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Re: Bug#193439: emacsen-common: debian-emacs-policy and package setup in conffile

Dave Love <d.love@dl.ac.uk> writes:

> I was about to make one, and just came checking in the bug archives...
> Check back later for a solution if you're interested, when I've had
> time to submit it.
> Hear, hear on the substance of the report.  I filed bugs a while back
> about packages that rendered various things inoperable in Emacs when
> they were removed and was referred to the policy document, which
> puzzles me considerably.  I was told to to use `dpkg --purge' rather
> than `apt-get remove', which seems quite unhelpful.  (I'd already done
> that, but only after doing non-trivial debugging to figure out the
> highly obscure error from Emacs stuff that I've actually maintained.)

I disagree with whoever told you to purge.  IMO you should be able to
--remove any of the add-on packages and not break emacs.  I could add
policy to that effect, but I'm surprised the maintainers wouldn't
consider that obvious without explicit policy.

> The basic problem seems to be that Debian fights the mechanisms in
> Emacs that should allow exactly what Debian is trying to do, as far as
> I can tell.

I'd be completely open to fixing what need fixing, and I'd be
surprised if there aren't improvements we can make.  Though I haven't
thought about it hard yet, and there are definitely complexities wrt
Debian emacsen that are easy to forget, I can see Simon's argument for
moving the startup files from etc. to share or similar so that they're
removed when the package is removed.  Any packages that need editable
customization can then just add their own /etc files.  The reason for
the current setup is that I just extended the idea of
/etc/emacs/site-start.el to also include a directory where packages
could place fragments.  It's been a *long* time, but I don't recall
thinking too hard about alternatives to /etc.

Also, please let me know what things you think should be fixed wrt
"Debian fighting Emacs".  I'd be interesting in straightening those
out too if I can.

Rob Browning
rlb @defaultvalue.org and @debian.org; previously @cs.utexas.edu
GPG starting 2002-11-03 = 14DD 432F AE39 534D B592  F9A0 25C8 D377 8C7E 73A4

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