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Emacs Starter Kit

Version 3 of the Emacs Starter Kit is implemented as a prose guide to various packages and settings which can greatly improve the Emacs experience.


Older versions of the Starter Kit attempted to be one-size-fits-all codebase intended to be dropped into your ~/.emacs.d directory wholesale. While this proved very popular, taking a big bundle of unrelated functionality leads to simply adopting things without developing any real understanding. When something goes wrong or even just behaves differently from what you'd like, you don't know where to look to fix it.

I've since come to realize users are better suited by small, focused packages which provide specific pieces of new functionality. So rather than putting up a big pile of code, the Starter Kit has shifted to become merely a guide. As an Emacs user, you're going to have to get comfortable seeking out new pieces of elisp, bringing them in, configuring them, and eventually writing your own. The Starter Kit can help this process by giving hints as to where to start and what to look for, but constructing a solid configuration is ultimately a personal journey for which you must take the first steps.

Getting Started

I strongly recommend keeping your dotfiles under version control and installing Emacs packages inside it using git subtree.

This avoids many common problems with package.el, and it allows you to seamlessly roll back upgrades which introduce breaking changes as well as guaranteeing that all machines you work on share the same versions.

(defun pnh-reinit-libs ()
  (let ((generated-autoload-file (concat user-emacs-directory "my-autoload.el")))
    (dolist (d (directory-files (concat user-emacs-directory "lib") t "^[^\.]"))
      (dolist (f (directory-files d t "\\.el$"))
        (byte-compile-file f))
      (update-directory-autoloads d))))

(dolist (l (directory-files (concat user-emacs-directory "lib") nil "^[^\.]"))
  (add-to-list 'load-path (concat user-emacs-directory "lib/" l))
  (autoload (intern l) (concat l ".el")))

(when (not (file-exists-p (concat user-emacs-directory "my-autoload.el")))

(load (concat user-emacs-directory "my-autoload.el"))

If you liked ... you might also like

These are all libraries that focus on doing one thing and do it consistently well.


Copyright © 2008-2017 Phil Hagelberg and contributors

Files are licensed under the same license as Emacs unless otherwise specified. See the file COPYING for details.