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Re: GnuTLS for W32

From: Ted Zlatanov
Subject: Re: GnuTLS for W32
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2012 18:16:26 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.110018 (No Gnus v0.18) Emacs/24.0.90 (gnu/linux)

On Wed, 4 Jan 2012 14:47:02 -0800 chad <address@hidden> wrote: 

c> I have a suggestion: by policy put the DLLs with the binary, make the
c> installer DTRT, and then add some sort of `update alert' facility
c> that checks ELPA to notify users about new versions.  This facility
c> would not necessarily update the software itself, but would notify
c> users that a new version of the software exists, along with notes
c> about the changes (especially the severity of the changes) and
c> instructions for updating.  The installer-based default would only
c> (somehow) bug the user about severe problems (such as security
c> breaches for GnuTLS), pointing them at a new installer.  Users who
c> opted in could be notified of all changes (perhaps displaying
c> ChangeLogs or vc status messages at the far end).

I really like your suggestion.  It lets us write the DLL deployment code
later or never, depending on what users want, but at first we will only
do the acceptable minimum.  It can also work with a standalone GnuTLS
W32 installer, if we ever decide that's a better approach.

GnuTLS provides gnutls_check_version() which we can use to dynamically
find out the version of the currently loaded GnuTLS DLL, by calling it
with a NULL.  So the package's version check should be fairly easy to
write, and its version string will simply match the GnuTLS release it's

I think, to get this working, we need a list of critical ELPA packages
that Emacs will check for updates on startup and alert the user to
upgrade.  By default that list should be empty on all platforms, except
on W32 it will contain the "gnutls-w32" package.  The actual package
will have to live on the GNU ELPA site, so that will require a network
connection to be opened... this will almost certainly displease some
Emacs users if we make it a default, but I do think it's the right one.

As a user I would like to have such a list, and will probably add a few
packages to it for my personal use.


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