Emacs Configuration Organization

Sometimes I feel lonely. As many of you know, I keep my emacs configuration in a single init.el file1. Almost all the Emacs hackers that I respect have a complicated Emacs configuration split among multiple files.

Finally, I've found someone who agrees with me. Donald Curtis, also known as Milkypostman, the proprietor of the Melpa archive, has a post in which he advocates keeping your Emacs configuration in a single file. His configuration is well organized and easy to navigate. It shows, I think, how a single-file Emacs configuration can be easier to use and navigate than an equivalent multi-file version. You mileage may vary, of course, but at lease I don't feel so lonely.

Whatever you predilections for Emacs configurations, you should take a look at Milkypostman's post. He's got some good ideas (such as his after macro) that are useful no matter how many files you have in your configuration.


1 Actually I have separate files for OS- and machine-specific configurations that get loaded when Emacs starts on a particular machine or OS.

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  • Dave

    Every year or so I change my configuration. I have used a single file (plus os/machine specific files), multiple files, and an org-mode init file.

    In the last year I have given the Emacs Prelude a try, and have been happy with that so far. Especially because useful stuff is often added to it that I might not have found otherwise.

    I always have to fight the temptation to change everything completely, but Donald's post may push me into messing with it again :)

  • Rodrigo

    I'm now using Org-mode based single file configuration and seems like the right call. Besides collapsing, I can organize hierarchically the configuration and attach tags to the headers, so I can see which new packages I added so I don't forget about them.