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Split off some backends from Company?

From: Dmitry Gutov
Subject: Split off some backends from Company?
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2014 23:21:06 +0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/31.0

Hi Stefan,

It's been suggested [0] that we split the backends that require third-party Emacs packages to be installed, from Company, to separate packages.

Tentatively, the list would look like:

company-bbdb, company-oddmuse, company-ropemacs.

Maybe also company-yasnippet. On the one hand it's distributed in GNU ELPA, so it's not really third-party, on the other hand, it still has to be installed for the respective backend to work.

Taking it further, we could do the same that depend on specific external programs to be available, but not Elisp code: company-clang, company-eclim, company-gtags, company-xcode.

There are two main benefits are, I think:

- More visibility for Company; users see the backends for specific completion sources they're interested in, in `M-x list-packages'.

- Each new package's description can include the list of its dependencies and how to install them, especially if the user has to install something outside of Emacs (ropemacs is the prime example). Before installing each new backend, the user would be able to read those instructions.


- If the backend doesn't depend on third-party Elisp code, or if that package is likely to be installed anyway; if the external program dependency or easy to install or likewise is likely to be already present on the user's system, then we lose out on user convenience, because otherwise the backend could "just work", if it was installed and present by default.

- The list of packages in GNU ELPA is fairly short, and adding 3-7 new packages, all named "company-...", might look like hijacking. There are many "ac-..." packages in third-party repositories, for example, but no such pattern hare, and I hesitate to change that.

- The setup proceduce for each such backend becomes more complicated: you have to install the backend, its dependencies (happens automatically), external dependencies, and add 1-2 new lines to your init file.


[0] https://github.com/company-mode/company-inf-ruby/issues/2#issuecomment-51649939

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