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Re: Readings for an emacs package maintainer ?

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: Readings for an emacs package maintainer ?
Date: Mon, 01 Jun 2009 16:35:53 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.94 (gnu/linux)

> I want packages I am maintaining to be still supported for old
> emacsen from, say, 19.x to latest possible (including xemacs).

While it's arguably a desirable goal in itself, it has to be weighed
against the additional maintenance and testing burden.

So, in my case at least, I write&test my Elisp packages using Emacs-CVS,
and try to make it work on the latest released Emacs as well.  Past that
stage, it's the responsibility of the users to complain about problems
with older releases.
a) In most cases, they're pretty happy to fix the problem by upgrading.
b) In many other cases, they don't report the problem.
c) Some others are sufficiently bothered to report the problem.
d) Some report it and help come up with a fix.
I think my time is better spent adding new features than catering to
people in (b) you can't even be bothered to report the problem.
For (c) and (d), if the fix is easy to find or is found by the user,
I might include it in subsequent releases, unless it's too ugly.

I respect's people choice to use an older release, but they should
expect it not to work 100% with programs that aren't from the same era.


PS: In the last few years, I haven't received any report of problems
    linked to the use of an Emacs < 21.1.  So I really wouldn't worry
    about Emacs-19.29.  There might still be some user of Emacs-19.29,
    but they're extremely unlikely to use your new code.

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