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

From: Yann Hodique
Subject: Re: Adding advisory notification for non-ELPA package.el downloads
Date: Sat, 08 Jul 2017 20:04:42 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.2 (darwin)

>>>>> "Clément" == Clément Pit-Claudel <address@hidden> writes:

> On 2017-07-07 21:59, John Wiegley wrote:
>> I have a feeling that a lot of package authors choose MELPA because
>> the barrier to entry is so low, and they may not realize how easy it
>> is to get it into Emacs as well.

> It's not that they doesn't realize how easy it is: it's that it's
> not easy.

> Getting into MELPA requires a writing a one-line Lisp form and
> submitting it for inclusion.  Getting into ELPA requires subtle git
> invocations that end up mashing up the history of your project with
> that of tens of others, while fearing to break the entire ELPA repo
> because of a missing copyright line in a test file.

> And ELPA makes maintaining the package more painful, too: picking out
> the commits made by others and copying them on your personal repo
> requires further arcane git invocations — same for importing new
> commits from your personal repo. And of course you lose other MELPA
> goodies, like getting download statistics.

> For now, the main motivation to publish on ELPA is ideological — not
> practical. My feeling is that package authors chose not to publish on
> ELPA because they get all they need from MELPA, for a fraction of the
> invested time.


I'd also like to add a few things:

- some package authors *do not* choose MELPA, MELPA chooses them. Most
  of my packages are in MELPA without me ever asking for it, it's just
  that somebody else cared enough.

- let's not trivialize the act of assigning copyright. It's *not*
  a neutral action (if it was, it wouldn't be required...), and it's
  definitely *not* only about signing some paper. For many people it
  involves researching whether it's actually meaningful or legal to do
  so, depending on their country of citizenship and/or residence. In
  some cases it means selling the idea to their employer (who frequenly
  is the default copyright owner of all their work) which can easily be
  met with scepticism and resistance from legal departments: personally
  it took me more than 2 months to complete that particular
  conversation, just because it's a highly unusual request and people
  didn't understand what was the need.

Bottom-line there are legal implications beyond licensing to doing so
(which is again the whole point), and that can never be as simple as
handling licensing alone. I would consider it quite misleading if those
aspects were glossed over: I fear that would only encourage people to
sign without understanding what it's about.

Proactively contacting elisp developers to ask them if they would
consider a copyright assignment (mentioning the benefit of potential
bundling with Emacs, along with the rest of the implications) seems much
more OK to me.

my 2¢


It is your fate, forgetfulness.  All of the old lessons of life, you lose and 
gain and lose and gain again.

  -- Leto II, the Voice of Dar-es-Balat

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