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Re: Nextstep build uses iso-latin by default. WHY?

From: Anders Lindgren
Subject: Re: Nextstep build uses iso-latin by default. WHY?
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2016 11:31:26 +0200

> * Add OS X-specific features (while still respecting the FSF policy
> that features should not only be available on non-free systems)

Well, recently I switched from Railwaycat's Mac port
(at https://github.com/railwaycat/mirror-emacs-mac) to the official
Emacs version (installed using Homebrew).
I never understood why Railwaycat's changes are not merged to the
official repo, but is it because of that FSF policy?

That is only part of the story. But, yes, the "mac" port has more freedom as it's not official FSF software.

The "mac" port originates from an Emacs implementation on Mac OS Classic whereas the NS port comes from NextSTEP, before the two were merged with OS X. Amazingly, both are still being actively maintained. Internally, however, they are totally different, the "mac" port is written in C based on the Carbon API, while the NS port is implemented in Objective-C and use the Cocoa API. This makes it hard to simply "merge" a feature fromt the "mac" port to the NS port, and vice versa.

I really would like to help make the official Emacs work better on OS X,
but if I understand it correctly, not everything is allowed?

Yes, that is correct. A recent example is that support for fonts with colors has been disabled awaiting it being supported on a free system.

However, there are many ways we can make Emacs on OS X better without breaking the FSF policy.

But I'll start going through the bugs to see where I can help and so try
to getter a better understanding of the source code.

Welcome aboard!

The bug database is hard to navigate -- it's hard to find NS-specific bugs since there is way of tagging a bug as NS- or OS X-specific and the search function doesn't work so well (e.g. searching for "MAC" match every bug containing the word "eMACs"...). I suggest that you start by looking at recent unresolved bugs (like bug#22973) or the issues listed in etc/TODO.

Feel free to ask me questions, either directly, or by starting a generic "NS port" thread here at emacs-devel. (In the future, if more people would join, we could have a dedicated NS port mailing list.)

    -- Anders

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