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I use the stable version of a package (0.7.0 of gptel) which is distributed on melpa-stable. I installed it via package.el and I configure it via a use-package. I want to be able to switch easily between this version and a local development version of this package, which is based on a git worktree on my machine. How do I do this?

I thought it would be as easy as adding the path to the development version in my load path, either in the use-package form, or else by manually requireing it before package initialization. However, this doesn't work, since the package needs to be installed by package-install-file to work properly, and installation writes outputs into the elpa/ directory, clobbering the stable installation.

So is there some other way to do this, ideally using just built-in facilities like package.el and use-package?

Here is what I am doing now to but it seems like a hack.

To update the development version:

  1. I git pull the latest version of the package into my local dev directory
  2. I modify its code so "Version" is set to "999.git", which I expect will always translate to a higher version number than any stable released using the usual major minor point versioning scheme.
  3. I evaluate the expression (package-install-file (expand-file-name "/path/to/local_dev_dir")), which installs the development version into elpa/.

To switch between to the stable version:

In init.el, in my use-package declaration for gptel, I add a keyword value pair which points explicitly to the stable version: :load-path "/path/to/elpa/stable/version/"

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