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

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: address@hidden: Re: Possible help with stable Emacs releases.]
Date: Tue, 05 Oct 2004 10:53:14 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.1006 (Gnus v5.10.6) Emacs/21.3.50 (gnu/linux)

> I'm not sure what kind of improvements you're suggesting, and for
> which kinds of problems, but I don't recall a situation where we
> *can't* accomodate multiple installs of something in Debian.  It's
> just a matter of how much hassle it is and how far we have to diverge
> from the upstream code, and that's usually determined by how much
> attention the upstream developers have paid to the issue.  (It's also,
> depending on the package, a question of manpower.)

Just as it is possible if you don't use packages, it should be possible for
the end user to decide that she wants to install Emacs versions 20.3, 20.4,
21.1, 21.2, and 21.3.

> This blame (though not generally in the case of emacs) may lay as much
> at the feet of the upstream developers as the downstream packagers
> (speaking as one who works on both sides).

Using package systems like `depot' or `stow', I haven't had any trouble
with any existing package.  No need for special support from the
upstream developer.

> If the upstream hasn't
> ever considered the problem, then it can be very difficult, and
> require substantial hacking, to alter the upstream to handle multiple
> installed versions.  This can be further hindered by the available OS
> and tools.  For example, the fact that dlopen doesn't support
> versioning the way that ld.so does can make it difficult to allow
> multiply installed versions of software that relies on dlopened
> libraries, unless the upstream has considered that problem and chosen
> suitably unique library *names* for those libraries.

You don't need to change the name, just the directory in which to search for
the lib.


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