think I’ll check them out some other day and actually do something useful now, for a change. There is also org-mode; screenshots in the tutorial and manual here. Orgmode homepage, another howto, debian package?, and Sacha Chua’s unbiased comparison with Planner.el.

Written by S

Wed, 2006-11-01 at 17:52:24