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Re: Contributing to Emacs Development

From: srivasta
Subject: Re: Contributing to Emacs Development
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2000 14:53:35 -0600

>>"Eli" == Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

 Eli> If I understand this correctly, it's a double symlink, whereby `emacs'
 Eli> is a symlink to `/etc/emacs', which in turn is a symlink to either
 Eli> `/usr/local/bin/emacs-20.7.1' or `/usr/local/bin/emacs-19.34', and
 Eli> similarly for the `lisp', `info', and all the other direcories that
 Eli> are part of the Emacs installation.  (Emacs is used as an example; I
 Eli> understand that alternatives are not limited to Emacs.)

        This is correct.

 Eli> If so, then the problems I was talking about are irrelevant for this
 Eli> setup--as long as the user only invokes the default `emacs'.  If the
 Eli> user somehow invokes a non-default Emacs, or says "info -f emacs-19",
 Eli> the links which look for specific file names will get a wrong file.

        Umm, not quite. If I may reproduce my emacs info dir snippet:
 * Emacs: (emacs).      The extensible self-documenting text editor.
* Emacs-20: (emacs-20).      The extensible self-documenting text editor.
* Emacs-21: (emacs-21).      The extensible self-documenting text editor.

        If you ask for the emacs info; info -f emacs, you shall, via
 the magic symlinks, get either emacs-20 or emacs-21 file, as the case
 may be.

        If you ask directly info -f emacs-21; you still get what you
 asked for.

 Eli> I'm actually a bit surprised by this solution, since it enforces the
 Eli> same default globally, i.e. for all users.  It also prevents users
 Eli> from running two different versions of the same program
 Eli> simultaneously, which I thought was the motivation for having several
 Eli> different versions installed.

        You misunderstand. I can (and do) run emacs v20 and emacs v19 at
 the same time; by invoking them as emacs20 and emacs19. I can. if I
 wish. even run two different versions of emacs20 side by side, if I
 so desired. We ahve put a great deal of thought into flexibility in
 Debian's alternative methods

         Here is an edited ls -als listing for /usr/bin: as you can
 see, I can even have multiple different version of emacs-20 installed at
 once (though that is because I understand the packaging, and can
 overide the default, which is to have only one emacs20 version
 installed at one time. I often install ttest versions of packages
 without disturbing the mainstream emacs on my machine -- which is

__> ll /usr/bin/emacs*
   0 lrwxrwxrwx      23 Apr  1  2000 /usr/bin/emacs -> /etc/alternatives/emacs
2852 -rwxr-xr-x 2913364  /usr/bin/emacs-20.7
xxxx -rwxr-xr-x 2913364  /usr/bin/emacs-20.6    * These are here because 
xxxx -rwxr-xr-x 2913364  /usr/bin/emacs-20.1    * I forced them here
xxxx -rwxr-xr-x 2913364  /usr/bin/emacs-19.34
  0 lrwxrwxrwx           /usr/bin/emacs20 -> emacs-20.7
  0 lrwxrwxrwx           /usr/bin/emacs19 -> emacs-19.34

Note: the packages I forced to be installed are marked with a *

_> ll /etc/alternatives/emacs
   0 lrwxrwxrwx   16 Jul 28 13:37 /etc/alternatives/emacs -> /usr/bin/emacs20

 Eli> But if that's what Debian users want, so be it.

        We try not to limit the choices for users in Debian. 

 Eli> Does this mean that we can blissfully forget about the Info
 Eli> file-names' problem, as far as Debian is concerned?

        If you wish. Debian policy, incidentally, is developed on the
 mailing lists address@hidden, and
 address@hidden; and if there is indeed an issue with
 Debian packaging, perhaps the most efficacious method is to direct
 comments and discussion there.

        Now that we have this (hopefully) settled, I would like to ask
 permission to be put on the devel mailing list, and perhaps access to
 the sources to help us resovle any packaging issues we may have with
 emacs21 (I am wondering if we need tighter integration with font
 packages, or how best to package variations [some flavours of emacsen
 had mule and non-mule version, IIRC]).

 Try the Moo Shu Pork.  It is especially good today.
Manoj Srivastava     <address@hidden>    <http://www.golden-gryphon.com/>
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