Lisp Eval Building External Lisp
The buffer `
*scratch*' which is selected when Emacs starts up is
provided for evaluating Lisp expressions interactively inside Emacs.
The simplest way to use the `
*scratch*' buffer is to insert Lisp
expressions and type C-j after each expression. This command
reads the Lisp expression before point, evaluates it, and inserts the
value in printed representation before point. The result is a complete
typescript of the expressions you have evaluated and their values.
*scratch*' buffer's major mode is Lisp Interaction mode, which
is the same as Emacs-Lisp mode except for the binding of C-j.
The rationale for this feature is that Emacs must have a buffer when it starts up, but that buffer is not useful for editing files since a new buffer is made for every file that you visit. The Lisp interpreter typescript is the most useful thing I can think of for the initial buffer to do. Type M-x lisp-interaction-mode to put the current buffer in Lisp Interaction mode.
An alternative way of evaluating Emacs Lisp expressions interactively
is to use Inferior Emacs-Lisp mode, which provides an interface rather
like Shell mode (see Shell Mode) for evaluating Emacs Lisp
expressions. Type M-x ielm to create an `
which uses this mode.