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RE: [External] : Re: Convert README.org to plain text README while insta

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: [External] : Re: Convert README.org to plain text README while installing package
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2022 15:10:27 +0000

> maybe I didn't understand your suggestion which
> sounded to me as if you say that there should be
> a mandatory plain-text README to be displayed in
> Emacs plus as many "rich" versions as the package
> author wants.

My suggestion is apparently moot now, as Stefan has
already decided what will/won't be done, wrt GNU ELPA.

But yes I suggested that a plain README be required.

I don't think I said anything about it being displayed.
And I'm pretty sure I didn't say anything about any
other formats _not_ being displayed.

I don't have a set opinion about what should be
displayed by default.  (I'd hope that, whatever is the
default for displaying, users could somehow control
what is actually the case.)

I did say "required".  I later changed the wording to
clarify that I meant something more like "requested
politely", e.g., Please consider supplying a plain

> However, those wouldn't be displayed in Emacs.

No; see above.  I didn't mean to say, and I don't
think I said, anything about what gets displayed.

Now that you bring that up, I guess my preference
would be that package authors can control what gets
displayed by default (see above, about users being
perhaps able to override the default).

But others have brought up the question of needing
this or that tool/infrastructure, to be able to
display this or that "rich" format.  I haven't
been focused on the question of display, except to
say that it takes very little to be able to read
a simple, plain-text readme.

My request for including plain README was just to
include it, not to display it.  Make it available.

> Or rather, they would only be displayed when you
> find-file them inside ~/.emacs.d/elpa/ which is
> quite unlikely to happen (unless the README says
> there are also alternative versions of the package
> destription available).

I hadn't thought about any particular mechanisms
for making this or that format available, or
displaying one or the other format.  My suggestion
(concern) was just to try to get authors to (also)
include a plain README.

> >> Yes, indeed.  I haven't seen anything like that for
> >> markdown (which is probably even more popular for
> >> READMEs than org), though.
> >
> > Even producing a plain-text version by manual editing
> > is likely not a big deal in most cases.  That's my
> > guess, at least.
> Having to synchronize two identical (wrt. contents) versions of a
> document manually, one with markup and one without, is annoying IMO.

As I said, the simple, plain README need not have
the same content as any more elaborate README.*.

Its purpose could be just to let you know something
basic about the package - perhaps even including
instructions for how to display a more elaborate

To me, a plain README could serve as a minimal
place to start, requiring next to no paraphernalia
or infrastructure to read it.  It need not be long
or in any way complete/definitive.  It should at
least serve as minimal help to get going.

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