> I must say that I find it far from obvious that it's unwieldy.
I guess 30 packages isn't necessarily unwieldy. I'll rephrase - I have had many times where I start on a new machine with a newly installed emacs, and I would like for all 30 packages to be installed automatically (instead of manually) when they are missing (i keep my .emacs in a git repository). Furthermore, with 30 packages, I would like all these packages to only load when necessary, so it doesn't take several seconds to start emacs. The macro "use-package" solves both these problems for me, but it fails when trying to auto-install and use AUCTeX. (FWIW, it looks like there is a workaround that people use specifically for AUCTeX by "requiring" tex-site).
> By that do you mean that you first go through the trouble of disabling
> the normal automatic setup done by ELPA packages, and then setup
> use-package for each and every one of those packages, partly redoing by
> hand what the ELPA package's normal setup would have done for you?
I was disabling some of the automatic setup. My original purpose of this was to try to reduce my emacs startup time.
> Auto-installing a list of packages seems mostly unrelated to whether
> (and how) you configure them, tho.
It does seem that way, but it is convenient (and I'm probably not the one to argue on behalf of use-package).
> Sounds like a problem with use-package.
I'm not really determining if the blame lies with AUCTeX and/or use-package. What I am saying is that use-package is pretty popular and it works seamlessly with my other packages but does not seem to work as seamlessly with AUCTeX. It could be there's no requirement that a feature is named the same as the package, it just seems the majority do (at least in my experience, which is much more limited than the rest of you)
But I agree, if there were a warning when AUCTeX is loaded the wrong way, that would be a big help.
Thanks for your comments.
I decided to go to extra length to not run (package-initialize) because it was significantly slowing my emacs start time and running (package-initialize t) made it start faster.