Use fake built-in packages to organize your GNU Emacs config

By using use-package, you can organize your ~/.config/emacs/init.el file and group related settings together by package. So, for instance, you can both install and setup the company package by using the code below:

(use-package company
  (setq company-dabbrev-downcase nil)
  (setq company-idle-delay 0.5)
  :hook (after-init . global-company-mode))

You can do something similar even for settings that are not related to any specific package. For instance, you can create a fake package called saner-defaults so all your settings related to improving GNU Emacs' default settings are in the same place:

(use-package saner-defaults
  :straight '(saner-defaults :type built-in)
  (setq inhibit-startup-message t)
  (column-number-mode 1)
  (scroll-bar-mode -1)
  (tool-bar-mode -1)
  (menu-bar-mode 1)
  (add-hook 'after-init-hook #'global-display-line-numbers-mode)
  (setq frame-resize-pixelwise t)

  (provide 'saner-defaults'))

You can have multiple of these throughout your config file and you can even use them to, for instance, make sure your code only runs after multiple packages have been installed. As another example, you can have something like this:

(use-package all-themes
  :straight '(all-themes :type built-in)
  :after modus-themes gruvbox-theme dracula-theme
         color-theme-sanityinc-tomorrow ef-themes
         everforest-theme kaolin-themes
  (load-theme ars/dark-theme t)
  (set-face-attribute 'default nil
		      :font ars/dark-font
		      :height ars/dark-height
		      :weight 'normal
		      :width ars/dark-width)

  (provide 'all-themes))

Which will wait until all the themes listed after :after are loaded before running the code under :init. The secret for this to work is to use a custom Straight recipe using the built-in type. In the examples above, the recipes were, respectivelly, '(saner-defaults :type built-in) and '(all-themes :type built-in).

Also, don't forget to include (provide 'the-name-you-chose') at the end of the :init block so that straight/use-package thinks the package was actually loaded.

For a full example of how a file using this technique looks like, take a look at my ~/.config/emacs/init.el in GitHub.

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