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Re: Updating the "ELPA Protocol"

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: Updating the "ELPA Protocol"
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2022 14:20:13 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/29.0.50 (gnu/linux)

>> How about using something like Debian's transitional packages, where you
>> replace the old package with an empty package that just depends on the
>> new package?  Would that work?
> I would prefer if package.el took care of it.
> `package-update-all' could ask:
>   Package `foo' has been renamed to `foobar'.
>   When a package is renamed, then names of variables and functions
>   often change as well, making it necessary to adjust configuration.
>   Would you like to replace `foo' with `foobar' now?
>   yes/no/no, don't ask again

This discussion of replacement reminds me of the more general problem of
restructuring where a package may split into 2 (or more), or the reverse.

The combination of dependencies and renaming/replacement may cover all
those cases if used wisely, but we should pay attention to the details
so that it does.

> Somewhat related, I have again started working on moving Melpa
> ("unstable") away from using timestamps as version strings.  Eventually
> users will have to update from, e.g., 20230101.123 to the smaller 0.2.3.
> Here too I hope we could add a special case to package.el.

We may have a few problematic packages which use versions that look very
much like Melpa's, but my gut feeling is that it shouldn't be too hard
to come up with a heuristic that can handle it correctly enough, yes.


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