M-x Research


Emacs powering research

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The Community

M-x Research is a community of Researchers and Research Software Engineers, first conceived in the UK Research Software Engineering Society Slack channels.

We meet virtually every 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month to dicuss and share Emacs experiences, tips, tricks and tools useful for researchers and research software engineers.


We strive to be welcoming and inclusive and to recognise the diversity of backgrounds and experience in the Emacs world. Newcomers and veterans are all welcome. Ultimately we are all learners.


Join our meetups on Zoom by following https://bit.ly/mxresearch @ 3pm (UK time)

Get in touch (details below) to request a password.

Add the shared calendar on google calendar or as an iCal link.

6th August 2020

Demo and discuss: lsp-mode

RSEs often need to work with multiple programming languages. The Language Server Protocol (originally from Visual Studio Code) was designed to allow multiple language backends to provide a consistent interface to code completion, refactoring, jumping to symbol definitions, syntax highlighting, error messages etc. The lsp-mode package bring the power of LSP to the emacs world. @Chris Cave-Ayland has kindly agreed to lead an interactive demonstration to introduce lsp-mode, followed by opening the floor for an open discussion on using of lsp-mode to create a consistent development experience across multiple languages.

Notes are available here

20th August 2020

Live code: M-x Research

Following on from our introduction to elisp (thanks @jjensenral), in this session we’ll give those new to programming emacs a chance to see some customisation using elisp in practice. This will be an interactive session, in which we’ll build up some simple functions in elisp. We’ll build a package for connecting to our Zoom talks from Emacs, with a few extra bells and whistles. The aim of this session is to build confidence to start writing your own elisp functions or to understand functions that you will find in the wild.

3rd September 2020

Demo and discuss: org-babel

Org-babel is a powerful extension to org-mode which allows embedding executable code snippets into org documents. Org-babel allows a multi-language computing environment using literate programming techniques, particularly for reproducible research. This results in an environment similar to Jupyter notebooks or RMarkdown, but with the advantage of being able to pass data between multiple languages. @tlestang has kindly agreed to lead a demonstration of the basic features of org-babel, followed by opening the floor for an open discussion on the uses of org-babel for reproducible research.

Notes are available here

17th September 2020

Lightning Talks: I wish I’d known sooner…

If you could pass one nuggets of emacs wisdom to your former self, what would it be? In this session, we’ll be inviting people to share their nuggets of wisdom to their former self. Maybe a command, an editing trick or a philosophy.

Notes available here

1st October 2020

Demo and discuss: Magit and version control

Magit is a quick, comfortable and advanced interface to git from inside emacs. With a bit of familiarity, version controlling projects can become both easy and powerful. @mose has kindly agreed to demonstrate the use of magit in emacs to stay in control of version control. As in previous sessions, this will be an interactive demonstration, followed by a discussion of magit and version control tips, tricks and tools in emacs. (edited)

Contact Us

To speak at an event or propose a topic, get in touch on the #emacs channel of UKRSE Slack, or email markgdawson@gmail.com