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Re: Process to build standalone Emacs + deps in Windows

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Process to build standalone Emacs + deps in Windows
Date: Sun, 22 Mar 2020 19:25:48 +0200

> From: Juan José García-Ripoll
>  <address@hidden>
> Date: Sun, 22 Mar 2020 15:38:10 +0100
> Now, to motivate my intentions a bit better, I have built Emacs from
> savannah's git repository following a different set of instructions
> (https://gist.github.com/nauhygon/f3b44f51b34e89bc54f8). These
> instructions are hacky (cp /mingw64/bin/*.dll $target/bin).  However,
> this seems to work, which shows that, out of the dependencies that Emacs
> tracks down during its build process, many can be dropped. The resulting
> directory is also leaner

What do you mean by "dependencies that Emacs tracks down during its
build process"?  I'm not sure how what happens during the build is
relevant to what happens at run time.

> On a side note, what kind of solution would be acceptable?
> - Do we need to keep all the utilities supplied by the libraries Emacs
> links to?

No, only those that are needed.  But figuring out which ones are those
is not simple.  The basic problem here is exacerbated by the fact that
MSYS2 produces notoriously fat binary distros, where every possible
optional dependency has been included, whether it does or doesn't make
sense on Windows (or at all), and every possible product is included
(which of course enlarges the list of dependencies and, recursively,
their dependencies).  Figuring out what's needed requires a lot of
tedious reading of documentation and some research.

> - Is a manual filter of second-level dependencies ok?

It depends on who does the job.  Some don't mind manually removing
stuff, others don't have time for that.  Since this is work done by
volunteers, and Emacs as a project doesn't provide "official"
MS-Windows binaries, it isn't for me to make the decision here.

> - Is there a catalogue of utilities that Emacs expect laying around in
> the OS? I see the dependencies file contains bzip2.exe, xz.exe and other
> tools which are not coming from first-level dependencies.

That's a separate issue.  Various Emacs features use external
programs, and where do you stop is up to you.  For example, DocView
will not work 100% without Ghostscript, AFAIK -- do we need to provide
it as part of Emacs?  Or what about TeX/LaTeX, used by some features?
Or Groff (required for formatting man pages, something "M-x man" would
like to do).  Etc. etc.  These are very large packages, and some might
say you will end up with a very large Emacs installation if you
include all of them.

> Finally, I am cleared by the FSF to contribute patches to AucTeX. Would
> I require a validation also to contribute fixes to Emacs?

Your assignment is for Emacs, so you are good there.


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