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Call for testing: Daily snapshot builds of Emacs for Ubuntu

From: Robert Park
Subject: Call for testing: Daily snapshot builds of Emacs for Ubuntu
Date: Sat, 11 May 2013 17:06:24 -0700

For the last couple of months, I have been working on enabling daily
built Ubuntu packages of Emacs' trunk bzr branch, to make it easier
for testers to install and test the latest code, hopefully narrowing
the feedback loop between testers and developers.

You may be familiar with the snapshot packaging work done by Damien
Cassou; however his method is largely to build by hand once every
couple weeks, I am using Launchpad recipes to achieve the same thing
every day, in an entirely automated fashion.

To achieve this, I have written all new packaging metadata from
scratch, discarding many years of legacy cruft from the debian build
system (where the debian packaging weighs in at 4900 lines of code, I
have nearly achieved feature parity with only 1495 lines of code).

My packages provide much of what you might expect from a debian
package of Emacs:

* Separate packages for Gtk3 and NoX builds

* Files not unique to each build grouped into a single -common package

* Uncompiled elisp files split into a separate -el package for
optional installation, saving disk space.

* postinst and prerm scripts provide support for the debian
update-alternatives system

* Can be installed alongside the existing emacs24 package that's
available in debian/ubuntu.

Known issues:

* No support for elisp packages installed by dpkg. This issue is
unfortunately more complicated than simply twiddling load-path and I'm
still investigating it. However, I consider this issue quite minor
because package.el support is *superb* in trunk and I highly recommend
it's flexibility over the elisp packages installed by dpkg.

If you want to give this a try in Ubuntu, you can run these commands:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-elisp/ppa
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install emacs-snapshot

(or emacs-snapshot-nox as you prefer)

Currently, builds are provided daily for Ubuntu Precise, Raring, and
Saucy (latest LTS, latest stable, and dev series). There is a Quantal
build available in the PPA, however I stopped making new Quantal
builds the day Raring was released ;-)

So please, take it for a spin, let me know how it's all working for
you, and let's get all bugs fixed in trunk because distropatches are

Oh, and here's the recipe, for the curious:


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