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Explicit Defaults

From: Irving Rivas
Subject: Explicit Defaults
Date: Sun, 14 Dec 2014 11:19:45 -0400


I've been mulling over ways to get more people to hack on their emacs configuration by making emacs lisp look less intimidating to neophites.

​Many packages out there have pre-made custom configurations​, and that sparked an idea: if emacs started out with some of the defaults stated in the .emacs, it helps demistify the most basic parts emacs lisp, and also make the configuration frobbable.

Some anecdotal support for this idea comes from what I've learned through bundled .bashrc files, like the possibility of having colored prompts.​

​Packages with premade configuration are nice, but place two barriers: the package needs to be installed and the user needs to know where it's installed in order to study them. These can be overcome easily if the configuration is sitting in their home directory on install.​

I'm working on a compilation of default configuration; ideally, it will contain values that have immediately visible changes, and some which have subtler implications and will prompt the user to look the information up.

The really early work in progress can be found here:


I'd be thrilled to get suggestions on more defaults and feedback on this idea.


Irving Axel Rivas

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