Sacha Chua's Emacs Chat

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Sacha Chua Interviews Xah Lee

I had a great time with Sacha in her Emacs Chats.

Sacha's Emacs Chat with Xah Lee ()

For just voice recording of the chat, see Sacha's page at

Sacha asked me about what i do to upload my blog to server. I got distracted and didn't answer. I use rsync. I have a command name xah-interactive-abbrev that works like a interactive abbrev system. It prompts me to type a abbrev, and insert the full shell command. For exampe, i press 【▤ Menu e 8】 to invoke shell, then press 【▤ Menu b】 to invoke xah-interactive-abbrev, then press 【r y Enter ↵】, then emacs inserts this:

rsync -z -r -v -t --delete --chmod=Dugo+x --chmod=ugo+r --exclude='*~' --exclude='.bash_history' --exclude='logs/' --exclude='xahbackup/' --exclude='.git/*' --rsh='ssh -l xahlee' ~/web/

[see Emacs: Interactive Abbrev]

the Chinese emacs website mentioned near the end is:

My Impression of Sacha Chua

Sacha's prolific. She writes about emacs, about managing life's decisions, about note-taking and sketching (drawing), since perhaps a decade ago. I first saw her on's emacs IRC in 2006. Since then, i have heard a lot about her. Back around 2006, when org mode wasn't there yet (or just started), there's Emacs Muse (by Michael Olson) and PlannerMode (by John Wiegley). She is very active in the community, i think she also has been a leader (aka maintainer) of Emacs Muse or Planner as i later learned. (org-mode won the popularity over Muse and Planner. (I haven't used Emacs Muse nor Planner, and barely use org mode. [see Emacs: Writing Outline, org-mode Tutorial] (I asked Sacha how she does her blog (close to 7 thousand articles). It's all done in org-mode!)))

I've gotten to know Sacha better in the past 2 years, following her twitter, saw all her emacs videos, and the few times i read her blog, found something amazing. For example, she types on Dvorak with speed of 104 wpm, and was researching on how to go faster! (my peak is about 90wpm, QWERTY or Dvorak). She also did a research on a very interesting aspect of typing speed. I made a report here: Typing Speed and Hand Motion Speed Study.

You can learn more about Sacha Chua in her own Emacs Chat, in the following video. Fun to watch, recommended.

Emacs Chat: Bastien Guerry interviewing Sacha Chua

(Bastien Guerry is the leader of org-mode for several years. Another great guy. He is a philosopher by training. You can also see a Emacs Chat video about Bastien at Sacha's Emacs Chat collection. (org-mode itself is started by Carsten Dominik (a astronomer). Also interviewed in her Emacs Chat))

She in recent years also started to do huge amount of sketch notes. Namely, presenting info or tutorial by drawing. I myself didn't find drawing a efficient way to get info, preferring reading printed text or screenshots (and i shun video tutorials in general). But, sketch-notes is certainly interesting, is good for some people, takes talent to do, and she's done a lot of it (300+ sketch notes). (In Japan, vast amount of info are presented in drawing form (aka comics, anime), including official government info, environment info, travel info, pamphlets, etc, not just the typical comics books of fairy-tales or fantasies. (see also: Reading Notes on Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics))

how to learn emacs keyboard shortcuts by sacha 2013-08-30
Sacha's 〈How to Learn Emacs Keyboard Shortcuts〉 © For big version, see:

What i particularly appreciate of Sacha's work is her emacs chat videos. Thru it, you learn the many names and faces in the emacs community. You get to see the people behind the packages or emacs forums. You see their perspective, and how they are. It's very fun to watch as entertainmet (say, better than watching TV), and you also pick out a few tips about using emacs.

Sacha has a site It currently has about 60 articles (possibly much more in deeper links). To me, the org mode section is particularly interesting. Check it out.

Like it? Buy Xah Emacs Tutorial. Thanks.