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[AUCTeX-devel] Re: Usage of install.el

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: [AUCTeX-devel] Re: Usage of install.el
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 23:22:25 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.94 (gnu/linux)

> As far as I can see the intent is to extract a tar ball at a target
> location, e.g. site-lisp, and then compile everything in place.

Yes, pretty much.  The "all-in-one-place" end result is what
really matters.  It makes package management tremendously easier:
- no need to track sets of files installed per package
- self-sufficient directory that can be moved at will (or that can have
  multiple names at the same time even)

How to get at this end result doesn't matter as much.  But it seems that
"untar" is a fairly attractive way to do that ;-)

> My thoughts about this are a bit ambiguous.  On the one hand this enforces
> the notion of a package keeping everything in one place.  This way it will
> also be easier to update or remove a package.  On the other hand this
> might leave some unwanted cruft in the target location, e.g. distribution
> files like INSTALL or README.

Yes, it's something that I haven't tried to address yet, but as long as
they're in a different directory than the .el(c) or texi/info files, it's
not really problematic.  The package format needs to provide hooks for
various special cases anyway, so it could allow a list of files to be
deleted after untarring.

> (Of course, those might not be necessary anymore once something like
> install.el is established.)

My crystal ball doesn't care to look that far into the future.

> And e.g. an info file might have to be copied to a directory where the
> standalone info reader can find it nevertheless.

Hmm... since these are Elisp packages it seemed sufficient to make them
available only from Emacs's Info browser.  I guess hooks could take care to
add symlinks/copies/whatnot into other info directories.  Not very
satisfactory, but this seems to be seriously out of the scope of the simple
approach of install.el.

> I like the idea of keeping everything in one place.  What I am
> currently thinking about is if there should be a mechanism of
> producing a clean package tar ball (which might also mean to change
> the directory layout in order to be able to create a package suitable
> for XEmacs) and if install.el should be able to be used during
> development, i.e. for installing a package straight from the
> development sources.

Right now I use install-directory-in-place for that.  Not sure if it
addresses your needs.

> One could achieve this with a two-step approach of creating a package and
> then installing it, of course.

Yes.  Although right now there's no code to actually *create* a package ;-)


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