I think that one of the keys to making scripting manageable is via good logging. Especially when it comes to personal solutions, over-engineering a solution can be a huge waste.

I personally have a function called emacs-log that lets me see what all of my hacks have been doing. It works well. However, one of the irritations that I have with this rests within the function write-file, which messages the user when a file is written. This can be irritating when a log file is being written every few seconds.

The wonderful folks on #emacs suggested write-region. This function is pretty common, so I’ve seen it before. Apparently, it has an option that allows you to skip the call to message, however the documentation is a little odd, so I missed it myself. Setting the VISIT parameter to a symbol will make it skip the message. Also, it has an APPEND parameter, which is ideal for logs.

So, I ended up with:

  (insert log-str)
  (write-region (point-min) (point-max) log-file-name t

If you want to know, the full function is:

(defun emacs-log (&rest args)
  (let* ((log-buffer-name  "*My-Emacs-Log*")
         (log-buffer (get-buffer-create log-buffer-name))
         (log-file-name "~/Logs/my_emacs_log.log")
         (log-str (concat
                   " -- "
                   (apply 'format args)
      (with-current-buffer log-buffer
        (goto-char (point-max))
        (insert log-str))
        (insert log-str)
        (write-region (point-min) (point-max) log-file-name t