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Re: Bundling GNU ELPA packages

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: Bundling GNU ELPA packages
Date: Fri, 07 Nov 2014 12:00:19 +0900

Stefan Monnier writes:
 > >> In Emacs-25.1, I'd like to start bundling some GNU ELPA packages into
 > >> Emacs.
 > > Now I'm curious.  What's the purpose of having a package system and then
 > > bundling packages?
 > I'm sure the XEmacs guys could tell you ;-)

Well, we have some ideas about that, but in practice we don't.

 > Having a package in ELPA means that it can be updated independently
 > from Emacs.


 > Having packages in elpa.git instead of emacs.git makes their release
 > schedules independent.

This isn't actually true.  Although we haven't put it in practice, the
discussions about it came to the conclusion that package releases are
likely to be frequent in a window before a core release, when there's
more incentive to get things committed and pushed.

 > Having bundled packages in both emacs.git and in elpa.git means
 > 2 branches to keep in sync.

Sure, but I think the question is more "why bundle packages?  why not
have the user use the package manager to get the latest and greatest?"

There are three answers:

1.  Latest is not always greatest.  If you don't keep a stock of
    "bundlable versions" known to be stable, you're putting the users
    at risk.

2.  Convenience: not all users have network connections all the time.

3.  Some modules that users consider "core" functionality may be
    highly decoupled from the "rest of core", and therefore such
    modules benefit from decoupled development cycles, but should be
    bundled so they are immediately available (including to the build

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