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3.2.2 Running SINGULAR under Emacs

There are two ways to start the SINGULAR Emacs interface: Typing ESingular instead of Singular on the command shell launches a new Emacs process, initializes the interface and runs SINGULAR within Emacs. The other way is to start the interface in an already running Emacs, by typing M-x singular inside Emacs. This initializes the interface and runs SINGULAR within Emacs. Both ways are described in more detail below.

Note: To properly run the Emacs interface, several files are needed which usually reside in the emacs subdirectory of your SINGULAR distribution. This directory is called singular-emacs-home-directory in the following.

Starting the interface using ESingular

As mentioned above, ESingular is an "out-of-the-box" solution: You don't have to add special things to your .emacs startup file to initialize the interface; everything is done for you in a special file called .emacs-singular (which comes along with the SINGULAR distribution and resides in the singular-emacs-home-directory) which is automatically loaded on Emacs startup (and the loading of the .emacs file is automatically suppressed).

The customizable variables of the SINGULAR Emacs interface are set to defaults which give the novice user a very shell like feeling of the interface. Nevertheless, these default settings can be changed, see Customization of the Emacs interface. Besides other Emacs initializations, such as fontification or blinking parentheses, a new menu item called Singular is added to the main menu, providing menu items for starting SINGULAR. On XEmacs, a button starting SINGULAR is added to the main toolbar.

The SINGULAR interface is started automatically; once you see a buffer called *singular* and the SINGULAR prompt, you are ready to start your SINGULAR session.

ESingular inherits all Singular options. For a description of all these options, see Command line options. Additionally there are the following options which are special to ESingular:

environment variable
command-line option / functionality
--emacs=EMACS Use EMACS as Emacs program to run the SINGULAR Emacs interface, where EMACS may e.g. be emacs or xemacs.
--emacs-dir=DIR Set the singular-emacs-home-directory, which is the directory where singular.el can be found, to DIR.
--emacs-load=FILE Load FILE on Emacs start-up, instead of the default load file.
--singular=PROG Start PROG as SINGULAR program within Emacs

Notice that values of these options can also be given by setting the above mentioned environment variables (where values given as command-line arguments take priority over values given by environment variables).

Starting the interface within a running Emacs

If you are a more experienced Emacs user and you already have your own local .emacs startup file, you might want to start the interface out of your running Emacs without using ESingular. For this, you should add the following lisp code to your .emacs file:

(setq load-path (cons "<singular-emacs-home-directory>" load-path))
(autoload 'singular "singular"
  "Start Singular using default values." t)
(autoload 'singular-other "singular"
  "Ask for arguments and start Singular." t)

Then typing M-x singular in a running Emacs session initializes the interface in a new buffer and launches a SINGULAR process. The SINGULAR prompt comes up and you are ready to start your SINGULAR session.

It is a good idea to take a look at the (well documented) file .emacs-singular in the singular-emacs-home-directory, which comes along with the distribution. In it you find some useful initializations of the SINGULAR interface as well as some lisp code, which, for example, adds a button to the XEmacs toolbar. Some of this code might be useful for your .emacs file, too. And if you are an Emacs wizard, it is of course a good idea to take a look at singular.el in the singular-emacs-home-directory.

CYGWIN and ESingular

  • X11 server install xlaunch, emacs-X11, xterm and all dependencies. Create with xlaunch a startup file for the X-server which also starts the client xterm. From that one can start ESingular.
  • fork problems The simplest way to overcome fork problem is to run /usr/bin/rebase-trigger full, then stop all Cygwin processes and services, and then run setup-x86.exe. The _autorebase postinstall script will then take care of the rebase. Occasionally it is necessary to reboot the computer before doing this.

Starting, interrupting and stopping SINGULAR

There are the following commands to start and stop SINGULAR:

  • singular-other (or menu Singular, item Start...)

    Starts a SINGULAR process and asks for the following four parameters in the minibuffer area:

    1. The SINGULAR executable. This can either be a file name with complete path, e.g., /local/bin/Singular. Then exactly this executable is started. The path may contain the character ~ denoting your home directory. Or it can be the name of a command without path, e.g., Singular. Then the executable is searched for in your $PATH environment variable.

    2. The default working directory. This is the path to an existing directory, e.g., ~/work. The current directory is set to this directory before SINGULAR is started.

    3. Command line options. You can set any SINGULAR command line option (see Command line options).

    4. The buffer name. You can specify the name of the buffer the interface is running in.

  • singular (or menu Singular, item Start default)

    Starts SINGULAR with default settings for the executable, the working directory, command line switches, and the buffer name. You can customize this default settings, see Customization of the Emacs interface.

  • singular-exit-singular (bound to C-c $ or menu Singular, item Exit)

    Kills the running SINGULAR process of the current buffer (but does not kill the buffer). Once you have killed a SINGULAR process you can start a new one in the same buffer with the command singular (or select the item Start default of the Singular menu).

  • singular-restart (bound to C-c C-r or menu Singular, item Restart)

    Kills the running SINGULAR process of the current buffer and starts a new process in the same buffer with exactly the same command line arguments as before.

  • singular-control-c (bound to C-c C-c or menu Singular, item Interrupt)

    Interrupt the SINGULAR process running in the current buffer. Asks whether to (a)bort the current SINGULAR command, (q)uit or (r)estart the current SINGULAR process, or (c)ontinue without doing anything (default).

Whenever a SINGULAR process is started within the Emacs interface, the contents of a special startup file (by default ~/.emacs-singularrc) is pasted as input to SINGULAR at the very end of the usual startup sequence (see Startup sequence). The name of the startup file can be changed, see Customization of the Emacs interface.