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Re: Proposals for fixing package-initialize

From: Thien-Thi Nguyen
Subject: Re: Proposals for fixing package-initialize
Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2017 18:28:56 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.0.50 (gnu/linux)

() Radon Rosborough <address@hidden>
() Sun, 3 Sep 2017 22:31:57 -0700

   This email is an attempt to present all the proposals that
   have been discussed, in an even-handed way, so that we can
   make a decision without everyone needing to have read the
   aforementioned 150 emails.

Cool, thanks!  I now feel less guilty skimming through that
backlog.  I appreciate the clear presentation style, too.

   ==> Proposal F: Use more declarative configuration

     - make it so that packages can be configured in a way that
       causes package-initialize to be called automatically

     - would solve all the problems

     - nobody has any idea how to do this
     - and it would probably take several years anyway

This strikes me as the best long-term fix (i.e., defining a data
format, thus giving space to various package manglers to bloom,
wither and die around it, improving it as time goes on).

It's hyperbole to say nobody has any idea, however -- there are
several general text-oriented serialization formats that people
have already defined (e.g., YAML, JSON, sexps).  Any of these
can be easily adapted to the package-metadata domain.  Re time,
granted, settling on a suitable filename extension might take
years (i'll throw out ".epdef" for "Emacs package definition"),
but i think a few weeks (months) of nailing down .epdef by one
person (serial) would inspire very rapid (re-)development of
programs afterwards (parallel) resulting in overall wall-time of
much less than several years.

Sez Perlis:

 We kid ourselves if we think that the ratio of procedure to
 data in an active data-base system can be made arbitrarily
 small or even kept small.

so the trick for Someone will be to define ONLY a data format,
and refrain from stepping into "an active data-base system" (as
much as possible -- w/ Emacs, there be hooks a-lurking 'neath).

Thien-Thi Nguyen -----------------------------------------------
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