Effective tags?

March 26, 2008

A lot of my work hours are spent programming C++ in Emacs on Windows.

Earlier, I’ve done a lot of Java work in Eclipse and C# work in VS2005. And while I’m overall very, very happy with Emacs, I do miss the source code navigation features from the IDEs (especially Eclipse).

Right now, I’m using the version of ctags that comes with Emacs. Every night a scheduled task scans my source trees and rebuilds the tag files. I know only one keybinding: M-. (find-tag). Of course, I should spend some time familiarizing myself with the build-in tags package, but to be honest, I’m not very impressed with the list of features. Plus, find-tag quite often misses the mark completely.

So, I would like to check out the alternatives. I have been told that the Exuberant version of ctags is better, so I might give that a go.

If anyone has a decent Emacs configuration for setting this up, I’d be happy to see it. Also, any tips on C/C++ code navigation would be greatly appreciated.

I have always been annoyed that dired mode opens a new buffer for each directory it visits. I typically only use each buffer once anyway, and they get in the way of the autocompletion when switching between buffers with C-x b.

Only recently did I learn that simply pressing a instead of enter or C-m makes it reuse the same buffer. Nice!

For some reason, the function is marked dangerous, but that’s easily fixed:

(put 'dired-find-alternate-file 'disabled nil)