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Re: [feature/internal-msys] thoughts of a more function windows package

From: Wayne Harris
Subject: Re: [feature/internal-msys] thoughts of a more function windows package
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 2021 08:46:00 -0300

Phillip Lord <phillip.lord@russet.org.uk> writes:


>> (*) Summary
>> Unless this coupling Emacs-MSYS2 can be well done with a certain
>> long-run guarantee, I'd still prefer put them together with my own
>> hands, because this way I can guarantee the behavior of the programs I
>> expect to get.  So I think I'd need an assurance of always having a
>> certain exact (verified with a hash sum) version of msys2.
> I can certainly appreciate that. I sit somewhere in the middle: I use
> Emacs build from master, but most of my emacs packages are specific
> versions, rather than running from everyones heads.

How do you do that?  It seems you take the .exe but keep .el separate?
That sounds crazy to me.  How would I know all my new .exe still works
with my very old .el files?

> But, like it or lump it, msys2 doesn't do that. They have a versioned,
> hash summed installer, but after that it just updates to the latest
> version, with no specific release pattern (or a rolling release if you
> prefer). [...]

That's indeed a big problem for people who do work dependent on computer
tools --- probably anyone who does any serious work on computers.  I
also see many non-professional users, say, who just hate the surprise of
updates.  (They might have all the time in the world to learn new
behaviors, but they just hate it.  Windows forums are full of angry

That's why I loved the Guix-news posted by Nikolay Kudryavtsev.  That's
what I like about computer systems --- repetitive behavior with
mathematical guarantee.  It's incredible that people tolerate computers
with human-like behavior, ``mood-dependent'' say.

>> As an example, I've built my own OpenBSD distribution because I wanted
>> an assurance in the behavior of the system, besides a quick
>> installation.  I install it with a single command line and it asks no
>> questions.  It comes ready to do all the things *I* usually do.
> Something close to this, I think we could achieve. Install Emacs, have
> it ask "do you want to link to an msys2 installation? Do you want to
> install it? Do you want to update it with Emacs standard packages".
> So three questions, but not none.

That sounds nice.  If I had to start my ``GNU Emacs system'' from
scratch, this step would be a nice one.  The GNU Emacs on Windows is
handicapped without lots of other UNIX programs.  I wrote this years

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
;; (*) On being in the wild, without a map

;; When you're on Windows, you're on your own.  You have to provide
;; everything, that is, you need to bring the UNIX part that we can
;; replicate on Windows.  (Thankfully, the EMACS shell replaces the UNIX
;; shell, even on Windows.)

;; Use this GNU debugger
(when (string= system-type "windows-nt")
    (setq gdb-command-name "~/mingw/usr/bin/gdb.exe"))


;; Use this diff program
(when (string= system-type "windows-nt")
  (setq ediff-diff-program "~/mingw/usr/bin/diff.exe"))

--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

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