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Re: grep-changelog in the emacs distro

From: Ulrich Mueller
Subject: Re: grep-changelog in the emacs distro
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2012 08:54:08 +0100

>>>>> On Tue, 03 Jan 2012, Randal L Schwartz wrote:

> 'grep-changelog' is apparently the *only* thing in the current emacs
> HEAD that requires Perl.

AFAICS, Perl isn't required at build time, but only for running the
grep-changelog script.

> Would it be possible to put its build and install behind a configure
> switch so that a variant of Emacs might be built and packaged that
> does *not* require Perl?

We've had similar discussions in Gentoo, and the conclusion was that
doing such things isn't feasible.

Emacs relies on several external programs. They're kind of "soft"
dependencies which are required to perform various functions at

So, if you take the road of removing grep-changelog if there's no
Perl, then you should also remove other parts of Emacs if other
programs are absent. For example, you'd have to remove tramp if
there's no ftp, ssh, or sudo. ispell.el requires some spell checker.
Functions for printing don't work if there's no print system (like
cups or lpr) installed. vc*.el needs some version control system.

Also, what are you going to do if Perl is installed on the system at
a later time? You'd have to rebuild Emacs in that case.


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