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Re: elpa.gnu.org packages requiring external packages

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: elpa.gnu.org packages requiring external packages
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2018 11:13:35 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

>>     > ebdb-i18n-chn    # needs "pyim"

BTW, I think Emacs comes with 99% of what's needed already (it does
have a pinyin table and looking at pyim-hanzi2pinyin, there doesn't
seem to be much more to it), so maybe we could add to Emacs a function
equivalent to pyim-hanzi2pinyin and get rid of this dependency.

[ Of course, we should also try and get pyim.el into GNU ELPA, but those
  two are orthogonal.  ]

>>     > helm-ebdb        # needs "helm"

Clearly, getting Helm into GNU ELPA would be great.

Also, looking at the code I see 2 dependencies:
- the helm-ebdb function uses helm-other-buffer: so the helm-ebdb
  function is basically a specialized entry point into Helm, so it is
  useless without Helm.
- half the other functions call helm-marked-candidates.

So, if we could get rid of the second dependency, I'd argue that the
helm-ebdb package could be useful on its own (i.e. even without Helm),
for example it could be used with some (hypothetical) other
Helm-like framework.

IOW if we could get rid of the second dependency, then I think it would
make sense to remove `helm` as a dependency (and probably just merge
helm-ebdb into ebdb).  So my question here is: why do we need to call

Is there some way to get Helm to pass us the list of candidates as an
argument (i.e. pass us what we compute via (or (helm-marked-candidates)
(list candidate)))?  If not, maybe we should make this a feature request
in Helm, to make the API between Helm and its backend functions such
that the backend functions don't need to call Helm function.


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