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Re: document package.el

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: document package.el
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 21:51:32 +0300

> From: Tom Tromey <address@hidden>
> Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 12:22:56 -0600
> Cc: address@hidden
> Eli> Does package.el really support only .tar files?  That sounds like an
> Eli> unnecessary limitation, since Emacs supports much more.
> Emacs doesn't have built-in support for anything else.  It relies on
> external programs.  Since I think it is best not to rely on the
> environment this way, I purposely limited package.el.

Most environments that have Emacs also have the external programs
needed for the other formats.  The difference between a hard
limitation and a soft one (which is in effect only if the required
program is not available) is that in the former case the user doesn't
have any choice (except to hack package.el), while in the latter she
can install the missing program and be done.

> I still think this was a good decision, because it only affects
> packagers, not users.

"Only packagers"?  What about a package I downloaded from elsewhere?
I don't expect many packages nowadays to come in a .tar format.

> Tom> +  If the package has an info manual, you should distribute the needed
> Tom> +info files, plus a @file{dir} file made with @command{install-info}.
> Eli> Not clear why the `dir' file is needed.  Are you trying to support
> Eli> users that don't have install-info on their systems?
> Yes.


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