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My Emacs initialization files

branch: master


Welcome to my Emacs initialization files.

The main initialization file is emacs.el, which is loaded as part of a machine-specific bootstrap process.


I use ELPA, the Emacs Lisp Package Archive, but don’t check that directory into this repository.

Load Path

The global variable *my-emacs-lib-dir* must be defined to point to this directory.

The load path is set up to look in the Emacs installation first, then in *my-emacs-lib-dir*.

Bootstrap Process

Since I use Emacs on multiple machines, I came up with a customization scheme that lets me run “before” and “after” code for each machine around my main initialization code. Each domain (work, home, etc.) gets its own subdirectory and each machine gets its own subdirectory within the domain. Inside that are up to four files: dot_emacs, before.el, after.el, and the bookmark file emacs.bmk (which is not checked in to source control).

On each box I create a soft link from the appropriate dot_emacs file in that machine’s bootstrap/DOMAIN/MACHINE directory to ~/.emacs. Here’s the .emacs file on the machine I’m using right now, which is really a link to ~/Library/elisp/home/nimbus/dot_emacs:

;; -*- emacs-lisp -*-
(defvar *my-emacs-lib-dir* "~/Library/elisp/")
(load-file (concat *my-emacs-lib-dir* "bootstrap-init.el"))
(bootstrap-init "home" "nimbus")

Here’s bootstrap-init.el:

;;; *my-emacs-lib-dir* must be defined

(defun bootstrap-file (domain machine file-name)
  (concat *my-emacs-lib-dir* "bootstrap/" domain "/" machine "/" file-name))

(defun load-init-if-exists (domain machine file)
  (let ((f (bootstrap-file domain machine (concat file ".el"))))
    (if (file-exists-p f)
      (load-file f))))

(defun bootstrap-init (domain machine)
  (load-init-if-exists domain machine "before")
  (load-file (concat *my-emacs-lib-dir* "emacs"))
  (load-init-if-exists domain machine "after")
  (setq bookmark-default-file
        (bootstrap-file domain machine "emacs.bmk")))

So you can see that bootstrap-init runs a “before.el” file, then my main customization file “emacs.el”, then an “after.el” file.

See Also

See also my Emacs tips page.

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