I don't want to get in a long debate here, but ...

They are technically unnecessary since they are not necessary.
However, they are convenient which is why people like them. 
I like them to, but if only there was a standard format
so that we don't have to create them for each different platform.
Maybe there is something going on with respect to standardization
and/or automation that I don't know about.  configure is such a
mess so I guess that's out. 

But, the convenience is a little over-rated.  How hard is it really
to unpack a generic (rather than an xemacs specific) tarball into
site-packages?  I know, that does nothing for the dependencies...
But, does anyone else see where I'm coming from?  If it's just me,
I'll shut up.  Thanks.

The Fonz gives Richie motorcycle riding advice
Fonzie:  Always wear a helmet, but never smile
Richie:  Why not?
Fonzie:  You get bugs in your teeth

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen J. Turnbull [mailto:stephen@xemacs.org]
Sent: Wed 1/24/2007 2:08 AM
To: Rodney Sparapani
Cc: xemacs-beta@xemacs.org
Subject: Re: ess package status?

Rodney Sparapani writes:

 > [All of these packaging systems are] completely unnecessary.  All
 > that it is required is for the users to read the installation
 > instructions which can be found in the distro or online

It seems that the vast majority of users disagree with you.  Packaging
systems are extremely popular among users of all levels of skill.