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use-package 1.0

From: John Wiegley
Subject: use-package 1.0
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2012 04:46:57 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.130006 (Ma Gnus v0.6) Emacs/24.1 (darwin)

* What is it

The `use-package` declaration macro allows you to isolate package
configuration in your ".emacs" in a way that is performance-oriented and,
well, just tidy.  I created it because I have over 80 packages that I use
in Emacs, and things were getting difficult to manage.  Yet with this
utility my total load time is just under 1 second, with no loss of

Here is the simplest `use-package` declaration:

    (use-package foo)

This loads in the package foo, but only if foo is available on your system.
If not, a warning is logged to your `*Messages*` buffer.  If it succeeds, a
message about "Loading foo" is logged -- along with the time it took to load
if that time is over 0.01s.

Use the :init keywoard to do some stuff to initialize foo, but only if foo
actually gets loaded:

    (use-package foo
      (setq foo-variable t)
        (foo-mode 1)))

A very command thing to do when loading a module is to bind a key to
primary commands within that module:

    (use-package ace-jump-mode
      :bind ("C-." . ace-jump-mode))

This does two things: first, it creates autoload for the `ace-jump-mode`
command, and defers loading of `ace-jump-mode` until you actually use it.
Second, it binds the key `C-.` to that command.  After loading, you can use
`M-x describe-personal-keybindings` to see all such bindings you've set
throughout your Emacs.

A more literal way to do the exact same thing is:

    (use-package ace-jump-mode
      :commands ace-jump-mode
      (bind-key "C-." 'ace-jump-mode))

When you use the `:commands` keyword, it creates autoloads for those
commands and defers loading of the module until they are used.  In this
case, the `:init` form is always run -- even if ace-jump-mode might not be
on your system.  So remember to keep `:init` activities to only those that
would succeed either way.

If you aren't used `:commands` or `:bind` (which implies `:commands`), you
can still defer loading with `:defer` keyword:

    (use-package ace-jump-mode
      :defer t
        (autoload 'ace-jump-mode "ace-jump-mode" nil t)
        (bind-key "C-." 'ace-jump-mode)))

This does exactly the same thing as the other two commands above.

A companion to the `:init` keyword is `:config`.  Although `:init` always
happens in the case of deferred modules (which are likely to be the most
common kind), `:config` form only run after the module has been loaded by

    (use-package ace-jump-mode
      :bind ("C-." . ace-jump-mode)
      (message "Yay, ace-jump-mode was actually loaded!"))

You will see a "Configured..." message in your `*Messages*` log when a
package is configured, and a timing if the configuration time was longer
than 0.01s.  You should keep `:init` forms as simple as possible, and put
as much as you can get away with on the `:config` side.

You can have both `:init` and `:config`:

    (use-package haskell-mode
      :commands haskell-mode
      (add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("\\.l?hs$" . haskell-mode))
        (use-package inf-haskell)
        (use-package hs-lint)))

In this case, I want to autoload the command `haskell-mode` from
"haskell-mode.el", add it to `auto-mode-alist` at the time ".emacs" is
loaded, but wait until after I've opened a Haskell file before loading
"inf-haskell.el" and "hs-lint.el".

The `:bind` keyword takes either a cons or a list of conses:

    (use-package hi-lock
      :bind (("M-o l" . highlight-lines-matching-regexp)
             ("M-o r" . highlight-regexp)
             ("M-o w" . highlight-phrase)))

The `:commands` keyword likewise takes either a symbol or a list of

You can use the `:if` keyword to predicate the loading and initialization
of a module.  For example, I only want an `edit-server` running for my
main, graphical Emacs, not for Emacsen I may start at the command line:

    (use-package edit-server
      :if window-system
        (add-hook 'after-init-hook 'server-start t)
        (add-hook 'after-init-hook 'edit-server-start t)))

The `:disabled` keyword can be used to turn off a module that you're having
difficulties with, or to stop loading something you're not really using at
the present time:

    (use-package ess-site
      :disabled t
      :commands R)

Another feature of `use-package` is that it always loads every file that it
can when your ".emacs" is being byte-compiled (if you do that, which I
recommend).  This helps to silence spurious warnings about unknown
variables and functions.

However, there are times when this is just not enough.  For those times,
use the `:defines` keyword to introduce empty variable definitions solely
for the sake of the byte-compiler:

    (use-package texinfo
      :defines texinfo-section-list
      :commands texinfo-mode
      (add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("\\.texi$" . texinfo-mode)))

If you need to silence a missing function warning, do it with an autoload
stub in your `:init` block:

    (use-package w3m
      :commands (w3m-browse-url w3m-session-crash-recovery-remove)
        (autoload 'w3m-search-escape-query-string "w3m-search")))

Lastly, `use-package` provides built-in support for the diminish utility,
if you have that installed.  It's purpose is to remove strings from your
mode-line that would otherwise always be there and provide no useful
information.  It is invoked with the `:diminish` keyword, which is passed
the minor mode symbol:

    (use-package abbrev
      :diminish abbrev-mode
      (if (file-exists-p abbrev-file-name)

      (add-hook 'expand-load-hook
                (lambda ()
                  (add-hook 'expand-expand-hook 'indent-according-to-mode)
                  (add-hook 'expand-jump-hook 'indent-according-to-mode))))

If you noticed that this declaration has neither a `:bind`, `:commands` or
`:defer` keyword: congratulations, you're an A student!  What it means is
that both the `:init` and `:config` forms will be executed when ".emacs" is
loaded, with no delays until later.  Is this useful?  Not really.  I just
happen to like separating my configuration into things that must happen at
startup time, and things that could potentioally wait until after the
actual load.  In this case, everything could be put inside `:init` and
there would be no difference.

* Where to get it

The repository for it is here:

Comments and suggestions are welcome!

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