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[AUCTeX-devel] Re: Upstream support of XEmacs in AUCTeX

From: David Kastrup
Subject: [AUCTeX-devel] Re: Upstream support of XEmacs in AUCTeX
Date: Tue, 08 Jul 2008 01:20:57 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

"Stephen J. Turnbull" <address@hidden> writes:

> David Kastrup writes:
>  > It has become clear in the last few years that the efforts of AUCTeX
>  > developers to support XEmacs are basically a waste of time.
> I'm sorry you feel that way; I certainly don't think so.
>  > According to the XEmacs developer lists, there is no noticeable
>  > interest in an uptodate AUCTeX distribution.
> That depends on how you define "noticeable", and the date of that
> statement.


> But Uwe *has* been moving forward, and joined in the last weekss by
> Mats Lidell, who is an XEmacs Reviewer (== as "inside" as an XEmacs
> developer gets).
> Bottom line: I would not say "no noticeable interest" any more, and I
> don't think anybody else would, either.

You are putting the cart before the horse.  Noticeable interest is not
defined by the people working on a solution, but by the people wanting a
solution.  Unless, of course, one conveniently explains any interest
away as long as one does not see the resources for addressing such

While this head-in-the-sand philosophy is pretty much what my impression
of the situation has been most of the time, it does not lend itself to
actually addressing the problems when the situation makes it possible to
recruit attention.

>  > while it would seem completely reasonable to me
> Your opinion has surely been noted.  But "he who does the work makes
> the decisions."

Yup.  And since the AUCTeX upstream is not granted any say in the
decisions, I propose that we leave the work to the decision makers.

>  > I would thus suggest that we discontinue maintenance of the
>  > XEmacs-related parts of AUCTeX.
> I have a better idea.  Why don't you and I agree to discontinue
> maintenance of this flamewar, which hasn't moved a millimeter in
> years?

The "flamewar" has not moved a millimeter in years because the situation
has not moved in years.  The static flamewar is just a representation of
the discrepance between the work the AUCTeX developers put into
supporting XEmacs and the outcome of their effort.  Discontinuing
upstream maintenance of the XEmacs-related parts of AUCTeX and
discontinuing maintenance of this "flamewar" are the same thing.  And
this is exactly what I am proposing.

> For your part, it would be nice if if the tarball builder stayed
> around (ie, you continue to distribute XEmacs binary tarballs for your
> current release) until the work by Uwe and Mats bears fruit.

I don't see what this would buy AUCTeX.  It costs effort, it does not
arrive at the common user, and it provides an excuse to let the current
situation drag out indefinitely.

> From what Uwe wrote in another reply, there should be visible results
> within a couple of weeks, but it's unlikely to be stabilized for a
> while, and it will be a while before users learn to trust the XEmacs
> distribution of AUCTeX to be up-to-date and reliable, I suppose.

Just give them your standard quality assurance speech with regard to the
package system policies.  It is the gold standard I am supposed to buy,
so why not feed it to them?  How am I supposed to swallow it if you
can't even sell it to your fans?

>  > But other than that, I don't see a reasonable return of investment
>  > for our efforts to keep AUCTeX running on XEmacs.  I don't see us
>  > (meaning the current core AUCTeX developers) having the resources
>  > to put forward the minimum amount of work demanded by the XEmacs
>  > policies that would get AUCTeX into a form accepted for downstream
>  > distribution.
> I don't understand the combination of these two sentences.  "Keeping
> AUCTeX running" is something that only you can do.  As volunteers, you
> of course have "responsibility" only to the extent you accept it, but
> "it would seem completely reasonable to me" that there would be
> sufficient returns to doing so.

Get real.  There is no XEmacs user under the AUCTeX core developers.
The main return are additional work, exasperation, flame wars and
derision.  There is an occasional "thank you" from a user who gets
through your defenses, deinstalls the AUCTeX from Sumo and installs the
tarball from us.  But it is a rare occurence.  Certainly a far cry from
"sufficient returns".

> Why not just let Uwe and Mats do their job?

That is exactly what I am proposing.  Since we are not allowed to make
their work easier and all efforts on doing so have been wasted on
principle, we might as well shut them down.  Perhaps it will even be a
motivation for them if their work is not a completely redundant
replication of what is already there.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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