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Re: address@hidden: Re: Possible help with stable Emacs releases.]

From: Rob Browning
Subject: Re: address@hidden: Re: Possible help with stable Emacs releases.]
Date: Mon, 04 Oct 2004 17:40:36 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.1006 (Gnus v5.10.6) Emacs/21.3 (gnu/linux)

"Robert J. Chassell" <address@hidden> writes:

> The Debian people are proposing
>  1. to continue to make Debian packages out of Emacs releases, and,
>  2. occasionally to fix bugs in their packages, which means making new
>     Debian packages.

Actually, the overall goal here was to figure out some way that the
work that we do on the Debian side can benefit a wider audience.

We might well release 10 Debian revisions in a given year, and each
one may fix some number of bugs in the current "stable" upstream Emacs
distribution.  We fix some of these bugs with backports from Emacs
CVS, some with patches from users, and some by our own hacking.

So we wanted to see if together with emacs-devel, we could come up
with a way to make those releases more publically available, so that
others can benefit from the improvements on a shorter timescale than
that of traditional emacs releases.

One way to do that might be for Emacs CVS to have a "branch" (or
whatever) that only allowed *really* uncontroversial bugfixes, and
hence was supposed to be nearly ready for release all the time.  In
that scenario, Jerome and I could commit our patches there and then
make relatively more frequent releases.  Since the changes are
required to be "minor", if one of these releases breaks something, we
should be able to just back out the change and release a new version
immediately.  Whether these releases would be called X.Y.Z, or
W.X.Y.Z, X.Y.bugfix.N, or something else doesn't really matter (though
see my next post about major number choices).

Another alternative might be for us to just maintain unofficial Debian
sub-releases.  We could provide emacs-debian...tar.gz on
people.debian.org, and make it clear that the release is unofficial,
but contains all of the non-Debian-specific fixes from the Debian

Of course, I'm sure there are other solutions I'm not thinking of at
the moment.

> Currently, the Debian Emacs has a version number that looks like this:
>     21.3+1

The reason we have 21.3+1 rather than just 21.3 is that we repackage
the upstream source.  In particular our orig.tar.gz file contains leim
and does not contain any .elc files.  We use +1 to make it clearer
that this isn't exactly an upstream version, while still allowing dpkg
to sort the versions correctly.

Rob Browning
rlb @defaultvalue.org and @debian.org; previously @cs.utexas.edu
GPG starting 2002-11-03 = 14DD 432F AE39 534D B592  F9A0 25C8 D377 8C7E 73A4

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