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Re: [Help-smalltalk] adding smalltalk-mode to ELPA?

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: [Help-smalltalk] adding smalltalk-mode to ELPA?
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2019 16:20:23 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)


Derek Zhou kindly contacted us to add smalltalk-mode to GNU ELPA, so
I looked at the archives of this mailing-list to figure out exactly what
was the underlying intention, and I think there was a slight
misunderstanding, so I'm not sure what to do and I need your help.

GNU ELPA is a part of the Emacs project and it has two faces:

- the website used to publish&distribute Elisp packages
  using the ELPA protocol (so the packages can be conveniently installed
  and upgraded from within Emacs).

- the elpa.git repository where the source of the packages are kept and
  from which we prepare the release packages that are distributed on

Many GNU ELPA packages *live* in elpa.git, while many others have an
official upstream elsewhere (Gitlab, Github, younameit) and the
package's maintainers keep them in sync regularly.
[ And a few more are in the sad state of being stale w.r.t an upstream
  version, typically for lack of interest and/or copyright paperwork.  ]

We'd be happy to add smalltalk-mode to elpa.git, but we wouldn't want
this to end up being a fork or becoming some stale copy of your own
smalltalk-mode.el, which is why I came here to figure out whether there
is a firm commitment here to keep the two copies in sync.  The easiest
way to "keep them in sync" would be to *move* smalltalk-mode.el to
elpa.git (i.e. not keep it in the smalltalk.git repository any more),
but I haven't seen any sign that this was the intention so far.

If smalltalk-mode.el lives in both repositories, keeping them in sync
will be more work than for the regular Elisp package that lives both in
elpa.git and in Gitlab because the elpa.git version will not want to
come with the other files included in smalltalk.git, and two-way
synchronization between two such parallel branches is a lot more painful
than just `git merge`.

An intermediate option might be to split smalltalk-mode.el out of your
`master` branch and into a separate branch: then we can sync that branch
with that of elpa.git conveniently with `git merge` (and if needed you
can still include smalltalk-mode.el into your release tarball as well
as include it indirectly in `master` via git submodules).

In any case, it's for you Smalltalk devs to decide.


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