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Re: ELPA policy

From: Chong Yidong
Subject: Re: ELPA policy
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2010 12:09:52 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Julien Danjou <address@hidden> writes:

> I am currently worried by the Emacs ELPA archive and what will be that
> policy. As Lars pointed out, until now, packages have been added over
> the years into Emacs trunk, maintained by a extended set of skilled
> hands, assuring good quality in (almost :-)) every place of every
> packages furnished with Emacs.

Emacs contains many packages that are maintained "externally".  While
Emacs developers might make small changes to the in-tree version, most
development is done upstream and periodically merged in.  Those upstream
maintainers handle bugfixes and ensure compatibility among Emacs

One good reason to put a package in elpa.gnu.org, rather than in the
Emacs tarball, is if it is likely to benefit only a small segment of
Emacs users (even if it's of tremendous usefulness to that segment).
Especially, but not necessarily, if a package is large and complex, like
Auctex and Muse.

There are other good reasons too, e.g. packages that we want to merge
into Emacs core in the future, but not yet (for whatever reason).

(Incidentally, there are also some packages in Emacs that might be
usefully moved out into elpa.gnu.org, e.g. since they are so rarely
used.  We could also move some of the files in obsolete/ into a
subrepository, e.g. elpa.gnu.org/packages/obsolete)

(Also, as stated before, the FSF's policy is that for a package to be
listed on elpa.gnu.org its copyright must be assigned, in the exact same
way as if it's included in Emacs core.)

> - Who will be able to upload to ELPA?
> - Who will assure there's no really bad things uploaded?

The way it's currently set up is that only a couple of people can upload
to ELPA; package maintainers, when they release a new version, should
email me (or Ted) to get the package uploaded.  The system is still a
work in progress; we might set up a more elaborate "staging area" system
in the future.  (Such a system would still involve a human component, of
course, to reduce the possibility of malicious uploads.)  I will add a
page to the elpa.gnu.org webpage explaining this.

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