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Re: Interoperation between package managers

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: Interoperation between package managers
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2017 17:25:03 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.0.50 (gnu/linux)

> This is fantastic! Those version numbers always annoyed me to no end
> and were in fact one of the major reasons I didn't like package.el.
> Glad to know they are now optional. As far as I can tell, this fact
> remains completely undocumented?

Indeed.  Actually, the directory naming is indirectly due to the way the
internals is structured: since an installed ELPA package needs to have
a file <pkg>-pkg.el (to describe the meta-info) as well as a file
<pkg>-autoloads.el, we need to figure out the <pkg> name from the
directory, hence the need for a naming convention.

I'd like to change that to use constant file names (that don't include
<pkg>), so we don't need to know the package's name to find the
metainfo file.  And I'd probably want to also unify the two files into
one (which would likely hold the concatenation of <pkg>-pkg.el and

As for why we have <pkg>-<vers> instead of just <pkg>: that was
something I insisted on because I think it's very important to be able
to have several versions of a given package installed at the same time.

> Honestly, setting aside my philosophical differences with package.el,
> I think the biggest problem is the documentation.

To me, all of that is pretty "obvious" because I've spent enough time
both in the design and in the code, which makes it difficult to figure
out what people might need to know.

Specific requests (especially patches) are very welcome here.

> (This means that elpa.gnu.org should *NOT* [...], without also providing
> some more comprehensible sources of information.)

What (w|c)ould be such a "more comprehensible source of information"?


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