.emacs, To Start With

This isn't an original recipe, but this is how I kick off my .emacs settings to ensure that my-packages are auto-installed.

;;; Package magic.
(require 'package)

(add-to-list 'package-archives '("melpa" . "http://melpa.milkbox.net/packages/"))

(defvar my-packages '(evil key-chord helm elscreen ace-jump-mode
                           surround recentf magit)
  "A list of packages to check for and install at launch.")

(defun my-missing-packages ()
  (let (missing-packages)
    (dolist (package my-packages missing-packages)
      (or (package-installed-p package)
          (push package missing-packages)))))

(let ((missing (my-missing-packages)))
  (when missing
    ;; Check for new packages (package versions)
    ;; Install the missing packages
    (mapc (lambda (package)
            (when (not (package-installed-p package))
              (package-install package)))