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Re: "Write a new package" culture instead of patches?

From: Yoni Rabkin
Subject: Re: "Write a new package" culture instead of patches?
Date: Mon, 18 May 2020 11:22:47 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.91 (gnu/linux)

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

>> From: Philippe Vaucher <address@hidden>
>> Date: Mon, 18 May 2020 07:41:42 +0200
>> Cc: Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden>, "address@hidden" <address@hidden>
>> That said, for those living on github/gitlab/etc compared to ELPA you
>> feel at home... you just open issues, make pull requests & get
>> answered there, you feel "welcome". On ELPA/emacs-devel you don't feel
>> as welcome because of copyright assignments / subscribing to a mailing
>> list / having to create patches and send an email, that plus usually
>> the first answer you receive is that you did your commit message all
>> wrong and that it follows complex rules in a tone that is more serious
>> and "hard work" than what you get on MELPA.
> I think you make the MELPA rules sound easier, and our rules sound
> harder, than they actually are.  I suggest to scan the archives for
> proposals to add new packages to ELPA, where you will see neither the
> need to subscribe to this list, nor the need to create patches and
> email them, nor "all wrong" responses with a certain "tone".  At least
> not in general.

Rules can be a good thing.

I'm the maintainer of GNU/Emms (a media player for Emacs). The people
who distribute Emms on MELPA do a poor job of it (see below), and have
never communicated with us, the Emms developers about it (not even
once). I only discovered about it by chance recently when I went out to
figure out what M/ELPA is, and how I can add Emms to ELPA.

What the MEPLA people are doing that I don't like:

    * Never communicate with the developers of the Emms in any way.

    * Omit many files that come with Emms.

    * Associate Emms with several Emms extensions that live only on
      MELPA and that we, the Emms developers, have never heard
      about. This would give anyone accessing Emms via MELPA that those
      extensions are somehow a part of Emms, when they are not.

      Maybe those extensions are good, in which case I would love for
      the developers to contact us, the Emms developers. But Maybe those
      extensions are bad, don't work, are out of date, or connect with
      non-free services.

    * Not even linking to the Emms home page

Thought and effort goes into packaging each version Emms, and presenting
Emms in the best way. It is a shame to see it ignored by this
distribution system.

Ideas for improvement:

    * Encourage people to speak to the developers of a project before
      packaging it.

    * Find a way of packaging a project as-is. For instance, Emms could
      be distributed as is, and the M/ELPA software could simply point
      at where Emms keeps its .el files for Emacs to find. This is
      instead of how I see ELPA working now, which is to force the
      software through a kind of a sieve (I think ELPA calls it a
      recipe) where only a select few files come out the other end.

      Emms doesn't need a recipe; it already comes organized and
      packaged for working with Emacs.

      It makes me think of taking bread, crumbling it up, the mushing
      those crumbs back together to re-form a new loaf of bread.

   "Cut your own wood and it will warm you twice"

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