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Re: Installing binaries with package.el

From: Stephen Leake
Subject: Re: Installing binaries with package.el
Date: Thu, 09 Feb 2017 16:43:49 -0600
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.1.91 (windows-nt)

Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> writes:

> You mean "if we assume that dynload modules will be installed via apt/yum
> rather than via package.el"?
> Indeed, I expect that this will end up being fairly common (since even
> if you already have a C compiler installed, it's likely you'll need to
> have to install some libfoo-dev package to get the module to compile).

On the other hand, I'm happy to maintain a Gnu ELPA package, but I quit
being a Debian maintainer years ago, and I never was a maintainer for
other OS distros.

So if my ELPA package gets a dynload module (as is very likely), I will
only be distributing source. And it will work on Linux and Windows
without source change (hint; it won't be in C).

It's not likely that some Debian maintainer will magically appear for
some ELPA package. Popular ELPA packages might get Debian maintainers,
but not small ones. Although I suppose the Debian Emacs maintainer might
step up.

That just increases the pressure on the dynload module developer to
minimize the OS dependence, which is appropriate for a cross-OS tool
like Emacs.

> But I think that the case of non-developers installing via package.el
> should be considered important as well.  We probably won't be able to
> provide as smooth a solution for them as `apt-get` or `yum`, but they
> deserve some efforts on our part.


If package.el can run a shell script, that will succeed in a typical
case, that's good enough. The package user manual can explain the
dependencies, if any.

-- Stephe

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