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Re: Imports / inclusion of s.el into Emacs

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Imports / inclusion of s.el into Emacs
Date: Thu, 07 May 2020 22:49:23 -0400

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  > Now, what I stated is that it would be immoral to permit this to continue:
  > Immoral is a strong word. I should have used

Thank you for taking back that word.  It hurt my feelings.

   > "unfair" or "untenable".

Or perhaps "Would have a significant drawback"?  That I can agree with
you about.  Still, it may be the best choice available under the

  > Q: So what could we do, technically, to remedy the situation? A: Provide
  > a way for the package to have a longer prefix *and*  package users
  > to use it with a short prefix.

I agree that would be the ideal outcome, but it is easier said than done.

In the 1980s, developing the Lisp Machine and Common Lisp, we designed
a namespace (called "package") system the best way we could see, and
it turned out so problematic in use that I concluded the best practice
was never to use it nontrivially.  Thus I decided, when writing Emacs
Lisp to, to avoid conflicts by means of name prefixes, and not have
packages at all.

However, the state of the art may have advanced since then.  This week
you said there was a kind of namespace system for Lisp that works well
and avoids those problems.  If that is true, it could be a good

I couldn't follow how that worksn or why it is better.  That is not
your fault.  I was so overloaded and hurried that I didn't have time
for careful reading of your technical arguments.  Thus, at present I
have not seen a demonstration that we have a good solution.

I am not saying we don't, only that I don't know enough to judge.

Another obstacle for my reading those messages was that you were
responding to other people's questions, which were not the same
questions that I need to understand.

Can you show me programmer's intro to using a package system of the
sort you're advocating?  I think I could tell what I need to know from

After that, would you be willing to talk with me by voice so I can
understand enough to see whether this is a good solution?

Dr Richard Stallman
Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project (https://gnu.org)
Founder, Free Software Foundation (https://fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)

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