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Re: [AUCTeX-devel] bug#24070: LaTeX mode doesn't load in 11.89.4

From: Tassilo Horn
Subject: Re: [AUCTeX-devel] bug#24070: LaTeX mode doesn't load in 11.89.4
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2016 18:59:41 +0200
User-agent: AquaMail/ (build: 27000209)

Hi guys,

currently I have no internet connection at home except for my mobile, but I've read the bug thread now. I'm not exactly sure what's the exact problem. So please excuse my questions.

One problem seems to be that you cannot preload AUCTeX. Right? OK, here I'd say that it is intentional. And loading auctex with a classic non-ELPA install will also not preload it but just configure the autoloads correctly. (I hope I'm right with that. I haven't checked.)

Another problem seems to be that installing AUCTeX from ELPA via use-package does not work because that forcefully does (require '<pkgname>) under the hoods. If that is true, then I'd consider it a bug in use-package. I don't think there is a requirement that a package has a feature named exactly as the package.

But in any case, it would be good if there would be a big fat warning or even error when a user loads auctex manually although it's an ELPA install. And obviously I'd prefer if the relevant code was not specific to the ELPA branch but was shared between that and master.

If I got anything wrong, sorry, please clarify.


Am 27. Juli 2016 18:26:39 schrieb Mosè Giordano <address@hidden>:

Hi Caleb,

2016-07-27 17:51 GMT+02:00 Caleb Rottman <address@hidden>:
Here are my two cents as a somewhat average emacs user (then I'll butt out
and let you all decide what you want to do).

I have around 30 packages that I install through ELPA. Since this is pretty
unwieldy, I have these all configured using the "use-package" macro, which
will automatically download missing packages and `require' them as
necessary. This makes installations on new machines really simple.

However, since AUCTeX doesn't have any (require 'auctex) line, use-package
will fail and AUCTeX won't install. That means that out of the 30 packages I
have, I am required to install AUCTeX manually. Now that I know that AUCTeX
will work when you just install it, it is indeed not too hard to get AUCTeX
working. However, my main hangup in this whole issue is that I expected
AUCTeX to work like all the other packages I use.

So it's not that AUCTeX is hard to install per se, it's just that it's
different than all the other 30 packages that I use. This, in my experience,
has always made AUCTeX confusing to me in the past.

Thanks for sharing your experience.  I understand your position, but the
"problem" with the use of `require' is that loading in this way many packages
sensibly slows down startup of Emacs.  Ok, one should never close at all Emacs,
but sometimes happens :-)

Instead, a smarter approach to load packages is to call them when they're
needed, for this purpose one can use `autoload' combined with `eval-after-load`
(or the recent `with-eval-after-load').  I don't have use-package, I wrote my
init file by myself, and I have few packages that are actually `require'd, the
others are autloaded.  I find this way very effective, because not of all
packages I set up in my init file are actually used in all Emacs sessions I fire
up.  Maybe use-package allows you to do something similar for other packages.


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