Add HTML Entity Picker to Emacs

Emacs comes with a lot of stuff out of the box, but I was missing TextMates “Insert Entity” action that lets me search through HTML entities by name and then insert " or ™ for me. I can never remember the names of typographic quotation marks in German, for example.

Some light searching on the web brought up this very cool apprach by @emacs_gifs: copy or scrape the whole List of XML and HTML character entitites reference and then use Emacs’s built-in fuzzy list filter mechanism to pick an item from the resulting list.

The original code used 1 global variable and 2 global functions. While I do agree with the factoring of these three things, I don’t want to expose all of them in my global namespace. And I also don’t want to whip up an .el package just to hide some implementation detail. So I put the variable and the filter function inside the local namespace of the action I’m supposed to invoke.

Modular programming for the win!

Here’s the resulting code as a Gist:

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