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Re: Friendly discussion about (package-initialize)

From: Mark Oteiza
Subject: Re: Friendly discussion about (package-initialize)
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2017 16:00:58 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:
>> > If we call package-initialize from startup.el, why does it have to
>> > also be called from the init files?
>> IMO, it should not be called anywhere. I think having it only called
>> in startup.el would be a reasonable compromise. Having Emacs insist on
>> putting the call into the init-file, but then *also* calling it in
>> startup.el, makes no sense.
> Thanks, but that doesn't really answer my question.  I asked why do we
> put a call to package-initialize into user init file when we already
> have that very call in startup.el.

The form is put there in order to coddle users who copy-paste
configurations a) into their init files, or b) in Customize settings,
that use symbols from packages before the packages are (auto-)loaded.

To quote the implementer (from this thread[2]):

> Another consequence is that users can't paste
> configurations into their init file in the way that 90% of the
> (emacs-related) internet is telling them to.
> By adding the chosen snippet to the user's init file we are preventing
> this sort of problem for new users, instead of telling them it's their
> fault for not understanding package.el.

FWIW here are some other links to threads surrounding the issue when it
was being debated/implemented:

[0] https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-devel/2015-03/msg00897.html
[1] https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-devel/2015-03/msg01016.html
[2] https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-devel/2015-04/msg00002.html

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