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Re: Adding advisory notification for non-ELPA package.el downloads

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Adding advisory notification for non-ELPA package.el downloads
Date: Sat, 08 Jul 2017 13:03:44 -0400

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[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
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The goal here is to avoid having packages end up in the situation
Magit is in now.

They get into that situation because developers accept contributions
without thinking of legal papers.  They get contributions from one
person, then another, then another 50 people, then another 50.

The way to avoid this is by showing people what the situation is like
and how they can avoid it.  We need to educate the whole Emacs Lisp
development community.

  > > I have a feeling that a lot of
  > > package authors choose MELPA because the barrier to entry is so low, and 
  > > may not realize how easy it is to get it into Emacs as well.

  > Try asking the MELPA developers about including that paragraph (or a 
  > modified version) somewhere near the instructions for publishing 
  > packages to MELPA.

That notice approach won't be effective, because people would only see
the notice when they have a package ready to use.  That is too late.
We want people to think of this when they START developing the

To inform Emacs users when they load a package from outside ELPA would
be more effective, because they would see it earlier -- well before
they think about putting it in a repository.

That approach would do the job, but it is not perfect.  It is not
perfectly targeted.

Here's an idea that might be better targeted.

The idea is to display a notice when the user edits a file in Emacs
Lisp mode (other than .emacs).  The code could avoid displaying the
notice more than once per week -- using a timestamp for the last time
it was displayed.

To avoid these problems is important.  By comparison, this occasional
small annoyance is a small matter.

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation (gnu.org, fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (internethalloffame.org)
Skype: No way! See stallman.org/skype.html.

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