DWIM (Do what I mean)

GNU Emacs has a concept called DWIM. Here’s an excerpt from the comment-dwim command:

The word “dwim” is an acronym for “Do What I Mean”; it indicates that this command can be used for many different jobs relating to comments, depending on the situation where you use it.


Álvaro Ramírez wrote about this and provided a concrete example in his blogpost Emacs DWIM: do what I mean . org-insert-link is handy for inserting Org Mode links. Things you can do to make it do what you mean:

  • If I have a region selected and there is a URL in the clipboard, link the selection to the clipboard URL
  • Automatically fetch titles if there is a URL in the clipboard but no selection
  • If there is no URL in the clipboard, fall back to org-insert-link
(defun ar/org-insert-link-dwim ()
  "Like `org-insert-link' but with personal dwim preferences."
  (let* ((point-in-link (org-in-regexp org-link-any-re 1))
	 (clipboard-url (when (string-match-p "^http" (current-kill 0))
			  (current-kill 0)))
	 (region-content (when (region-active-p)
			   (buffer-substring-no-properties (region-beginning)
    (cond ((and region-content clipboard-url (not point-in-link))
	   (delete-region (region-beginning) (region-end))
	   (insert (org-make-link-string clipboard-url region-content)))
	  ((and clipboard-url (not point-in-link))
	   (insert (org-make-link-string
		    (read-string "title: "
				 (with-current-buffer (url-retrieve-synchronously clipboard-url)
				   (dom-text (car
					      (dom-by-tag (libxml-parse-html-region
	   (call-interactively 'org-insert-link)))))
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