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Re: Adding use-package to core

From: Po Lu
Subject: Re: Adding use-package to core
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2022 20:19:34 +0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13)

xenodasein@tutanota.de writes:

> Practically all the programming languages or programs we support keep
> evolving yet our code is finished?  Surely you can see how this
> contradicts the whole point of software lifecycle wisdom?

I can maybe see how it contradicts consumerist wisdom, but not any other

> The example is the commit history, and the number of people rushing in
> to help maintain old Emacs code they didn't originally write.

That is not a specific example, or even a useful one.

> Crucial point here being Michael A. actually does the hard work and
> TRAMP is not one of the orphans.

And Michael is the TRAMP maintainer, who asked that TRAMP be included in
Emacs.  Just like John.

> That is why keeping the core as simple and easy to maintain as possible
> is very important.

And why would adding use-package negatively affect that?

I think "core" is basically *.c, and maybe subr.el and the likes of
cl-lib.el, and everything under lisp/emacs-lisp/.  Anyone can feel free
to correct me if that's wrong.

> My whole complaint is that this is not happening, so the trend here
> should be reducing lines of code, but opposite is happening.  This
> not a good direction.

LOC is a terrible metric for almost anything.

> By their interdependence increasing over time.  All code being in the
> same place and the nature of free software without strict rules, seem to
> lead to this result, I believe it is easy to observe from Emacs source.

That only happens when we think it is okay for a specific package.  When
we think it is not, then it does not happen, and as a result TRAMP still
works on Emacs 25.1.

OTOH, it is a Good Thing for other code in Emacs 29 or 30 to be able to
use use-package, as doing so will lead to improvements in both pieces of

> Quoting from some other mail I've sense to list:
> "Same reason emacs-devel is not responsible for every single line of
> Elisp code on the Internet?  External packages seem to get more love
> from their developers.  If not, something new replaces them, people
> migrate

And that is a Bad Thing, which causes trouble to countless numbers of
people.  It is why I gave up on almost all packages from ELPA, after
trying to use and like package management for several years.

> Technically it is not easier but also how much harder it is to install
> them is so minuscule that the maintenance burden it causes it is not
> worth it.

I've never seen the maintenance burden of something increase simply due
to the location of a folder changing.

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