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Re: Interoperation between package managers

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: Interoperation between package managers
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2017 17:34:50 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.0.50 (gnu/linux)

> Perhaps I should not have said the package.el format is fundamentally
> incompatible with source-based package managers. What I should have
> said is that source-based package managers would gain little by being
> compatible with the package.el format.

I don't know what you mean by "the package.el format".  AFAIK there are
2 "formats": one on the web-server and one in ~/.emacs.d/elpa.  I agree
that the web-server one wouldn't make much sense for "source-based"
package managers, but the installed-format doesn't seem incompatible
at all.

> In particular, packages that are installed via package.el cannot be
> version-controlled, since the package.el format dictates a flat
> collection of *.el (and other) files, with no version-control
> information attached other than a version number.

Not sure.  For example, the way I use elpa.git with package.el is:

    git clone .../elpa.git
    cd elpa

and then add that directory to package-directory-list.
That lets me use packages directly from the local Git repository (which
I find important in order for `C-h f` and such to directly jump to
the real source files that I can edit, with VCS metadata).

> As a corollary, it is impossible to use the package.el format to make
> local modifications to a package in a controlled way, or to contribute
> changes upstream using package.el.

I don't see that.


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