Marmalade is an Emacs Lisp package server that allows authors to easily
upload their packages. It follows the protocol expected by
package.el, the standard Emacs package manager, and so can be
used in conjunction with the official GNU
repository or the original ELPA
The primary goal of Marmalade is to make it easy to distribute Emacs Lisp
code. Because Marmalade uses
package.el's package format, it's
easy to package existing Elisp code. In addition, anyone can post packages
to Marmalade, either via the website or via the API.
Emacs Lisp is unusual in that there's a lot of code out there that is useful but no longer actively maintained. To make this code more widely available, users are encouraged to upload even packages they didn't write (as long as those packages allow redistribution). Marmalade makes it easy to add the original author as an owner should they take an interest in the package.
The Marmalade repo was originally written and run by Nathan Weizenbaum. He did a fantastic job but no longer has time to run marmalade so he has handed it over to Nic Ferrier. Nic is the author of Elnode, the EmacsLisp webserver among other things.