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Re: change in Debian emacs policy: make global enabling of add-on lisp packages optional

On Tue, 26 Nov 2002 15:10:15 -0500, Miles Bader <miles@gnu.org> wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 26, 2002 at 06:05:26PM +0000, Faheem Mitha wrote:
>> I think that for add-on lisp packages for emacs, there should be an
>> install-time option (debconf would be the obvious way to go here) to
>> enable the package globally, and if it is not enabled globally, there
>> should be instructions in the README.Debian to enable it locally on a
>> per-user basis.
>>
>> My basic justification for this is that some users may not want
>> packages enabled that they don't want/need to use, and in some cases
>> it may interfere with their established methods of working.
>
> What do you mean by enabled'?
>
> A typical emacs package has little effect unless you explicitly invoke it.
> The major exception is probably patterns added to auto-mode-alist' -- and
> that only seems to be a problem if there's a conflict.

I'm not sure what a "typical" emacs package is. I don't use a lot of
them, and the ones I use are related to programming and latex.

By enabled, I guess I mean that the lisp files have been loaded up,
and you can call the functions or whatever from emacs.

In the case of preview-latex, enabled means that you see an extra menu
when editing latex files in emacs, but it doesn't do anything unless
explicitly invoked.

In the case of AUC TeX, roughly the same, though here loading it up
here would mean (I think) that it overrides the default emacs latex
support, so a user would lose the option to use that, unless they
explicitly disabled AUC TeX.

In the case of x-symbol, enabled seems to mean opening a latex file
automatically enables x-symbol-mode, which (for example) replaces \chi
with its corresponding symbol and does the same for some other latex
macros. Some people might dislike this behaviour, which I suppose is
why it is going to be changed.

>> Both AUC TeX and preview-latex are currently doing
>> this, and I believe x-symbol will be following this soon, based on a
>> recent thread on this list.
>
> I don't use either of these packages; can you give more information on how
> they are causing problems for non-users'?

I would not say that they are causing problems exactly.

Of the packages above, I guess the most likely case where someone
might not like it enabled would be x-symbol, in case people didn't
like their text replaced by symbols. It also sometimes seems to give
problems with cutting and pasting under X.

In general, I suppose that in some cases installed packages might
change the default behaviour people were used to. For example, there
are various paren matching packages which have incompatible
behaviours.

Oh well, maybe I am trying to solve a problem which does not exist,
and it is not such a good idea after all. I'd been thinking about it
for a bit, and it did seem like a good one, though. I apologise for
troubling the members of the list.

Faheem.

`