There’s been some contretemps lately concerning Emacs and Magit. The issue is that Magit can’t be integrated into Emacs because not all the contributors have filed a copyright assignment. RMS is even on record wishing that someone would recreate Magit so that it could be integrated.
Frankly, I don’t get it. Why, exactly, does it need to be integrated? I see it as a net minus. The situation is parallel to that of Org mode, which has been integrated. The thing is, no one uses the integrated Org mode because it’s always outdated1. Everyone simply loads the Melpa version (or Melpa-stable if they’re paranoid) and stays up to date with the latest version. One thing for sure, the large Magit codebase and its user community certainly don’t need to be replaced simply so its functionality can be “integrated.”
It’s not easier for users, as one of the LWN commenters claimed, if Magit is integrated. A simple
:ensure t will load Magit from Melpa with no more work than is needed to add a
require for the integrated package. The package management functionality built into recent Emacs versions make using third-party packages as easy as using built in packages. Again, I don’t see the advantage of the integration other than the cachet associated with being an official part of Emacs.
When aggelos made this same point in the comments, about half of the respondents agreed with him. The other half cited such issues as having the copyright assigned makes copyright enforcement easier. Perhaps, but if that’s the issue then why not address it rather than fussing about integration?
I don’t see a pressing need—or even a non-pressing need—to integrate Magit into Emacs. Having it separate does not, as LWN ludicrously claimed, hinder its wider distribution. Just about everybody in the intersection of Emacs and Git users is already using it. The holdouts have their own reasons for not using Magit and I doubt integrating it will change their minds.
Doubtless, many of you will disagree. I’m interested to hear your reasons.