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Re: [package-vc] Consider cleaning up files from install process

From: Adam Porter
Subject: Re: [package-vc] Consider cleaning up files from install process
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2023 07:19:21 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:102.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/102.15.1

I noticed this problem myself when I first tried using package-vc-install.

An alternative would be to follow Quelpa's example: rather than loading the package directly from the git repository's directory, the package's files could be copied into a new directory in the elpa/ directory, and Emacs could load the package from there.

As a developer, I would prefer that approach, because I don't usually want Emacs to load whatever commit I may have checked out in a package's repository. I want to install a commit of a package into my Emacs configuration and have that one loaded until I install a different one.

In other words, the way package-vc-install currently works leaves me vulnerable to this scenario:

1. I use package-vc-install to install one of my packages from its local repository directory. 2. I check out a feature branch of that package to work on a new feature, saving some files but not loading any of the changed code. 3. I restart Emacs (e.g. maybe I shut down the system and turned it back on the next day). 4. That work-in-progress feature branch of my package gets loaded into Emacs automatically (which may be entirely broken, being a WIP).

Whereas if I use Quelpa, it installs the files a package's recipe specifies into the expected location in the elpa/ directory, and that remains independent of whatever I may have checked out in the package's local git directory. My Emacs configuration and installed packages remain consistent regardless of whatever in-between state I may have left a package's repository in.

Philip, would you be willing to consider switching to that model for package-vc-install, or offering it as an option?


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