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RE: Post-22.1 development?

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Post-22.1 development?
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 10:31:02 -0700

>     In a recent email, Stefan suggested that we should not restrict 22.x
>     development to bugfixes, but also include new features if the new
>     features are not too invasive.  Do people agree with this approach?
> We can put in a limited set of new features, but only if they
> are really important as well as safe.
>     As for the trunk, should we begin merging the unicode branch in?
> Let's wait a couple of months.  I think it will be easier to move some
> changes selectively to the Emacs 22 branch if we have not included
> unicode-2 in the trunk.  As of now, any change in the trunk would work
> in the branch.  After unicode-2 is installed, many changes will be
> done differently, and they won't work unchanged in the Emacs 22 branch.

IIUC, this means that any new features to be added to Emacs, beyond those
deemed "really important as well as safe", will be added to Emacs +
unicode-2. And that will be after "a couple of months" (which really
means...?) plus the time it takes to merge the unicode-2 branch and test it
after merging.

This means that any libraries or other features we might want to add (beyond
those "really important") will need to work with unicode-2 Emacs. I know
already that some of my own code, which works perfectly well with Emacs 22,
will not work as is with unicode-2 Emacs. For example, my code for zooming
frames (default font) breaks.

Unicode will, I suspect, change a lot of things, making it more difficult to
integrate some new features. However, I do understand that there would also
be problems the other way around: if we first integrated, before unicode-2,
various libraries that people have not mentioned during the last few
"feature-freeze" years, then integrating unicode-2 would itself be harder.

I guess that's the way it is, but I thought I'd point this out. I agree that
it is probably better to try to make new features work with unicode-2 than
the other way around. Better to hold up some minor improvements than a major

It really is a shame that the release cycle is so long. Because of the
"feature freeze", I (and I assume others too) have been waiting for years,
literally, to bring up some possible features for consideration. Emacs is
definitely a cathedral to which generations of builders contribute
collectively. Perhaps a distant descendent will finally merge a "new"
feature conceived centuries earlier... ;-) A historical viewpoint and a
sense of humor definitely help temper impatience. The good news is that a
long waiting line means that Emacs development is active - the doctor is
just busy with other patients, not on vacation.

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