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Re: ELPA policy

From: Lars Magne Ingebrigtsen
Subject: Re: ELPA policy
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2010 19:53:37 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.110011 (No Gnus v0.11) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Chong Yidong <address@hidden> writes:

> 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).

The reason that I raised the question now was that I was trying to
figure out how to do reasonable colour distance calculations for
rendering foreground colours in shr.el.  rainbow-mode (for colourising
colour specs in, for instance, CSS files) was brought up, that had
similar needs, and its calculations in the same area might possibly be
reusable by shr.el.

But apparently rainbow-mode went to ELPA instead of into Emacs, even
though it's small, it's clearly written, and it seems to be generally
useful for anybody editing stuff like CSS or .Xdefaults files or
anything.  So I wondered why that was...

> 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.

If ELPA is supposed to be a repository of really special-needs code, I
think it's a good idea.  It would be nice to have an automatic way to
download, say, one of the Emacs-based mp3 players.  But if it's going to
carry stuff that people do really want to have in the Emacs
distribution, then I think it's counter-productive.

Stuff that is in Emacs gets loving care.  When url.el needs tweaking
(for instance), people step up to the plate and makes sure that it
works.  Things that live in a package repository bit-rot at an alarming
rate.  One of the great things about Emacs is that when you "apt-get
install emacs", you get a fully-featured system where you can be
reasonably sure that things work.  Over-modularisation can be costly in
the long run.

(domestic pets only, the antidote for overdose, milk.)
  address@hidden * Lars Magne Ingebrigtsen

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