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Re: package and testing rant (was Re: package.el, auto-installation, and

From: Achim Gratz
Subject: Re: package and testing rant (was Re: package.el, auto-installation, and auto-removal)
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2014 19:20:54 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.4 (gnu/linux)

Stefan Monnier writes:
> The "magic step" that turns a directory in elpa.git into a tarball is
> fairly limited currently.  It is basically limited to "create
> <foo>-pkg.el then tar".  Given the desire to limit the number of external
> tools required (which is why we distribute *.tar and not *.tar.gz, for
> example), I think that "tar+untar" is pretty close to the minimum way to
> transfer a directory of files from the developer's machine to the user
> who installs the package.

Yes, but for more complex packages this is too limiting.  What gets
packaged is only ever accidentally exactly the same as the source for
that package.  So the first question to decide would be if elpa.git is a
source archive or a package archive.

> Note that there is a fair bit a pressure to *add* rather than remove
> magic steps (the first candidate in the list is to build the *.info
> files from the *.texi files).

...if it is meant to be a source archive, this is actually quite
sensible.  Why check build results into a source archive?  On the other
hand, if it's just a package archive, then the implicit requirement is
that the sources live someplace else.

To give you an idea of what can be involved in moving from source to
package, this is how Org creates its package archives:


In words, the package and version file, a separate autoload file that
Org needs (in addition to the autoload file that later gets created on
the users' machine) and the documentation all need to be created before
packaging things up.  These steps actually happen in different
directories (lisp/ and doc/) that get stripped directly by tar rather
than copying the files around.

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