Doing anything much with Emacs customization used to require learning Lisp, but this hasn't been true for perhaps a decade. One of the problems with long-lived projects is that they acquire reputations which they then drag around long after they are no longer accurate.
(In any case, it's not as if elisp is very hard to learn, at least not to the depth required to customize Emacs. I learnt that much of it in two hours when I was twelve from the emacs-lisp-intro...)
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