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Building emacs with and without X -- packaging question.

From: Rob Browning
Subject: Building emacs with and without X -- packaging question.
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 12:25:09 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.090006 (Oort Gnus v0.06) Emacs/21.2 (i386-pc-linux-gnu)

I've had a *long* standing request wrt the Debian packages that I
provide a non-X version that doesn't depend on any of the X packages.
I finally sat down to accomodate this the other day and managed to
reworked things to produce emacs21, emacs21-nox, and emacs21-el
packages, emacs21-nox being the new one, built with --with-x=no.  To
be completely safe, the way I did this was to configure and build
Emacs twice, once with --with-x=no, and once without.  Then I took the
two seprarate install trees and used those to create the two emacs21
and emacs21-nox binary packages, only one of which you can have
installed at a time.

The problem with this approach is that it requires two full Emacs
builds (and since we use bootstrap, it's a long build), and it roughly
doubles the storage required for the resulting packages.  James
pointed out to me that now that Debian supports over 10 architectures,
some of which are very slow builders, this will consume a lot more
archive space and build time.

An alternate approach would be to still build Emacs twice, but put all
the bits that the two trees have in common into an emacs21-common
package.  Then the emacs21 and emacs21-nox packages might not need to
be much more than the actual application binary.  However this
wouldn't be safe if the files in the with and without-x install trees
are likely to be different in important ways (i.e. different sets of
files, binary incompatibilities in .elc files, etc.).

Another way it might not be safe is if add-on emacs packages, like
calc, psgml, etc. could detect whether they were being compiled by an
X or non-X Emacs and generate differing .elc files as a result.  (This
wouldn't be safe in the current Debian arrangement, if I was going to
try to allow emacs21 and emacs21-nox to be installed simultaneously,
but could be made so, if needed.)

Accordingly I wanted to check with you upstream and see if you
considered this a viable approach, or if you had a preferred


Rob Browning
rlb @defaultvalue.org, @linuxdevel.com, and @debian.org
Previously @cs.utexas.edu
GPG=1C58 8B2C FB5E 3F64 EA5C  64AE 78FE E5FE F0CB A0AD

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