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Suppose I structure my Emacs (prelude) customizations like this guy:

https://github.com/NicholasKirchner/prelude/tree/master/personal

What is the load order of these files (for example)?

gnus-init.el
layouts.el
start.el

The load order is sometimes important, because often I'm trying to invoke a function that hasn't been defined yet.

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Emacs will load your init.el file first. Nothing else gets loaded unless init.el says so. You can answer your question by working through init.el and looking for require or load lines, which will be processed in the order they appear. This is recursive, so if init.el requires sourceA.el, and sourceA.el requires sourceB.el, then sourceB.el gets loaded too.

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