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Re: PL support

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: PL support
Date: Mon, 11 May 2020 15:49:11 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

>> The way I see it, currently Emacs de-facto recommends to most of its
>> users to add MELPA to their `package-archives`.
> No, we do nothing of the kind.

We don't say the words, but by only distributing a very small subset of
the Elisp packages (virtually all of which are available on MELPA),
the end result is the same: we merely let *other* people tell our users
where the Elisp packages are.

> Just because everybody and their dog know what MELPA is and how to
> configure Emacs to use it, doesn't mean _we_ told them.  Exactly like
> we don't "recommend" using MS-Windows, although quite a few of Emacs
> users do, witness the discussions on Reddit as one example.

MS-Windows?  Really?

Do you really think some people have installed MS-Windows in order to be
able to use Emacs?

> Why in the world is that important?  Configuring Emacs to work with
> MELPA is exceedingly simple, and the way to do that for any random
> SITE is in the manual.  Why would anyone need that we say the M-word??

Here's how it works for a beginning user of Emacs, in my experience:

1- Install Emacs.
2- Try it out.
3- It doesn't handle their OCaml code, doesn't give them any
   completions while they type, nothing.
4- They search the web for an answer.
5- The answer tells them to install those things from MELPA.
6- They wonder why on earth it's not enabled by default since it's
   a matter of a couple lines and you can't do anything without it.
7- Now it's enabled, so they have direct easy access to some packages
   that recommend proprietary software.

In which sense does this better promote Emacs and Free Software than if
we enabled a MELPA-Libre by default in `package-archives`?

> I still don't understand the motivation.  I cannot understand why we
> need to argue and quarrel so much on behalf of some site about which
> everyone already knows.

I don't understand either.  The current situation seems so obviously
sub-optimal and so easy to fix.


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