One of the downsides of Emacs for me is figuring out configuration on my own, so I understand the appeal of having a solid common platform that’s made a lot of common-sense choices for me. You can see that that’s pretty common, with Bozhidar Batsov’s Prelude and Spacemacs (and others, such as Phil Hagelberg’s Emacs Starter Kit) becoming increasingly popular. I know I’ve spent more time than I’d like bending Emacs to my will (or, as it sometimes feels like, meekly trying to persuade it to be nice to me).
When I first heard about Spacemacs, the impression I got was that it was targeted for Vim users, with a lot of focus put on its evil-mode support. Having not been a Vim user, that didn’t have much appeal to me. Recently I’ve heard that it’s now pretty good for general Emacs use, so I decided to give it a try for a couple of weeks using only a Spacemacs config. I’m now back on my old Emacs config. The pain points for me (some echoing @anurag.peshne’s comment above :
It’s yet another configuration system to figure out.
use-package on it’s own (and
package.el and ELPA before it) has greatly simplified my emacs config.
.spacemacs feels like another layer of abstraction that is hiding things rather than making things simpler.
And Emacs has been around for a long time, so many of the examples of how to do things are based on . Figuring out how to properly use these examples with Spacemacs has been frustrating.
It still seems more Vim/modal-focused than I like, even when using holy-mode. I’m not a modal-mode fan, so I understand this is a personal preference.
It definitely felt slower than my old setup. I’m sure part of that is because it’s loading much more. This is during use, not initial load. And moving back, it feels lighter.
I think I’d still like to find a great baseline Emacs config with sensible defaults, though I’m increasingly leaning towards the realization that I’ve got enough customization that I’m familiar with at this point that no one starter kit is going to give me what I want without some pain. Perhaps I’ll try Spacemacs or one of the other options available sometime in the future. With other tooling challenges in the Clojure universe to contend with, dealing with my editor isn’t something I’m willing to spend a lot of additional time on.
And one of the great things about Emacs is that each of us can use it how we want to. I’m glad there are efforts like Spacemacs out there tackling these types of problems because it’s something we can all benefit from, even if just partially.