I have been playing around with e-lisp more and more lately, and what I have found helps the most is starting with someone else’s code rather than from scratch.
That doesn’t necessarily mean scavenging for random bits of code here and there on GitHub, but could instead be as simple as using one of the many community-driven configurations, such as spacemacs or doom-emacs (both of which use Vim-like bindings by default but can be easily changed) or even some personal ones such as this or this.
These tend to come with extensive documentation, guides and tutorials, and heavily-commented configuration files, so in addition to providing a much nicer out-of-the-box experience they also act as a platform for further experimentation. I’ve learned so much about what’s possible in Emacs-land (and also how it’s possible) just by scrolling through their documentation and source code and tweaking stuff.
That’s exactly what I think the main advantage of Emacs is over most other editors: how active and dedicated its community is to pushing the limits and doing so in a way that is shareable and accessible by others. Sure, Atom and VSCode are scriptable and highly customisable too, but they seem too immature to match the wealth of documentation and code that comes from having such a devoted community over almost 3.5 decades (e-lisp started in 1985!).
With that in mind, I think it would be awesome if we started putting together a beginner-friendly configuration specifically for the live coding community. It could come with sensible defaults and some must-have packages, a guide and/or tutorial videos, the option for more standard bindings (e.g. copy/paste), and most importantly: out-of-the-box support for as many live coding languages and environments as there is an Emacs mode for. Think a configuration file such as this, where a user can comment and uncomment features and languages according to their case.
I’m super keen to work on a project like this if I knew that others would be willing to contribute and could benefit from using it!