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Re: Install C source code for for debugging help

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Install C source code for for debugging help
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2019 16:33:48 +0300

> From: Stefan Monnier <address@hidden>
> Cc: Paul Eggert <address@hidden>,  address@hidden
> Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2019 09:01:14 -0400
> >> It's all very well to say that the user can change the
> >> source-directory variable to some random location and then download
> >> a correct copy of the right version of the Emacs source to that
> >> location, but that can be a tricky thing to do correctly
> >
> > Can you explain in more detail why is this tricky?  AFAIR, Emacs
> > prompts for the directory in this case, and all the user needs to do
> > is type its file name at the prompt.
> There is no valid answer to this prompt, because those source files
> simply aren't installed on the machine (at least for 99.99% of the
> users, I expect).

If they have no sources, and don't want to install them, they don't
need to worry about displaying the source of the primitives by
clicking on the Help button.  If they do have the sources installed
somewhere, there _is_ a valid answer to the prompt.

> I never considered doping what Paul suggests, because I expected the
> amount of space wasted this way is too large.  But admittedly, once
> compressed with something like lzip the C source files take up less
> than 3MB, so it's really not that bad given the size of the `emacs`
> executable, plus the .pdmp file and all the .elcs.

What other GNU project installs sources, let alone by default?  Why
should Emacs be different?

> In the case of Debian, it would make sense to include those compressed-C
> files in the `emacs-el` package (the optional package that provides the
> (compressed) .el files, since a normal install of the `emacs` package
> only installs the .elc files) which currently weighs in at around 16MB.
> Arguably, this is something that Debian/RedHat should be doing on their
> side


> but maybe Paul's patch is an easier way to convince "all" distros to
> do that, rather than lobbying them one by one.

I don't see why would we want to convince them.  In the age when
GNU/Linux machines come without a compiler, why would we assume people
want to have the sources handy?

3MB might not be much, but I, for example, keep all the official
releases on my system (and the /usr/share/emacs tree is specifically
arranged to allow that), so these megabytes add up...

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