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Re: [emacs-humanities] ELPA, MELPA and the Sea of Package Achives

From: Michael Albinus
Subject: Re: [emacs-humanities] ELPA, MELPA and the Sea of Package Achives
Date: Tue, 02 Aug 2022 18:57:51 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/29.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Krishna Jani <krishnajani2005@gmail.com> writes:

> Hello Everybody,

Hi Krishna,

> I hope everyone is happy and healthy and is having a great time. I have
> been really happy with the responses recieved from the group and I was
> honestly not expecting many replies seeing that the last conversation on
> the list was approx 9 months ago.
> Today I come to you with another conundrum, the issue of Package
> Archives, there is ELPA, there is Non-Gnu ELPA and then there is MELPA
> Quelpa and many such similar archives which at the heart of it work the
> same way. I wanted you understand why we have many of these and what is
> their significance. Please explain as to why have we not simplified this
> and what is the step forward
> Please also advise on which one to use, as managing all these is getting
> cumbersome and also what are the advantages to use one over the
> other. If this is a very stupid question I present my apologies and
> regert wasting your time

*The* official repository is GNU ELPA. Packages distributed there are
kind of official. Developers of core Emacs can require them in their
Lisp code. The archive is hosted on a machine run by the FSF, and
contributors must follow the same rules as contributing code to core
Emacs. Most important, they must have signed the legal FSF papers, that
means the packages are licensed under GPLv3+, and the copyright is hold
by the FSF (usually).

Packages added to GNU ELPA are under the decision of the Emacs
maintainers. Beside the legal requirements, the package must add benefit
to Emacs (ie, the maintainers believe it is useful), and it must follow
some quality guidelines.

This sounds restrictive, but there are also advantages. Emacs developers
care about the packages if the original author cannot do ATM, and the
packages get more attention.

The NonGNU ELPA follows most of the requirements for packages on GNU
ELPA. The major difference is, that the legal requirements wrt to the
FSF are weakened.

Both GNU ELPA and NonGNU ELPA are preconfigured in Emacs distributions.

The other package archives live on their own. They follow the API of
package archives for Emacs, so that you can install such packages with
the same infrastructure. Emacs developers don't feel responsible for
those packages, and they have no influence on what is offered there. And
yes, MELPA is the most active and important one.

> Regards
> Krishna

Best regards, Michael.

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