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Re: Patches to add emacs-rfcview and emacs-ffap-rfc-space

From: Federico Beffa
Subject: Re: Patches to add emacs-rfcview and emacs-ffap-rfc-space
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2016 18:59:39 +0200

On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 10:59 AM, Alex Kost <address@hidden> wrote:
> Alex Kost (2016-04-05 12:29 +0300) wrote:
>> Chris Marusich (2016-04-04 03:58 +0300) wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> The attached patches add some useful modules for reading RFCs (and STDs)
>>> in Emacs.
>> Overall the patches look good to me, thanks!  But there is a problem
>> with both packages: the URL of the origin does not point to a versioned
>> file, so when the author will touch the source, the hash will be changed
>> and our package will not work anymore.  I suppose there are no mirrors
>> where we can fetch the "constant" source code, so we probably have to
>> live with this, but it is a potential problem-maker.
> Ping for the other reviewers.  I don't know what to do with these
> packages: on one hand they are unreliable because their hashes may
> change any time.  But OTOH we already have the same potential problems
> with 'emacs-mit-scheme-doc' and 'emacs-constants' packages.
> I personally wouldn't like to include such packages in Guix at all.  I
> think the only hope with them is that they are dead, so their hashes
> will not be changed.  Federico, did you have this problem in mind when
> you packaged them?

Of course I did and I agree it is annoying.

'emacs-constants' has not been changed in a long time because it is
kind of "done". I've recently sent a patch to the author and took the
occasion to mention to him that it would help us to have versioned
releases. He accepted the patch, but I think he is not into archiving
old versions. So probably this package will soon break, but it will be
a matter of fixing the hash (and maybe again in a few years).

In any case, from my point of view, proposing to drop packages is not
very constructive. A more helpful approach would be to find a place
where we could archive specific versions of packages with this kind of
problem. I know that people here do not particularly like GitHub, but
possibly a similar place/service could do.


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