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Re: Emacs Package Management

From: Phil Hagelberg
Subject: Re: Emacs Package Management
Date: Fri, 01 Aug 2008 16:14:41 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

Tom Tromey <address@hidden> writes:

> Stephen> Does anyone see a major flaw in a system like that? Or is it
> Stephen> a matter of "show me the code and I'll comment"? ELPA could
> Stephen> be the starting point.
> There was a discussion a while ago on this list.  RMS wanted to
> restrict the available packages to those which had been assigned to
> the FSF, but I did not agree with that.
> I would reconsider my position if the Emacs maintainers were
> interested -- I think it would be useful to Emacs users if there were
> a simple, standard way to install and activate packages.
> However, this would still not help you directly, because I think some
> of the packages you want are not assigned.  So, you would have to
> solve that problem as well.

As the original author of rinari, I can see a place for packages in such
a system that are not part of Emacs, but still have their copyright
assigned to the FSF. I have a number of elisp packages that are not
candidates for inclusion in Emacs (for a number of reasons, including
rapid change rate, usage of the CL library, or just limited appeal), and
I would be glad to assign copyright over if it meant that they could be
distributed via a built-in package manager.

This would make them much, much easier to install and try out, which I
think is a big win for the overall Elisp ecosystem. People are more
likely to get interested and contribute if you lower the barrier to
trying new things.

It seems the debate so far has been held in terms of "packaging system"
vs "don't make it too easy to install non-FSF-copyrighted code", but I
don't think the two need to be mutually exclusive.


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