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B.3 yank-pop

After understanding yank and current-kill, you know how to approach the yank-pop function. Leaving out the documentation to save space, it looks like this:

     (defun yank-pop (&optional arg)
       "..."
       (interactive "*p")
       (if (not (eq last-command 'yank))
           (error "Previous command was not a yank"))
       (setq this-command 'yank)
       (unless arg (setq arg 1))
       (let ((inhibit-read-only t)
             (before (< (point) (mark t))))
         (if before
             (funcall (or yank-undo-function 'delete-region) (point) (mark t))
           (funcall (or yank-undo-function 'delete-region) (mark t) (point)))
         (setq yank-undo-function nil)
         (set-marker (mark-marker) (point) (current-buffer))
         (insert-for-yank (current-kill arg))
         ;; Set the window start back where it was in the yank command,
         ;; if possible.
         (set-window-start (selected-window) yank-window-start t)
         (if before
             ;; This is like exchange-point-and-mark,
             ;;     but doesn't activate the mark.
             ;; It is cleaner to avoid activation, even though the command
             ;; loop would deactivate the mark because we inserted text.
             (goto-char (prog1 (mark t)
                          (set-marker (mark-marker)
                                      (point)
                                      (current-buffer))))))
       nil)

The function is interactive with a small ‘p’ so the prefix argument is processed and passed to the function. The command can only be used after a previous yank; otherwise an error message is sent. This check uses the variable last-command which is set by yank and is discussed elsewhere. (See copy-region-as-kill.)

The let clause sets the variable before to true or false depending whether point is before or after mark and then the region between point and mark is deleted. This is the region that was just inserted by the previous yank and it is this text that will be replaced.

funcall calls its first argument as a function, passing remaining arguments to it. The first argument is whatever the or expression returns. The two remaining arguments are the positions of point and mark set by the preceding yank command.

There is more, but that is the hardest part.