GNU ELPA - bufferlo

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Manage frame/tab-local buffer lists
bufferlo-0.8.tar (.sig), 2024-May-16, 90.0 KiB
Florian Rommel <>
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To install this package from Emacs, use package-install or list-packages.

Full description

This gives you separate buffer lists per frame and per (tab-bar) tab.

Bufferlo is a lightweight wrapper around Emacs's buffer-list frame parameter. In contrast to similar solutions, it integrates seamlessly with the standard frame and tab management facilities, including undeletion of frames and tabs, tab duplication and moving, frame cloning, and persisting sessions (via desktop.el).

With bufferlo, every frame or tab (if you use tab-bar tabs) has an additional manageable local buffer list. A buffer is added to the local buffer list when displayed in the frame/tab (e.g., by opening a new file in the tab or by switching to the buffer from the global buffer list). Bufferlo provides extensive management functions for the local list and frame/tab-local variants of the switch-buffer function, buffer menu, and Ibuffer. In addition, you can configure any command that selects a buffer to use the local buffer list (bufferlo anywhere). Bufferlo also allows you to bookmark and persist the state of individual frames or tabs.

The packages frame-bufs (unmaintained) and beframe provide similar functionality, but only at the frame level, without support for tabs. You may also have a look at (more different) workspace-oriented solutions like bufler (rule-based workspace management and buffer grouping), perspective (comprehensive workspace isolation and persistence), or activities.el (purpose-based session management on frame/tab level).

1. Installation

Bufferlo is available in GNU ELPA. Install it via package-install and enable bufferlo-mode:

(bufferlo-mode 1)

Or use use-package:

(use-package bufferlo
 :ensure t
 (bufferlo-mode 1))

2. Usage

Use the bufferlo buffer-list commands as an alternative to the respective global commands:

  • bufferlo-switch-to-buffer: The switch-to-buffer command filtered for local buffers. Call it with the prefix argument to get the global list (all buffers).
  • bufferlo-ibuffer: ibuffer filtered for local buffers. Alternatively, use "/ l" in ibuffer.
  • bufferlo-ibuffer-orphans: ibuffer filtered for orphan buffers. Orphan buffers are buffers that are not in any frame/tab's local buffer list. Alternatively, use "/ L" in ibuffer.
  • bufferlo-list-buffers: Display a list of local buffers in a buffer-menu buffer.
  • bufferlo-list-orphan-buffers: Display a list of orphan buffers in a buffer-menu buffer. Orphan buffers are buffers that are not in any frame/tab's local buffer list.

The functions previous-buffer and next-buffer are automatically aware of the local buffer list when bufferlo-mode is enabled.

Bufferlo provides functions to manage the local buffer lists:

  • bufferlo-clear: Clear the frame/tab's buffer list.
  • bufferlo-remove: Remove a buffer from the frame/tab's buffer list.
  • bufferlo-remove-non-exclusive-buffers Remove all buffers from the local list that are not exclusive to this frame/tab.
  • bufferlo-bury: Bury and remove the current buffer from the frame/tab's buffer list.
  • bufferlo-kill-buffers: Kill all buffers from the local list.
  • bufferlo-kill-orphan-buffers: Kill all buffers that are not in any local list.
  • bufferlo-delete-frame-kill-buffers: Delete the frame and kill all its local buffers.
  • bufferlo-tab-close-kill-buffers: Close the tab and kill all its local buffers.
  • bufferlo-isolate-project: Isolate a project in the frame or tab.
  • bufferlo-find-buffer: Switch to (one of) the frame/tab that contains the buffer in its local list.
  • bufferlo-find-buffer-switch: Switch to (one of) the frame/tab that contains the buffer in its local list, and select the buffer.

2.1. Consult Integration

You can integrate bufferlo with consult-buffer.

This is an example configuration:

(defvar my-consult--source-buffer
  `(:name "Other Buffers"
    :narrow   ?b
    :category buffer
    :face     consult-buffer
    :history  buffer-name-history
    :state    ,#'consult--buffer-state
    :items ,(lambda () (consult--buffer-query
			:predicate #'bufferlo-non-local-buffer-p
			:sort 'visibility
			:as #'buffer-name)))
    "Non-local buffer candidate source for `consult-buffer'.")

(defvar my-consult--source-local-buffer
  `(:name "Local Buffers"
    :narrow   ?l
    :category buffer
    :face     consult-buffer
    :history  buffer-name-history
    :state    ,#'consult--buffer-state
    :default  t
    :items ,(lambda () (consult--buffer-query
			:predicate #'bufferlo-local-buffer-p
			:sort 'visibility
			:as #'buffer-name)))
    "Local buffer candidate source for `consult-buffer'.")

(setq consult-buffer-sources '(consult--source-hidden-buffer
			       ;; ... other sources ...

consult1.svg Fig.1: All buffers are shown; the local buffers are grouped separately.

You can also configure consult-buffer to hide the non-local buffers by default:

(defvar my-consult--source-buffer
  `(:name "All Buffers"
    :narrow   ?a
    :hidden   t
    :category buffer
    :face     consult-buffer
    :history  buffer-name-history
    :state    ,#'consult--buffer-state
    :items ,(lambda () (consult--buffer-query
			:sort 'visibility
			:as #'buffer-name)))
  "All buffer candidate source for `consult-buffer'.")

(defvar my-consult--source-local-buffer
  `(:name nil
    :narrow   ?b
    :category buffer
    :face     consult-buffer
    :history  buffer-name-history
    :state    ,#'consult--buffer-state
    :default  t
    :items ,(lambda () (consult--buffer-query
			:predicate #'bufferlo-local-buffer-p
			:sort 'visibility
			:as #'buffer-name)))
  "Local buffer candidate source for `consult-buffer'.")

(setq consult-buffer-sources '(consult--source-hidden-buffer
			       ;; ... other sources ...

consult2.svg Fig.2: By entering 'a'+<space>, the global buffer list is shown ("All Buffers").

A good alternative is to bind space to "All Buffers" (via :narrow 32). By default, space is used for hidden buffers (consult--source-hidden-buffer). If you still need the hidden buffer list, you can make a new source for it, for example, with period as the narrowing key (:narrow ?.).

2.2. Ivy Integration

You can also integrate bufferlo with ivy.

(defun ivy-bufferlo-switch-buffer ()
  "Switch to another local buffer.
If the prefix arument is given, include all buffers."
    (if current-prefix-arg
      (ivy-read "Switch to local buffer: " #'internal-complete-buffer
		:predicate (lambda (b) (bufferlo-local-buffer-p (cdr b)))
		:keymap ivy-switch-buffer-map
		:preselect (buffer-name (other-buffer (current-buffer)))
		:action #'ivy--switch-buffer-action
		:matcher #'ivy--switch-buffer-matcher
		:caller 'ivy-switch-buffer)))

2.3. Bookmarking Tabs and Frames

Bufferlo lets you bookmark the current editing state of individual frames and tabs (windows and local buffers, i.e., the "session"). This allows persisting and restoring the state of a frame or tab within or between Emacs sessions.

This feature has similarities to activities.el and bookmark-view but with awareness of bufferlo's local buffer list.

A tab bookmark includes the tab's window configuration, the local buffer list, and the state (not the contents) of all bookmarkable local buffers. A frame bookmark saves the entire frame with all its tabs and their states.

The state of non-bookmarkable buffers is not saved. However, when still open, they are included in the restored tab/frame.

Tab bookmark functions:

  • bufferlo-bookmark-tab-save: Save the current tab as a bookmark.
  • bufferlo-bookmark-tab-load: Load a tab bookmark. This replaces the current tab.
  • bufferlo-bookmark-tab-save-current: Save the current tab to its associated bookmark (*).
  • bufferlo-bookmark-tab-load-current: Load the current tab from its associated bookmark (*).

Frame bookmark functions:

  • bufferlo-bookmark-frame-save: Save the current frame as a bookmark.
  • bufferlo-bookmark-frame-load: Load a frame bookmark. This replaces the current frame.
  • bufferlo-bookmark-frame-save-current: Save the current frame to its associated bookmark (*).
  • bufferlo-bookmark-frame-load-current: Load the current frame from its associated bookmark (*).

Restoring bookmarks correctly handles renamed buffers with unchanged file association (e.g., when Emacs had to "uniquify" buffer names).

(*) The associated bookmark is the bookmark from which the frame/tab was loaded or to which it was saved.

2.4. Initial Buffer

By default, the currently active buffer is shown in a newly created tab, so this buffer inevitably ends up in the new tab's local list. You can change the initial buffer by customizing tab-bar-new-tab-choice:

(setq tab-bar-new-tab-choice "*scratch*")

This lets new tabs always start with the scratch buffer.

You can also create a local scratch buffer for each tab:

(setq tab-bar-new-tab-choice #'bufferlo-create-local-scratch-buffer)

You can customize the name of the local scratch buffers by setting bufferlo-local-scratch-buffer-name accordingly.

The same can be achieved for new frames. Use this to set the scratch buffer as the initial buffer for new frames:

(add-hook 'after-make-frame-functions #'bufferlo-switch-to-scratch-buffer)

Alternatively, create a new local scratch buffer for new frames:

(add-hook 'after-make-frame-functions #'bufferlo-switch-to-local-scratch-buffer)

Of course, you can also set an arbitrary buffer as the initial frame buffer:

(defun my-set-initial-frame-buffer (frame)
  (with-selected-frame frame
    (switch-to-buffer "<BUFFER_NAME>")))
(add-hook 'after-make-frame-functions #'my-set-initial-frame-buffer)

2.5. Bufferlo Anywhere

"Bufferlo anywhere" lets you have bufferlo's frame/tab-local buffer list anywhere you like, i.e. in any command with interactive buffer selection (via read-buffer, e.g., diff-buffers, make-indirect-buffer, …) – not just in the switch-buffer facilities. You can configure which commands use bufferlo's local list and which use the global list.

Enable bufferlo-anywhere-mode to use bufferlo's local buffer list by default. Customize bufferlo-anywhere-filter and bufferlo-anywhere-filter-type to restrict the commands that use the local list. With the command prefix bufferlo-anywhere-disable-prefix, you can temporarily disable bufferlo-anywhere-mode for the next command.

Instead of the minor mode, you can use the command prefix bufferlo-anywhere-enable-prefix, which only temporarily enables bufferlo's local buffer list for the next command.

Old versions

bufferlo-0.7.tar.lz2024-May-1215.1 KiB
bufferlo-0.6.tar.lz2024-Mar-3112.2 KiB
bufferlo-0.5.tar.lz2023-Dec-0110.7 KiB
bufferlo-0.4.tar.lz2023-Nov-1910.5 KiB
bufferlo-0.3.tar.lz2023-Nov-118.96 KiB
bufferlo-0.2.tar.lz2023-Nov-0534.8 KiB