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Bug#909453: site of discussion for Debian digressions from ELPA spec

Package: dh-elpa
Version: 1.14
Severity: normal

Hi David,

As discussed on IRC, filing this bug.  You had also mentioned how this
discussion might lead to an update of Policy and a wishlist bug
against the info package.  The resolution of this issue will affect
all elpa-packages that install things outside of their
elpa-src/package-version dir.

tldr ELPA spec: must directive to install everything to

a) Information about the ELPA spec is found in "Multi-file Packages"
   in the GNU Emacs Lisp Reference Manual, available online or from
   the non-free package emacs-common-non-dfsg info "(elisp) Multi-file

Obviously we want to do what's best for Debian users, #1, this means
that /usr/share/doc/package should contain the expected documentation.

  b) It's possible that there exist Emacs packages that will not run
     if their bits are installed outside of their elpa-src dir.  We
     should have a policy on if they should be patched and/or if
     symlinks should be provided.  Of course this is just part of the
     work on packaging software...

#2 I think in most cases it would be better to digress from the
upstream spec and install things using dh_language (the packages I'm
aware of are irony-mode and elpy, but I'm sure there are others).  eg:
dh_elpa handles *.el and files from other languages should be handled
using other dh_helpers (eg: dh-python in the case of elpy).  See note
at [b] as it also applies here.  I anticipate that will emerge as more
of an issue in the next 5-to-10 years with the proliferation of
interpreted languages, deeper integration between Emacs and these
languages, along with a second class of potential issues when using a

#3 Info pages.  Related to #1 with one caveat: Debian's standalone
info program only support info pages outside of /usr/share/info by
using the INFOPATH variable.  If we follow a strict definition of [a]
then symlink /u/s/info/package.info -> elpa-src/package-version/package.info

However, this doesn't handle the case where GNU Emacs provides an info
page for a mode that exists as an elpa-package (eg: org-mode).  Workarounds:
  i) make Rob's life difficult by complicating how src:emacs handles Debian
 ii) file a bug against src:info and hope that it gets fixed, and that info
     gains the ability to read info files outside of the system default INFOPATH.
iii) add support to dh-elpa for setting INFOPATH using a similar method to
     /etc/bash_completion.d (eg: drops a file in /etc/info.d)...I guess this
     could be useful to non-dh-elpa-using packages, but I'm not aware of any.

Meanwhile, the info issue does not exist for users who use Emacs'
info-mode to view info files...

I hope this bug entry is reasonably complete and not too long.


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