[ESS] Xemacs again {was "file name completion again"}

Rodney Sparapani rsparapa at mcw.edu
Thu Sep 1 16:49:19 CEST 2005

> > In such moments I'm close to proposing to drop all support for
> > Xemacs...   but luckily these moments pass ... so you Xemacs
> > lovers don't have to be afraid yet.
>I agree with you there - but I feel a bit more strongly, and my
>moments do not pass!  I think the more people get behind Emacs, the
>sooner XEmacs will become a thing of the past.  I spent a lot of time
>cursing at the differences between Emacs and XEmacs.
>I realise XEmacs provides better support for Windows, but then I'm no
>fan of Windows either!
Well, I would disagree slightly.  I'd say that Emacs is better on Windows
and Mac, but XEmacs rules on Unix.  The problem with Emacs is that you
have to install all of the modes that it doesn't come with.  We've seen that
installation is the back-breaker for many of an ESS user.  However, having
said that, the XEmacs package system is really not good for ESS.  We are
too often fixing bugs, creating new features, etc.  This makes for a painful
patching of the XEmacs package (from one repository to the other, a big
no-no in software development).  First, all of the patches have to be
"reviewed" by the XEmacs developers.  Then, even when the new ESS package
is "released" into the XEmacs package system, it is not really.  New
packages are beta-ed for several weeks if not longer, before release.  So,
my idea is to support XEmacs the same way we support Emacs, i.e. by
hand installation with or without the Makefile.  I've almost got it
working now, so that the Makefile will create an XEmacs package for
you.  And, we will officially withdraw the ESS XEmacs package so
that we know where ESS is coming from.  I'd make a similar suggestion
for RPMs, or whatever Debian calls them, after some other recent problems.

Thanks, Rodney

More information about the ESS-help mailing list