Proposals for Discussion or Sprints at DebConf18
Standardised location for Debian-specific configuration in src:packages
Many unelpafied packages packages have extra "sugar" configuration such as adding autoload cookies that activate mode for REGEX. These packages seem to follow the convention of putting such configuration in "debian/package.emacsen-startup". David Bremner and I discussed this on #debian-emacs and he suggested debian/debian-autoloads.el [for Emacsen Team packages]. At this stage it's unclear whether this proposal is for a suggested or recommended priority standard.
Another case: packages that need to have a variable set in order to work properly on Debian. eg: php-mode needs the location of a local copy of documentation to avoid querying php.net and Elpy will need the python interpreter to be set to "/usr/bin/python3" when we drop Python 2—at the latest.
Bremner advocates storing this in an autoloads file rather than maintaining a patch against upstream sources, and also proposes debian/debian-autoloads.el as the standardised location. I'll second that motion, and will also support an alternative name if debian/debian-autoloads.el is not preferred for some reason.
Join the effort to break up emacs-goodies-el into elpafied packages!
Sean Whitton asked me about how I would approach breaking up emacs-goodies-el many months ago, and I started work on an approach to shift each el into its own git repository with history. Soon after David Bremner made an QA (specific classication?) upload to the package our team officially adopted emacs-goodies-el, and debian-el and dpkg-dev-el were soon restored as their own src:packages. The approach since then has been to only repackage elpafied packages that have living upstreams.
Since 24 Jun 2018, an additional 21 or 22 packages have been removed from goodies, depending on how one counts. If each el counts as one package, and devscripts, debian-el, and dpkg-dev-el each count as one, then there were 86 packages in goodies. If the current rate of 26% progress/month is maintained, then we can complete this by the end of Octobre, but that does not accommodate for any delays, and leaves little time for people to complain and/or decide to become the upstream maintainer for a beloved addon that was dropped.
A team effort would help complete this work earlier, which would give non-team members more time to adopt the parts of emacs-goodies-el that we plan to drop. Consequently, please consider joining the effort!
Here is the list of the ones where the package[.el] matches package on MELPA, followed by download stats, and the percentile. Note that while MELPA has muttrc-mode in their json download stats, it does not seem to appear anywhere on their web page.