Mastering Emacs Book Club

This meeting series is complete! There are no new meetings happening for this book. Go to the meetings main page to find out about current active meetings.

The following content on this page is an archive of the content as it appeared on the last day of meeting for this book.

Meeting times: Usually at 20:00 UTC on Fri, Sat, and Sun

Meeting duration: 40 minutes.

Meeting link:

Meeting log: 72 meetings

Club channel: /


Reference book: Mastering Emacs, 2022 Edition (Mickey Petersen, 2022)

Chapter notes: Notes

† There are some exceptions to this schedule occasionally. Join or or follow to receive schedule updates.

‡ You only need to join either the Matrix channel or the Libera channel, not both. Both channels are bridged together. If you are not an active IRC user, prefer joining the Matrix channel because it is more convenient for someone unfamiliar with IRC. For example, you can close your browser or client and your chat session will still stay alive on Matrix. You can connect back the next day and catch up with the messages. Doing that with IRC requires slightly more work such as setting up IRC bouncers etc.

The primary reference book for these meetings is Mastering Emacs written by Mickey Petersen. PDF and EPUB copies of this book can be purchased from

In case you miss any meeting, you can find recordings of the meetings that occurred in the last 7 days here: These recordings are deleted automatically after 7 days.


  1. What is this club about?

    This is a hobby club with a focus on mathematics and computation. This club picks reading material about concepts and technologies that have been around for a long time and have an air of timelessness around them. See the blog post Reading Classic Computation Books for more details.

  2. Who runs this club?

    My name is Susam. This is my website. I run this club. I host the book club meetings. The last series of book club meetings I hosted was about analytic number theory. Some members of Libera IRC network and Hacker News participated in those meetings. This new series is going to be about Emacs.

  3. Have you read the entire book?

    No, I have read about half of the book. This means that I am a few chapters ahead of someone who has just begun reading this book, so I can maintain a steady pace in the club discussions and also be able to tell if some topics or areas of confusion in an earlier chapter will be clarified in a later chapter.

    I have also been using Emacs for many years, so I might be able to share some of my own insights on the reading material and Emacs as we make progress with the reference book.

  4. What is planned for the next few meetings?

    See the meeting log which contains a rough plan for the next few meetings along with an archive of all previous meetings.

  5. Do I need to read the planned chapters/pages in advance before coming to the meetings?

    Not at all. It is up to you, really. If you would like to read the chapters in advance and come, that's great. But it is not necessary. We are going to discuss every page of the book in detail anyway. Further, we will demonstrate the concepts we learn from the book live using an actual Emacs editor. So it is perfectly fine if you want to join the meetings without any preparation.

  6. I have little to no knowledge of Emacs. Can I join?

    Yes, certainly! The reference book selected for these meetings teaches Emacs from scratch. No prior knowledge is expected from the participants of these meeetings.

  7. I am an expert in Emacs. Will the meetings be useful to me?

    In online discussions, often people with many years of Emacs experience have claimed that despite their high degree of expertise in Emacs, the book taught them new stuff. Whether attending 40-minute meetings, a few days a week, with a possibility of learning something new is a good return of your investment or not, is something you might want to consider.

    Having said that, expert Emacs users and developers are very welcome to these meetings. In the previous meetings on analytic number theory, we found that the experts often contributed to the meetings with new insights and interesting background information that helped everyone learn the reading material better.

  8. Can I just lurk in the meetings?

    Yes! Lurking is absolutely fine in our club meetings. In fact, most members of the club join in and stay silent throughout the meetings. Only a few members talk via audio/video or chat. This is considered absolutely normal in this club, so please do not hesitate to join our meetings!

  9. Tell me honestly. Which is better? Vim or Emacs?

    Sorry, we don't do this here!

  10. I have more questions. Where can I ask?

    Join the club channel at or to ask more questions.