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Re: Summary and next steps for (package-initialize)

From: Radon Rosborough
Subject: Re: Summary and next steps for (package-initialize)
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2017 09:02:11 -0700

> That's incorrect. We don't need to decide the halting problem — we
> just need to semi-decide it, which is trivial.

You are of course correct. I didn't go through this in my last email
since I thought it was already too long and technical, but I will now.

> Start Emacs. Load init.el. Record the value of package-load-list. Exit
> Emacs.

Yep, this would work. Unfortunately, it's impossible in practice
without actually loading the init-file twice, which I hope everyone
agrees is a non-starter.

(In particular, the properties of the init-file may rely on arbitrary
filesystem and network calls, which cannot be analyzed without
actually performing them. Loading the init-file twice when it was
supposed to be loaded once is therefore technically incorrect, even if
there *probably* wouldn't be any correctness problems in practice.)

Because of this problem, the fact that the problem is actually
semi-decidable doesn't have any practical consequences, and so I
didn't mention it. I probably should have. Sorry about that. I
overgeneralized in my previous email, but I think that my general
point (this approach will not work in general) still stands.

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