The very unofficial .emacs home What is this all about ?
what is this all about ?
customization basics
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John J. Glynn
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Why do I bother you with another site about the Emacs theme ?

I know, there are a lot of sites and pages dealing with Emacs, but there is quite few information about how to set up your own personal Emacs. Sure, this is no problem for the advanced elisp programmer, but there are a lot of Emacs novices (well, this is a good thing, they have discovered the most powerful editor and more - with the exception that it can't give us programmers a real good cup of coffee or tea, but I'm looking forward to this.). For anybody new to Emacs, customization is a topic of interest because on the one hand this is a strength of Emacs but on the other hand this a white spot on the roadmap to using Emacs:
There's near to nothing concerning this topic on the net.

"Well," you argue, "customization can be easily done by using the customization buffers in Emacs 20.xx" Ok, I'll take that, but have you ever seen a full expanded customization buffer (only the topics, not the real customization) ? Give it a try, but be careful, it's a big one :). There are myriards of options you'll never need to know about, but the really (for your special usecase) interesting things are hidden in the packages themself (and yet are not always present in the customization buffer). And worse enough, the customization buffer is only available for the packages which explicitly support it (as far as I've understood it, correct me if I'm wrong), so all these old and no longer maintained or not updated to 20.xx, but still usefull packages are lost in a black hole concernig customization.

And if that's not enough, beeing an Emacs user on OS/2, WinNT and Linux for quite a while I've seen a lot of solutions for particular problems concerning the usability of this powerful editor by snippets of customization files of experienced users. I myself have solved a lot of problems by looking at well documented .emacs files and including parts of them into my own configuration.

If you want to use Emacs tailored to your own special needs (with the help of experienced users) and want to include some of these very, very useful packages floating around on the net which are not included in the standard distribution of emacs (no discussion about this, it's a must to distribute only stable and properly tested versions of an elephant like Emacs) having a look at the customization effords of others is a must for you !

What can this site do for you ?

Well ...

this depends a bit on the people using Emacs

I contribute the webspace, maintain it and give away my own small .emacs :)

But the point is, that comparable to a mailing list or a news group such a site is alive as long as there are users interested in requesting and contributing. It doesn't make sense only to provide links to .emacs files of well known people, because anybody who is interested in the problem of customization of Emacs already knows these links. I'll contact those people who contributed to and Geoff Voelker's nt-emacs faq concernig the .emacs and all the other sources I've obtained .emacs from. May be, I'm allowed to include their work into this site. Beside from this I really would appreciate it if anybody who has a well documentated .emacs (Ok, I'd also give a not so good documentated one a try) would send me a copy to publish it at this site.

If there is enough response, this could be a first choice in taking a look at the .emacs of other people. Looking at the few examples available on the net, this could be a really helpful source of information if all of you provide your knowledge.

Any additions are welcome, no matter wether it is a dotemacs file for the collection of locally available files, a link to an interesting dotemacs somewhere on the web or an article about any topic concerning customization.

Thanks for your help.

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Emacs community logo by Daniel Lundin Last updated on Sat Jan 22 14:57:03 2005 by Ingo Koch