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Re: ELPA policy

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: ELPA policy
Date: Sun, 08 Nov 2015 19:49:42 +0200

> From: Achim Gratz <address@hidden>
> Date: Sun, 08 Nov 2015 18:18:26 +0100
> I posit that the only thing that actually matters for something to be
> considered "core" is that authors of other packages can rely on the
> (stable) API provided by these packages to be available in an Emacs as
> it gets distributed and no installation of further packages or software
> is necessary, neither by the sysadmin nor the user.  If so, instead of
> keeping the "core" sources all in Emacs, they could equally well be
> living in ELPA and be pre-installed into the distribution, or installed
> into the Emacs build tree as submodules or subtrees.

IMO, no serious move such as this one should be argued for, let alone
attempted, without some minimal analysis of advantages and
disadvantages.  In particular, such an analysis cannot be limited to
the POV of maintainers of packages tat are currently not bundled, it
must first and foremost look at this from the POV of the Emacs
maintenance, definitely if the argument is to leave in the Emacs
repository only what's needed for bootstrap.

And any change in maintenance routine, small or large, should have
enough advantages to justify the energy that will certainly go into
the move itself and into cleaning up the resulting fallout.

I don't see how we can seriously discuss such suggestions when they
are not accompanied by anything like the analysis they need.

> The most radical (and likely most controversial) thing to do would
> be to move everything to ELPA that isn't needed to bootstrap Emacs.

Most such packages don't have any active maintainers, i.e. they are
maintained by the "FSF", which means us the core developers.  IMO, it
makes very little sense to spread the stuff we maintain between 2
separate repositories, because all this does is add overhead and
complexity without any clear benefits that I could see.

Another important aspect that this suggestion seems to overlook is
that Emacs packages rely on others not only via APIs, but also by
inheritance, like all the modes that derive from Text mode etc.

> Doing this would need some as of yet non-existing infrastructure to get
> the chosen ELPA version of each package built into the distribution, and
> facilities for sysadmins and users to update (but not disable) the
> "core" packages at the system level or in their private directories.

Yes, and the effort this will require is squarely in the disadvantages

Let me turn the table and ask: Are there any _advantages_ in moving
stuff like Dired, CC Mode, Shell Mode, Speedbar, and ps-print, to name
just a random few?

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