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Re: Bloat in the Emacs Windows package

From: Óscar Fuentes
Subject: Re: Bloat in the Emacs Windows package
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2019 01:12:15 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

address@hidden (Phillip Lord) writes:

> To summarise my feelings about the thread so far:
>  - I think most normal users don't need debug symbols,

I agree.

>    so I would be
>    minded to remove them (or not put them). I don't know why I have
>    added "-g3" to the default options. People who know what to do with
>    debug symbols are likely to be able to build Emacs for
>    themselves.

Not really. Building Emacs is much harder than installing gdb, execute
emacs under gdb and obtain an stack trace.

Debug symbols are useful, and that is the reason why GNU/Linux
distributions offer them as a separate package.

>  - We currently install emacs.exe and emacs-26.2.exe. I think we should
>    continue doing this because it is how we do it on other
>    platforms.

As explained on a previous post, IMO the reasoning behind that practice
makes little sense for Windows.

>    The disk space requirement is small (and will be smaller if we
>    remove debug symbols). It probably adds little to the download
>    bandwith (because of zip) and will add nothing with the .exe
>    installer for Emacs-27. And NTFS compression fixes the problem (and
>    more) for those who really care about space (and they are probably
>    using it already).

Creating symlinks on Windows (pre-10, IIRC) require administrator
privileges. Ditto for enabling NTFS compression.

About what is small and what isn't: that's a personal opinion. I'm mildly
annoyed about the fact that yesterday's MB are today's GB, without a
proportional increase in functionality. Also, I recently started using
an Android tablet with 32 GB storage and I really appreciate how the
Termux guys manage to produce packages that are significantly smaller
than those on desktop GNU/Linux. There are low-end computers in stores
with 32 GB SSDs. And people use old hardware too.

> I am happy to be corrected here if I am missing some unintended
> consequence, or if you disagree with my justifications.
> Unanswered questions for me:
>  - If we remove debug symbols, why not do -O3 which may produce some
>    performance benefit?

-O3 does not necessarily mean better performance. My bet is that the
difference will be insignificant for Emacs. I've seen plenty of cases
where -O3 was measurably worse than -O2.

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