Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Emacs Tip #31: kill-other-buffers-of-this-file-name

A friend mentioned he wanted a way to get rid of all the other buffers visiting files that of the same file name. I instantly realized this was something I'd wanted for a long time without knowing it.

My usage is that I'm often viewing different versions of the same file, usually in different sandboxes. And, I might also have older versions checked out, whose file names are the same, but end with ".~1.12~" (or whatever version number was checked out).

I'm still old-school and don't use anything fancy for my buffer switching like `ido` or `icicles` or `iswitchb` or any of the other myriad of choices. And, as a result, it's a pain to switch because I have to now discern between the variants. Well, do that once, type `C-x K`, and that'll be the only buffer left for that file name.

(global-set-key (kbd "C-x K") 'kill-other-buffers-of-this-file-name)
(defun kill-other-buffers-of-this-file-name (&optional buffer)
"Kill all other buffers visiting files of the same base name."
(interactive "bBuffer to make unique: ")
(setq buffer (if buffer (get-buffer buffer) (current-buffer)))
(cond ((buffer-file-name buffer)
(let ((name (file-name-nondirectory (buffer-file-name buffer))))
(loop for ob in (buffer-list)
do (if (and (not (eq ob buffer))
(buffer-file-name ob)
(let ((ob-file-name (file-name-nondirectory (buffer-file-name ob))))
(or (equal ob-file-name name)
(string-match (concat name "\\(\\.~.*\\)?~$") ob-file-name))) )
(kill-buffer ob)))))
((message "This buffer has no file name."))))

Edited Sept. 30, 2009 to fix coding error.


Jouni K. Seppänen said...

Awesome - I had never realized how useful this is to have as a quick command. I added (with-current-buffer buffer (rename-uniquely)) after the loop to get rid of the angle-bracketed suffix that is unnecessary after you have killed other buffers of the same name.

Unknown said...

Ahh, I didn't need that because I use uniquify - see tip #11: uniquify.