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Emacs 22.1 Debian packages

From: Chong Yidong
Subject: Emacs 22.1 Debian packages
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2007 16:46:38 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1.50 (gnu/linux)

There is currently no Debian package for Emacs 22.1 usable on the
stable distribution (etch) or oldstable distribution (sarge) of
Debian.  There are emacs22 packages in Debian experimental, which will
eventually make their way into Debian unstable and hence to Debian
testing, but these will never be usable with etch.  Also, the Debian
maintainer has separated the Emacs documentation into a "non-dfsg"
package due to the revent Debian controversy over the GFDL, so getting
the Emacs documentation now requires fussing with the Debian
"non-free" repositories.

Due to these two factors, I think there is a demand for Emacs 22.1
debs targetting Debian stable.

For the last year or so, Romain Francoise has been packaging an
emacs-snapshot Debian package that tracks Emacs CVS; in the wake of
the Debian GFDL stuff, these packages were moved from the Debian
repositories to Romain's personal site, http://emacs.orebokech.com/.

What do people think about making emacs22 debs based on Romain's
emacs-snapshot packages?  Its packaging is completely different from
the one used by the official Debian emacs22 packages in experimental,
but works fine.  It includes all the manuals.

I have already asked Romain.  He is agreeable to this idea with this

> there's an issue with the Debian emacs system: most add-on packages
> in sarge/etch support the 'emacs21' and 'emacs-snapshot' flavors,
> but not the 'emacs22' flavor.  As a result, the add-on packages will
> probably not get byte-compiled when the emacs22 packages are
> installed, and some will declare themselves as installed but will
> run uncompiled (which is a problem for, say, Semantic).

If we get this working, we could put the debs on Romain's site and
link to them from the Emacs homepage.  Alternatively, we can put the
debs on ftp.gnu.org.  I know we don't usually offer binaries, but I'd
argue that it is justifiable in this case.  Many free software
packages offer binaries in the form of .rpms and .debs, and I don't
think there's any reason in principle why we shouldn't, especially in
this case where Romain has already done most of the heavy lifting.

What do people think?

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