I sometimes feel that I have the most unorganized Emacs configuration strategy imaginable. I don’t worry about autoloading or other quick-loading strategies and I throw my entire configuration (other than machine and OS specific items) into my
init.el file. All the really cool guys have their configurations broken out into separate files, carefully optimized for the smallest possible loading time.
I was, therefore, happy to discover that I’m not alone. Selah not only has the same strategy but argues that it’s the correct strategy. He used to obsess over Emacs loading times like the rest of us but realized that he spent far more time tweaking his configuration for optimal load time than he did waiting for it to load. That’s because like most of us he didn’t load it very often. He says he loads it only about twice a week. Even that seems like a lot to me. My Emacs instances generally run from a week to a month before I reload it because I get into an error condition or need to refresh a package. Reloading takes me about 5 seconds so it makes no sense worrying about reducing the time—except maybe as an interesting engineering problem.
Selah says that he likes everything in a single file because he doesn’t have to spend time remembering where things are as he did when he had everything broken out to multiple files. I like keeping everything in a single
init.el for the same reason. Yes, you can locate things reasonably quickly with some form of
grep or indexing (such as a TAGS file) but as Selah notes, that means you have to perform a context switch and think about something besides the problem you’re solving. The other advantage of having a single file is that it makes it easy to convert it to an annotated Org file. I haven’t done that yet but it’s on my TODO list.
UPDATE: Correct post’s author.