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bug#11410: 24.1.50; package.el `emacs' package information is broken


From: Toby Cubitt
Subject: bug#11410: 24.1.50; package.el `emacs' package information is broken
Date: Sat, 5 May 2012 16:51:54 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Sat, May 05, 2012 at 09:23:16AM -0400, Stefan Monnier wrote:
> > Surely the idea is for packages to refuse to even *install* under Emacs
> > versions where they won't work (package.el displays an "emacs x.x not
> > available" in this case.)
> [...]
> > That seems like a useful feature to me.
> 
> Preventing users to do what they want doesn't sound useful to me (as
> I was recently reminded when gparted obnoxiously refused to work on my
> USB stick, arguing that I need to be root to use it, even though I had
> write-access to it,
[...]

Sure, I share your annoyance with bogus refusals to run. (The number of
sudoer entries I have just to work-around this kind of annoyance is
steadily growing).

But I don't think this is analogous. Package.el already prevents users
from installing a package if dependencies can't be met. Why should an
emacs version dependency behave any differently?

This sounds to me more like a good argument for adding a "force" option
to `package-install', to make it ignore dependency failures. (Most
package managers have an option like this, usually with a scary warning
about potential breakage.)

Toby

PS: I'm not actually using emacs version dependencies any more. After
discovering this breakage, I decided they were superfluous anyway in my
case. Nonetheless, either this bug needs fixing, or the `emacs' virtual
package needs to be removed entirely and the Elisp manual updated.
-- 
Dr T. S. Cubitt
Mathematics and Quantum Information group
Department of Mathematics
Complutense University
Madrid, Spain

email: address@hidden
web:   www.dr-qubit.org





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