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Re: First draft of the Emacs website

From: David Caldwell
Subject: Re: First draft of the Emacs website
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 2015 00:15:39 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.11; rv:42.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/42.0

On 11/28/15 9:42 PM, Random832 wrote:
> The advantage [to the extent that it is an advantage] of the version at
> emacsformacosx.com is that it is a self-contained binary distribution
> not requiring one to open a terminal and paste magic shell scripts, but
> a more or less standard build (vs Aquamacs which is a fairly extensive
> patch set).
> One disadvantage (well, technically I haven't examined whether any of
> the others do anything about this) is that it doesn't do anything to
> ensure that "emacs" from the terminal won't run the ancient bundled
> Emacs (still 22, I think the last time this came up the theory was that
> Apple balked at the GPLv3).
> It might be best to have the OSX button to go to a landing page that
> outlines all of these options. An off-site link with no explanation
> isn't going to inspire confidence at any rate; even if there's no
> discussion of options a landing page with "OSX builds are not provided
> directly by the FSF, but Emacs is available through [link]Homebrew[/]"
> would be a better transition.

For what it's worth, I run emacsformacosx.com. Your points are spot on.
I'll also mention that Homebrew also currently has the advantage of
being able to link with librsvg, imagemagick, and gnutls—it's on my list
of things to do to figure out how to bundle the dependencies up in
Emacs.app so distribution works seamlessly.

Emacs on OS X is always a little weird, because I tend to see Emacs
users as mostly command-line centric, but Mac users as a whole
definitely are not. When you look at the other Mac editors out there
that people really like, they are all GUI based. SublimeText, TextMate,
Atom, Xcode are the ones I think of.

Homebrew fits with the command line centric view of the world. I love it
and use it for almost all classic unix software I install, but there are
definitely Mac Emacs users out there that do not use it.

I think emacsformacosx.com is popular[1] because it fits with the
thinking of Mac folks (just download a .dmg and drag-to-install) while
still being plain old Emacs.

At any rate, if the FSF wants official Emacs binaries for Mac OS X, I'm
willing to help out. I've been making and distributing them for 15 years
(since the Mac OS X 10.0 Beta) and I'll most likely keep doing it until
I stop using Emacs or my Mac.


[1] It averages about 1000 downloads per day, with odd spikes of about
3x the average. These happen around releases, but also randomly though
the year–I suspect due to links from various blogs that end up on
Twitter or Hacker News or Reddit.

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