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Re: Documentation bug


From: Harry Putnam
Subject: Re: Documentation bug
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 10:33:21 -0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.090005 (Oort Gnus v0.05) Emacs/21.1 (i586-pc-linux-gnu)

[NOTE: Hope this isn't a duplicate... I had somekind of mishap with
gnus nndrafts:draft group]

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

> On Thu, 24 Jan 2002, Harry Putnam wrote:
>
>>   cvtmail     emacsserver  fns-21.1.1.el  movemail  rcs2log     vcdiff
>>   digest-doc  fakemail     hexl           profile   sorted-doc  yow
>> 
>> I discovered that of the nearly 1 dozen tools, only 2 of them (movemail,
>> yow) were findable in info under the emacs node with an `i' search and
>> only a few with the more intensive `s' search.  They are not to be found
>> elsewhere in info either.
>
> I think the CVS mentions b2m as well.
>
>> Seems that tools that get installed with emacs ought to at least have an 
>> index
>> entry in info.  One should be able to find out what they are thru info.
>
> Those are programs invoked internally by Emacs.  The user manual only 
> needs to document the programs that users might need to run by themselves.
>
> IMHO, of course.

Thanks Eli,  I can see that it is not a burning issue, but in the
particular circumstances that I approached this, it is a little more
important for a user to be able to determine with some accuracy what
can be removed from an install with little repercussion on
functionality.  It would take considerable time and experimentation to
get it right.

Only *VERY* experienced users would know what could be axed, unaided,
and it seems at least somewhat like the inexperienced user such as
student users may run into a situation where paring down an emacs
install is needed.

A tidbit in info would help a lot with that.  In fact I think it might
be worth including some general guideline for trimming emacs somewhere
in the INSTALL file or README etc.  And possibly a section in info as
well. 

There is already some information there in the distro files but not
enough to guide someone looking for a leaner install.  With a quota of
20mb like many student accounts have, the full install is too fat
by quite a large margin.

To illustrate my point, I cite my own experience as a student:
Unresponsive system admin, hundreds of student users, vi/csh oriented
admin staff, and a 20mb quota.

I went thru the entire install, guessing what to remove and ended up
with an emacs that doesn't do tty colors... (maybe term related I
suppose) not sure what I removed that may have done that, but the
final outcome was that it completely defeated my purpose.  There is
already an older emacs that doesn't do tty colors.

Is etc/term.src critical to tty colors?

( A partial list is provided at the end)

Hard core old line users may not need those syntax colors but a new
student learning perl, shell scripting etc will find it a big help in
knowing when syntax is messed up, and knowing it as you go.

If I could find some tips on how to get a lean but functional emacs I
would consider trying to write up some documentation for it,
includinbg what can be removed with little effect on functionality.

Any documentation from me may be to much like the blind leading the
blind though.

================================

I removed all of the tools in libexec except fns-21*.el .. there were
no comments in the file so I never figured out what it did.  But
seeing things like `ediff-hook', `float-hook', `emacs-lisp/lisp-mode'
seemed like it might be important.

I removed all info and man stuff, I can always look at that stuff on
my home install, nearly all of the files in etc, leaving DOC-21.1
rgb.txt.  I removed term.src which may be the source of my failure.

all *.el files and many *.elc files.  Wish I had kept a list but I
didn't.

Cut down to one emacs binary, removed etags, ctags, gnus
No leim package was included.
axed emacsclient
Most foreign language stuff
Lots more I don't remember

I got it down to something like 16mb that needed to go in my account
directory.  included bin, libexec(one file) share etc(DOC-21.l file)

I'd like to try this again with a little guidance from someone who
knows what everything does, at least in general.

Would the bare emacs binary with no *el[c] files be able to produce
tty colors?



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