Emacs Eask
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🔨 Basic Usage

Eask’s CLI is fully featured but simple to use, even for those who have very limited experience working from the command line.

The following is a description of the most common commands you will use while developing your Eask project. See the Commands and options for a comprehensive view of Eask’s CLI.

Once you have installed Eask, make sure it is in your PATH. You can test that Eask has been installed correctly via the help command:

$ eask --help
💡 Optionally, you can use --show-hidden to show all available commands and options!

The output you see in your console should be similar to the following:

eask is the main command, used to manage your Emacs dependencies

Eask is a command-line tool that helps you build, lint, and test Emacs Lisp packages.

Usage: eask <command> [options..]

  analyze [files..]          Run Eask checker
  archives                   List out all package archives                                                                                                                                     [aliases: sources]
  clean <type>               Delete various files produced during building
  compile [names..]          Byte-compile `.el' files
  create <type>              Create a new elisp project
  docker <version> [args..]  Launch specified Emacs version in a Docker container
  docs [names..]             Build documentation                                                                                                                                                   [aliases: doc]
  emacs [args..]             Execute emacs with the appropriate environment
  eval [form]                Evaluate lisp form with a proper PATH
  path [patterns..]          Print the PATH (exec-path) from workspace                                                                                                                       [aliases: exec-path]
  exec [args..]              Execute command with correct environment PATH set up
  files [patterns..]         Print all package files
  format <type>              Run formatters                                                                                                                                                        [aliases: fmt]
  generate <type>            Generate files that are used for the development
  info                       Display information about the current package
  init [files..]             Initialize project to use Eask
  install-deps               Automatically install package dependencies                                                                                                  [aliases: install-dependencies, prepare]
  install [names..]          Install packages
  keywords                   List available keywords that can be used in the header section
  link <action>              Manage links
  lint <type>                Run linters
  list                       List packages
  load-path [patterns..]     Print the load-path from workspace
  load [files..]             Load elisp files
  outdated                   Show all outdated dependencies
  package-directory          Print path to package directory
  package [destination]      Build a package artifact, and put it into the given destination                                                                                                      [aliases: pack]
  recipe                     Suggest a recipe format
  recompile [names..]        Byte-recompile `.el' files
  refresh                    Download package archives
  reinstall [names..]        Reinstall packages
  run <type>                 Run custom tasks
  search [queries..]         Search packages
  status                     Display the state of the workspace
  test <type>                Run regression/unit tests
  uninstall [names..]        Uninstall packages                                                                                                                                                 [aliases: delete]
  upgrade [names..]          Upgrade packages
  locate                     Print out Eask installed location
  upgrade-eask               Upgrade Eask itself                                                                                                                                          [aliases: upgrade-self]

Proxy Options:
      --proxy        update proxy for HTTP and HTTPS to host                                                                                                                                             [string]
      --http-proxy   update proxy for HTTP to host                                                                                                                                                       [string]
      --https-proxy  update proxy for HTTPS to host                                                                                                                                                      [string]
      --no-proxy     set no-proxy to host                                                                                                                                                                [string]

      --version      output version information and exit                                                                                                                                                [boolean]
      --help         show usage instructions                                                                                                                                                            [boolean]
      --show-hidden  Show hidden commands and options                                                                                                                                                   [boolean]
  -g, --global       change default workspace to ~/.eask/                                                                                                                                               [boolean]
  -c, --config       change default workspace to ~/.emacs.d/                                                                                                                                            [boolean]
  -a, --all          enable all flag                                                                                                                                                                    [boolean]
  -q, --quick        start cleanly without loading the configuration files                                                                                                                              [boolean]
  -f, --force        enable force flag                                                                                                                                                                  [boolean]
      --debug        turn on debug mode                                                                                                                                                                 [boolean]
      --strict       report error instead of warnings                                                                                                                                                   [boolean]
      --allow-error  continue the executioon even there is error reported                                                                                                                               [boolean]
      --insecure     allow insecure connection                                                                                                                                                          [boolean]
      --no-color     enable/disable color output                                                                                                                                                        [boolean]
  -v, --verbose      set verbosity from 0 to 5                                                                                                                                                           [number]

For more information, find the manual at https://emacs-eask.github.io/

🗃️ The eask Command

The most common usage is probably to run eask with your current directory being the input directory. Then you run eask followed by a subcommand:

$ eask info             # Print out Eask-file information

Notice the subcommand can be nested:

$ eask clean workspace  # Deletes your `.eask` folder

Pass in option --help to look up more information regarding the command you are using:

$ eask clean --help

The output, and it shows there are 7 subcommands supported:

Delete various files produced during building

Usage: eask clean <type> [options..]

  clean all                  Do all cleaning tasks                                                                                                                                          [aliases: everything]
  clean autoloads            Remove generated autoloads file
  clean dist [destination]   Delete dist subdirectory                                                                                                                                     [aliases: distribution]
  clean elc                  Remove byte compiled files generated by eask compile
  clean log-file             Remove all generated log files
  clean pkg-file             Remove generated pkg-file
  clean workspace            Clean up .eask directory                                                                                                                                            [aliases: .eask]

  <type>  type of the cleaning task


Here is a list of known nested subcommands:

  • eask create
  • eask clean
  • eask generate
  • eask generate workflow
  • eask link
  • eask lint
  • eask run
  • eask source
  • eask test

📌 Knowing your elpa directory

Eask creates an isolated environment, so it won’t create any side effects after playing, testing, and running your elisp packages. But it’s important to know what elpa directory (you can think of this as your .emacs.d) the current Eask session is pointing to, so you can release the full potential of this tool!

Here is how Eask works behind the scene in different scenarios:

localThe default behavior, use Eask as package dev tooln/a./.eask
configUse Eask as your package manager (It can be used as a test tool too)-c or --config~/.emacs.d
globalUse Eask as a general tool, it’s unrelated to other scopes-g or --global~/.eask

You might think of why these rules are created.

It’s easy to understand config and local scopes since many other build tools use the local scope to create an isolated environment. The config scope is an additional feature for people who prefer managing their packages with an external tool and not by built-in package.el or config base straight.el, so you can save up startup time to check if packages are installed for your Emacs to operate.

So what is the global scope in terms of Eask? Why it’s needed?

Eask is more than a build tool now. Several commands don’t require their dependencies as package dependencies. For example, the cat command:

$ eask cat [PATTERNS..]

cat is a simple command that mimics Linux’s default cat command, but it does the syntax highlighting for you! How it’s implemented? The command relies on an external package e2ansi, and this is neither the package nor config dependency (it could be, but let’s assume we don’t want it).

How do we use this command without side effects to your project or personal emacs configuration? The global scope is introduced for this problem. Now we can add any useful commands without worrying your environment got messed up.

Here is the flowchart describes Eask’s lifecycle:

By default, Eask uses your current directory as your workspace since most of the time you would just want to operate jobs for your elisp packages.