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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: Mon, 10 Nov 2014 21:59:31 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.130012 (Ma Gnus v0.12) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

On Mon, 10 Nov 2014 21:26:14 -0500 Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> wrote: 

>> I provided URLs to Pallet's repo on Github and to Nic's comparison of
>> Cask (which Pallet uses underneath) and elpakit (the comparison is on
>> the elpakit repo home page, also on Github).  I described how Pallet
>> currently works with advice and how it could be improved to use hooks.
>> Sorry if I didn't explain things better.  What's unclear?

SM> I guess I just don't understand what those things do, nor how they do
SM> it, and your explanations didn't really help.


SM> E.g. does one of those things make it so that M-x package-install will
SM> add the package to some list of "explicitly installed packages"?
SM> If so, which tool, and how does it do it?  AFAICT it can only do that
SM> via advice currently.  Of course, it can be changed to use hooks, but
SM> why bother, when we can just modify package-install directly?

Pallet hooks (through advice) into package installations, plus it can
discover the starting list of packages. It then maintains a Cask file.
So it does what you asked for at the beginning of this thread, but
relays the actual package management to Cask.

I agree that the integration of (Pallet|elpakit) can be as tight as we
want, no need for hooks.

Cask manages a list of packages in an external file. It's aware of
dependencies, repos, etc. and is quite popular for its ease of use. As
Phillip Lord said, bundling Cask would remove its Python requirement and
perhaps improve the user experience with package.el and the various

I would love to hear from people that actively use Pallet/Cask or
elpakit. I've used el-get and use-package over the last few years, and
tried Pallet/Cask only recently as I heard about them from friends.


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