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Auto-installing packages?

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Auto-installing packages?
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2018 21:51:09 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Every time I see someone asking for or posting a little Elisp snippet
that automatically installs packages at Emacs startup, I'm wondering how
to answer that need: OT1H I find such requests fundamentally flawed in
terms of security, privacy, and reliability, but OTOH they correspond to
a real desire and lots of our users seem to not only be willing to
forego their security, privacy and reliability for that feature, but
they actually do so.

So, I'm wondering how we could better serve our users by providing them
with an alternative solution to their underlying need, which hopefully
suffers less from those problems.

Maybe some way to have something along the line of autoloads but that
instead of loading the Elisp code from a locally installed package, they
prompt the user explaining that this functionality requires installing
package FOO, etc?


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