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Re: package.el, auto-installation, and auto-removal

From: Ted Zlatanov
Subject: Re: package.el, auto-installation, and auto-removal
Date: Fri, 07 Nov 2014 09:12:01 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.130012 (Ma Gnus v0.12) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

On Fri, 07 Nov 2014 08:45:51 -0500 Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> wrote: 

SM> `package.el' is great to install packages more easily, but it falls short
SM> when you want to keep the same set of installed packages on various
SM> machines, or when it's time to remove package you don't need because it
SM> doesn't distinguish between the packages you want and those required
SM> by those packages.

SM> So I'm looking for some kind soul who could extend package.el so as to
SM> keep track of the packages that the user installed explicitly.
SM> This should likely be kept in a custom variable.

SM> Then we could add a command to install all the packages listed in
SM> that variable.  And we could also write a function that deletes all
SM> "orphan" packages.

(CC to Robert Dallas Gray, Pallet's author)

Pallet does this: https://github.com/rdallasgray/pallet

I am not crazy about Cask because it requires Python, but the simplicity
of Pallet itself is appealing.  It uses advice and can be easily
improved to integrate better with package.el with a few hooks.

Pallet is GPL-ed and I don't know if the author would be interested in
assigning the copyright to Emacs and modifying Pallet to support a
non-Cask package maintenance backend. If that was possible, the problem
would be reduced to writing that backend and the package.el hooks.
Otherwise I think at least looking at pallet.el is worthwhile.


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