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Re: rainbow-mode

From: Chong Yidong
Subject: Re: rainbow-mode
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2010 23:06:34 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Glenn Morris <address@hidden> writes:

> I tried the elpa interface and it seems very nifty, but I do share the
> concerns expressed about what it all means in practice for the
> maintenance of the associated packages. As an "easy way to get a
> package that would otherwise not be in Emacs" (eg AUCTeX), it seems
> really nice; for farming out things that otherwise _would_ be in
> Emacs proper, not so much.

I hear you.  Let's try to clarify the discussion.  There are two classes
of packages that could end up on elpa.gnu.org:

  (i)  Small packages.  Individually, each could be included in the
       tarball, but when the number of such small packages goes into the
       hundreds (*), this eventually becomes problematic.

  (ii) Big packages, like AUCTeX, big enough that including it in Emacs
       would be a momentous decision.

Based on the discussion so far, I think we should give all Emacs hackers
some kind of access to modify the packages.  (For instance, we could set
up a separate "dev-only" version of the package repository, which is
occassionally merged into the "public usage" repository.)

The problem is that if we Emacs hackers start tinkering with everything,
the situation could be headache-inducing.  At first glance, it seems
like we should only feel free to modify the small packages, while
leaving the big ones alone.  But there have made many tweaks made to big
packages built into Emacs, such as CEDET.  These tweaks have to be dealt
with when upstream is merged in, but that's life; they have been very
important in making sure that Emacs works as a coherent whole.

So my question is, do we really want to deal the same issues for AUCTeX
and Muse and Company mode and whatever other big package ends up on
elpa.gnu.org?  This is not a rhetorical question; I don't know the

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