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

From: Dmitry Gutov
Subject: Re: Adding advisory notification for non-ELPA package.el downloads
Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2017 03:39:45 +0300
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:54.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/54.0

On 7/8/17 8:03 PM, Richard Stallman wrote:

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.

It's not that serious. Most packages are created and maintained by a single developer, with only minor contributions from users.

There are big ones where that's not true, but they older, and they have surely considered going the ELPA route already.

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.

The nagging approach can just as likely alienate users. We already have a lot of those that scoff at the conditions of contributing to Emacs. Saying that the hassle is negligible (and saying that often, in users' faces) is unlikely to improve the situation.

It's better to work on streamlining the copyright assignment process and have a separate campaign (outside of our precious Emacs) to encourage developers to do it.

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

This distinction doesn't matter much. When someone starts developing a package, and until they publish it, they work alone in 99.9% cases.

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.

I think it would be targeted perfectly: "Want to publish a package? Here's what you need to do to publish it where *every* Emacs user will be able to install it from!"

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.

You might want to consider the idea that public relations is not your best skill.

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