Org agenda on your startup page

[2022-05-05 Thu] on Yann Esposito's blog

Your org-agenda at your homepage

During most of the day my emacs is open. But I sometime forget to look at my org-agenda. This is why I wanted to find another way to be exposed to it.

And one thing I am mostly exposed to is my personal start page. This is just the default page I see when I open my browser.

Here is the end result:

The result inside my start page

My start page is named mothership. And I just put the org-agenda at the top of the page inside an iframe. I have a service that start a server on localhost and I configured my browser to use it as startup page. That's it.

So now, here is how to sync my org-agenda on this start page.

In my config.el:

(setq y/mothership "~/dev/mothership/")
(setq org-agenda-custom-commands
      `(("g" "Plan Today"
         ((agenda "" ((org-agenda-span 'day))))
         ( ,(concat y/mothership "/agenda.html") ))))

This provide a custom org agenda command and link that custom command to the export file ~/dev/mothership/agenda.html.

And a shell script:

#!/usr/bin/env bash
emacs --batch \
  --load "$HOME/.emacs.d/init.el" \
  --eval '(org-batch-store-agenda-views)' \
*/5 * * * * /Users/esposito/dev/mothership/

And finally in my start-page html I just need to add an iframe like so:

<iframe id="agenda" src="agenda.html"></iframe>

But as I also want to be able to toggle the agenda, and auto-resize the iframe. So I added a bit of js code:

<div id="agendatoggle">[-]</div><br/>
function resizeIframe(iframe) {
  iframe.height = ( iframe.contentWindow.document.body.scrollHeight + 30) + "px";
<iframe id="agenda" src="agenda.html" onload="resizeIframe(this)"></iframe>

function hideAgenda () {
  let agenda = document.getElementById("agenda"); = 'none';
  let at = document.getElementById("agendatoggle");
  at.innerHTML="agenda [+]";
  at.onclick = showAgenda;

function showAgenda () {
  let agenda = document.getElementById("agenda"); = 'block';
  // setInterval(function(){ ; }, 1000);
  let at = document.getElementById("agendatoggle");
  at.innerHTML="agenda [-]";
  at.onclick = hideAgenda;


And that's it. That's a neat trick, and so I'm glad to put a small post about it.


auto-resize iframe

In order to auto-resize the iframe you must have a non file:/// URL in the browser. So you must serve your start page. After a lot of different way to serve my pages, I finally use lighttpd inside a nix-shell.

So I added the following to my startpage code:

A ./lighttpd.conf file

server.bind = ""
server.port = 31337
server.document-root = var.CWD

index-file.names = ( "index.html" )

mimetype.assign = (
  ".css"        =>  "text/css",
  ".gif"        =>  "image/gif",
  ".htm"        =>  "text/html",
  ".html"       =>  "text/html",
  ".jpeg"       =>  "image/jpeg",
  ".jpg"        =>  "image/jpeg",
  ".js"         =>  "text/javascript",
  ".png"        =>  "image/png",
  ".swf"        =>  "application/x-shockwave-flash",
  ".txt"        =>  "text/plain",
  ".gmi"        =>  "text/plain",
  ".svg"        =>  "image/svg+xml",
  ".svgz"       =>  "image/svg+xml"

# Making sure file uploads above 64k always work when using IE or Safari
# For more information, see
$HTTP["useragent"] =~ "^(.*MSIE.*)|(.*AppleWebKit.*)$" {
  server.max-keep-alive-requests = 0

With a

#! /user/bin/env nix-shell
#! nix-shell shell.nix -i bash
port="$(grep server.port ./lighttpd.conf|sed 's/[^0-9]*//')"
echo "Serving: $webdir on http://localhost:$port" && \
lighttpd -f ./lighttpd.conf -D

I have a frozen nixpkgs dependencies via niv. But you could probably simply replace the line by:

#! nix-shell -p lighttpd -i bash

And it should work fine.

Start your server at startup on macOS

Last but not least, starting this start page server when I login.

So for that you should demonize with launchd.

I created a ./y.mothership.plist file to put in ~/Library/LauchAgents/:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
<plist version="1.0">

Then to ensure that the executable nix-shell is present in the PATH for the demon, I ran:

launchctl config user path "$PATH"

This will affect the path of all users, but as I am the only user on my computer this is fine for me.


launchctl load ~/Library/LaunchAgents/y.mothership.plist
launchctl start mothership

And that's about it.