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Re: Auto-installing packages?

From: Phillip Lord
Subject: Re: Auto-installing packages?
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2018 12:48:49 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.1.50 (gnu/linux)

Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> writes:

>> I use `use-package' to "automatically" install packages for me.
> How does it work?
> Doesn't this silently install at startup the packages you specified?
> I really dislike the "silently" part (and am not too happy about doing
> all of it at startup either).

Yep. It runs "package-install". It's not silent, since you get all the
install messages. And, yes, doing it as part of startup is very slow
iff none of the packages are installed. Also, it breaks startup if a
package installation fails.

Still this only happens when you use Emacs on a new machine or in my
case, when I change Emacs version.

> Another related issue is the "auto-upgrade" part.  This one is worse
> because it seems to inevitably involve some kind of "polling" of
> a central server, which I find to be a serious privacy issue.

It doesn't autoupdate, although it's simple to make it do so, but
automating the "package-refresh, update-all" cycle. A privacy issue,
yes, maybe, although it's not massively different from running this

>> The auto-installing, autoload would be nice. It would answer the
>> long-standing desire to incorporate ELPA packages more deeply into
>> Emacs.
> Indeed, there's the problem of installing those auto-install-autoloads,

There is a practical issue with handling it *just like* autoloads. At
the moment, autoloads happens in the command-loop. So, from nearly
anywhere. That's okay, because if an autoloaded package cannot be
autoloaded, then Emacs has some pretty major issues.

Installing a package over a network is a much more failable process.

> and admittedly, for GNU ELPA packages we could imagine pre-installing
> them for all GNU ELPA packages, but I'd like for it to be easy enough to
> setup to convince most users to use the same mechanism for
> MELPA packages.
> Also, pre-installing them for GNU ELPA packages obviously will only
> handle those packages that are part of GNU ELPA when Emacs is released.

No, you misunderstand me. You don't need to pre-install this way. You
release "Emacs without ELPA", but include
"auto-install-autoloads". Emacs will get bigger this way over time.


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