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Gmane
From: Stephen Eilert <spedrosa <at> gmail.com>
Subject: Emacs Package Management
Newsgroups: gmane.emacs.devel
Date: Friday 1st August 2008 21:27:24 UTC (over 9 years ago)
Disclaimer: I have no idea if I am flogging a dead horse. If so, please
disregard.

Compared to most people here, I am a pretty young Emacs user, barely a year
and a half since I've "converted". However, my .emacs is already growing
huge.

Part of this is due to Ruby on Rails development. I had to gather quite a
lot of scripts to do what I want (rails-mode, nxhtml-mode, rinari [for
find-file-in-project], color-theme, rdebug) and so on. This setup *almost*
works, as some of the scripts do not play well with each other.

Since there appears to be work under way to get some IDE-like features into
Emacs, I suppose some kind of "packaging system" wouldbe helpful. I have
tried ELPA (http://tromey.com/elpa/) and loved its
simplicity. It's an order
of magnitude more convenient than seaching the web for a package, finding
the appropriate download site, getting the latest revision, studying the
README to figure out how to install it, copying it to .emacs.d and adding
to
.emacs... I am sure everyone here has done that, countless times.

With a slightly improved system, we could have dependencies. This could
make
easier to solve the aforementioned problem of gathering multiple,
independent packages from different sources.

Also, some packages have built-in bug reporting, but not all of them do.
Some of them are maintained in the Emacs Wiki, some are not maintained at
all, some have changed places more than once. Getting a package system
inside Emacs *could* allow for simpler updating and a simpler way to notify
bugs. I am aware of emacsbug, but it does require the ability to send
e-mails from inside Emacs and is not aware of packages (obviously).

Has this already been tried before? My searches point to XEmacs, but I
haven't installed it to see what its package manager looks like.

Does anyone see a major flaw in a system like that? Or is it a matter of
"show me the code and I'll comment"? ELPA could be the starting point.

--Stephen

programmer, n:
A red eyed, mumbling mammal capable of conversing with inanimate monsters.
 
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