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Re: Emacs for Windows

From: Óscar Fuentes
Subject: Re: Emacs for Windows
Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2014 21:40:23 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Eli Zaretskii <> writes:

>> AFAIK, they provide sources for those packages that belong to them (i.e.
>> MSYS2 proper). For the rest, the sources are retrieved from their
>> official sites (i.e. gcc) and then local pactches are applied, if any
>> exists. This is automated by the Arch Build System (abs for short, that
>> was ported to MSYS2.) Any user can retrieve a package's source code by
>> using certain abs commands. The local patches are readily available from
>> GitHub. If you wish to build the package instead of intalling the
>> binaries, then retrieving the sources, applying the local paches,
>> building and installing is nicely automated by abs.
> Fhew!  And where does one learn about this procedure?

Somewhere on the Arch documentation about abs/pacman/etc. I don't know
how good it is, but I'll investigate it because I'll like to contribute
some packages. Seeing how many people is contributing, it must not be
that hard to learn. You can use the PKGBUILD (the build recipe used by
abs) of a similar package as a template too.

> Btw, I reviewed a few patches they have in github for a couple of
> packages with which I'm familiar, and either the patches available
> through github are not all the story (e.g., perhaps they use some
> additional non-default replacements for standard library functions),
> or their ports are crippled.  Examples include Guile (which needs to
> be heavily patched to work on Windows) and Hunspell (likewise, and one
> of the bugs affects Unix as well).

Guile is not available as a native package. It depends on the MSYS2
Posix layer. The PKGBUILD and patches are here:

Hunspell es available as a native package:

$ pacman -Ss hunspe
mingw32/mingw-w64-i686-hunspell 1.3.3-2
    Spell checker and morphological analyzer library and program (mingw-w64)
mingw64/mingw-w64-x86_64-hunspell 1.3.3-2
    Spell checker and morphological analyzer library and program (mingw-w64)

but there are some reports about crashes on the bug tracker. Maybe they
are just discovering the issues you mention.

> I really wonder whether they run the test suite for each package
> before they release it.  Guile, for example, fails the tests miserably
> on Windows if not patched.
> In addition, at least one package -- Bison 3.0.2 -- has no patches at
> all, and no source distro under "Sources", so either it is buggy, or
> the patches used to build the binaries were not posted.

bison is available as a MSYS2 package and as a MinGW-w64 package (the
"native" counterpart.) For the later, the recipe and patches are here:

>> AFAIU this violates the requirement of obtaining the source code from
>> the binary code distributor.
> Indeed.
> Btw, strangely enough, they don't have some very important packages,
> like Gawk, Flex, and m4, to name just a few.  Strange collection.

m4 is available as MSYS2 and MinGW-w64 packages:

$ pacman -Ss m4
mingw32/mingw-w64-i686-m4 1.4.17-1
    The GNU macro processor (mingw-w64)
mingw64/mingw-w64-x86_64-m4 1.4.17-1
    The GNU macro processor (mingw-w64)
msys/m4 1.4.17-2 (base-devel) [instalado]
    The GNU macro processor

Gawk as a MSYS2 package:

$ pacman -Ss gawk
msys/gawk 4.1.1-1 (base base-devel) [instalado]
    GNU version of awk

Same for flex.

Please note that the project is a just months old and there is no
central authority for ensuring that the submitted build recipes are
sound. If it builds, it is accepted and then they wait for bug reports.
If the package is too broken, it is retracted until someone fixes it.

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