When it dawned on me how much I rely on these tools generously provided to me at no cost, and how much value they bring, I finally bit the bullet and started sponsoring @bbatsov on Github Sponsors.
If you're in the same position, be it with Prelude, CIDER, Projectile, or Rubocop, please do the same!
In general, if you have some other free/open-source packages that you rely on in your work, I urge you to contribute financially to their development. Software needs manpower to thrive, and manpower needs financial support to be sustainable.
(Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with these packages in any way, other than being a happy user.)
In many cases I work on projects that use an open source package where donations are the only means of support (if possible at all). I could never get a client to 'donate' €500 but I can easily approve €1000 for software support or licensing.
The "UX" in the case of Prelude is basically a curated set of "plug-ins" that "just work" and are organized in a way that is easier to maintain than if you accreted your dotemacs file over the course of years (or decades).
Prelude is a really low-friction way to get started with emacs "the right way" if you're choosing to go down that rabbit hole.
I don't want to see a screenshot. I want to see a heat map on the keys my left pinkie is responsible for.
I can say absolute certainty that more inveterate emacs users would rather see
a screenshot than a litany of keybindings.
As a long-time emacs user (dear god, it's been 28 years?!), I'd like a more concrete description before considering trying it. Exactly which curated third party packages and UX? Or at least list the major ones.
Otherwise, nice effort. IMHO baseline distrib of emacs has made some odd choices that I think put some people off who might have given it a try.
I'm at around a quarter-century with emacs, too, but I tried Prelude a few years ago when I was looking to integrate magit into my workflows better and became interested in projectile.el. I ended up changing a few of the initial defaults, but I must say that I found Batsov's set up very clean and logical. I ended up adopting some of his choices even on packages I'd already set up for myself. The thing that had always irritated me about things like Evil and Spacemacs, even CUA-mode, was the attempt to make emacs something it wasn't--Prelude, on the other hand, felt like emacs properly tuned.
I've moved on to my own curated set now, but quite a few bits migrated from Batsov's work into my own, and I still look at the source for Prelude if I'm looking at incorporating some package into my personal setup.
If you have these set up already, and like the way you have them set up, don't switch. Instead, consider whether you'd benefit from crux, which is where they moved all the formerly unique-to-Prelude stuff:
If you get confused just go back to the CLI: it's easy to go back and forth, no magic.
If someone wants a great starting point for an Emacs config, I'd recommend Prelude.
Doom or Spacemacs really transmogrify Emacs into VSCode or whatnot -- I feel like I'm losing control of my Emacs config as they have layers and layers of elisp.
Doom is just a git repo you check out into .emacs.d. It has no state other than updating your git repo to update Doom, and some cache files that can be removed at any time. It's way easier for me to reason about what's going on and to tweak things to my liking, and to have a consistent experience across multiple machines. You can run one command 'SPC-h-d-m' to go directly to the source code of any doom module and edit it and view what it does.
It's not perfect (far too many regressions IMO across versions), but for the first time I feel like I have a super productive Emacs that I can actually grok and modify as a non-Emacs master.
I used to have a large messy emacs config.Not anymore.
Not a full distribution like Spacemacs or Doom. Just vanilla emacs with everything I need!
My vanilla .emacs only has 321, but I'm mostly just using org-mode and org-roam with a couple of extras.
There's some info on https://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/GuileEmacs but no definitive, recent "current state" section.
My .emacs.d is still technically a fork of Prelude, but I've gradually been replacing parts with use-package, since that seems like a more lightweight, generic, declarative, modular approach to Emacs config these days.
Is it easy or in any way advisable or otherwise a good idea to use Emacs with Vim keybindings---coming from a Vim background?
The advantage of using one of those over something like prelude + evil, is that the whole community tends to use the vim bindings, so all the supplementary material is oriented toward that sort of input, and your chances of getting questions answered goes way up.
Most often I just use TRAMP now for remote editing, instead of trying to switch between vim and emacs throughout the day or installing emacs on all of my servers.
At the same time, that's another reason I haven't yet tried evil-mode: it's such a massive change to the defaults that I worry I wouldn't be able to use a vanilla install of emacs successfully. But I guess I would be able to use vim instead. I probably overthink these things.