Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.

Having Emacs time-stamps at the end of files

Do you ever use Emacs time stamp functionality (type C-h f time-stamp in Emacs to learn about that) to insert the current date time stamp into your file when you save it? I use this frequently in documents I write, for my blog or standalone. For the longest time I thought you had to have the time stamp at the beginning of the file. But I wanted it at the end of blog posts because it’s really an afterthought to most readers. (Sometimes I go back and edit posts some time after first posting them — perhaps they were incomplete, or they had errors that needed correcting, etc.) It turns out that you can do that — if you set the variable time-stamp-line-limit to a negative number it will look backwards from the end of the file for the timestamp. I often set the time stamp variables in a Local Variables: comment at the end of the file.

Here's the reST fragment I insert into my blog posts that uses time-stamp:

.. role:: app
.. role:: file
.. role:: command
.. role:: key

.. *Last edited: 2020-08-05 17:03:37 EDT*

   Local Variables:
   time-stamp-format: "%04y-%02m-%02d %02H:%02M:%02S %Z"
   time-stamp-start: "Last edited:[ \t]+\\\\?"
   time-stamp-end: "\\*\\\\?\n"
   time-stamp-line-limit: -20
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