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What's Elpa? (I.e. what did you decide the name refers to?)

From: Kelly Dean
Subject: What's Elpa? (I.e. what did you decide the name refers to?)
Date: Thu, 08 Jan 2015 06:27:13 +0000

In general usage, it now seems to mean a particular repository (the one at 
elpa.gnu.org), with others being Melpa and Marmalade. Unless this is another 
case of my limited reading comprehension abilities.

In package.el, an elpa is a repository in general (not a particular one). E.g. 
metadata for all repositories (not just from elpa.gnu.org) goes into the 
elpa/archives directory, and the docstrings and comments in package.el use the 
name in the general sense.

It's much easier to substitute a few words in a source code file than to change 
people's habits, so despite the name apparently being general originally, maybe 
it would be clearer to pick a new name to use in package.el (and for general 
usage) for the general sense, and let ‟Elpa” mean the repository at 

Or insist that people say ‟GNU elpa” for that one? Then there's ‟Melpa elpa” 
and ‟Marmalade elpa”. Cumbersome.

This isn't something that would normally matter, but it can cause 
misunderstanding when people say things like ‟a package in elpa”.

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