I felt my init.el file was getting too bloated, so I ended up doing a fair amount of refactoring on it. I moved essentially all the code from init.el into a few directories I made in .emacs.d. Structuring your customizations is pretty important if you ever either need to go back to change them or find them to suggest to others; I do both of these a fair amount, so I spend a fair amount of time organizing my files. I probably ended up erring on the side of too many horizontal files, but I think it should be OK for now.
My .emacs.d directory now has four main elisp directories: customizations, major-modes, minor-modes, and utilities. It also has temporary information, documentation, Clojure, and hopefully everything I need to just be able to check it out and have my full working setup. The customizations and utilities directory are currently flat; They contain small files described for what they modify or are for. For example, the Ibuffer customizations I recently suggested are in ibuffer.el. This does sometimes pose organizational problems; Should changing an variable customizing a minor-mode on entering a major-mode be a customization of the minor-mode or major-mode? I currently go for the major-mode, but this could change if I ever have problems finding anything.
Major-modes and minor-modes contain precisely what they describe; All the major and minor modes I have downloaded. Packages that modify other major modes, such as dired+, do not go in these directories; they still go in the customizations file. These two directories can be arbitrarily nested - I just put the modes in however they are distributed.
After moving all the customizations out of init.el, I had the following left:
(let ((default-directory "~/.emacs.d/")) (add-to-list 'load-path default-directory) (normal-top-level-add-subdirs-to-load-path)) (defun load-directory (dir) (mapcar '(lambda (x) (load-file x)) (directory-files dir t "\\.el$"))) (load-directory "~/.emacs.d/customizations/") (load-directory "~/.emacs.d/utility/")
The first let expression is a simplification of something I blogged about a while ago; It will add all subdirectories of ~/.emacs.d/ to the load-path; this is necessary so that I don’t have to do manual manipulation of the load-path.
The second function is one I wrote to support my refactorings. It will load every elisp file in a directory. It doesn’t support subdirectories, but this wouldn’t be too hard to add if I ever need it. I then just load up my customizations and utility functions and am good to go. I highly recommend doing something similar to this; Splitting your customizations from one big file and aggregating similarities makes it much easier to manage your configuration.