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How would I implement a bare bones function that 're-evaluates' with every key-press? I mean key-press loosely; I'm looking to emulate the behavior of isearch and friends.

I would be using this to interactively test XPath expressions against an open nxml-mode buffer using something along the lines of buffer narrowing. For the purposes of this question though, just a function that calls message on whatever is in the minibuffer would be absolutely grand.

  • How about?: (add-hook 'post-command-hook (lambda () (message "hello-world"))) and add a t to the tail end to make it buffer-local and another t if you want to append it to the existing functions already assigned to that hook (rather than pre-pending it). – lawlist Jul 29 '14 at 3:07
  • Here is a link to a strange animal that can be custom tailored, but is not necessarily scalable for other people to use -- more of an in-house job: stackoverflow.com/questions/23441478/… The post-command-hook is universal, but fires a little too often sometimes for my personal needs. – lawlist Jul 29 '14 at 3:15
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Depending of what you want, you could cheat and use isearch-mode: its third argument (OP-FUN) is a function called after each input is processed, and its 5th argument (WORD) can be any function that will transform the string typed in isearch into a regexp to look for in the buffer.

For exemble:

(defun my-op-fun (string &optional lax)
  (let ((words (split-string string ":")))
    (mapconcat '(lambda (word) 
                  (concat "\\<" (regexp-quote word)))
               words "\\>.*")))

(defun my-isearch-beggining-of-line ()
  (interactive)
  (isearch-mode t t nil t 'my-op-fun))

if you type "foo" it will look for a word beginning with "foo", it you type "foo:bar" it will look for the "foo" word followed by some other char then "bar" as the beggining of a word.

Some regexp mastery might be needed to make this work for you.

You could also just look at the source of isearch to see how it is done.

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