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Debian packages?



Hi Zack,

Emacspeak is such an easy program to build and install, distribution packages
are not really necessary. Far better to learn how to use svn or just grap the
latest tar ball from the emacspeak site. 

Note that asking if there are any plans to put later packages together is
probably misleading/pointless and I think indicates a slight misconception as
to how things work. There is no emacspeak team or any other official or even
unofficial group responsible for maintaining things like distribution packages
etc. Basically, there is Raman and thats about it. A few people contribute
small additions and bug fixes, but essentially emacspeak is managed by Raman.
This model is sometimes referred to as the benevolent dictator model, as
opposed to other models, such as one where work/updates/design choices are
voted by the community or by a group of developers who have earnt special
status via their contributions etc. 

This means that wehn a package is built for a specific distribution, it is done
so by a volunteer who decides to package it up and put it forward through
whatever process that distribution uses to add new packages. Often, as is the
case with Debian, there are quite strict policy requirements that packages must
fulfill. However, all of this is done by the individual and distinct from
emacspeak - which means there is no real central point to ask questions, such
as "Wehn will a new package for x be released" etc. 

Generally, Ive observed that emacspeak packages for various linux distributions
are almost never up-to-date. I think this is mainly because the overheads of
generating a compliant package exceed the benefits because it is so
straight-forward to just grab the package and do it yourself. The fact Raman
releases two official emacspeak packages every year also means that it is
dificult to keep up-to-date, especially as some distributions will take a
minimum of 3 months for a package to go through the vetting process and make it
through to a production repository. Also, most distributions freeze versions at
a certain point and with two emacspeak versions each year, it doesn't take long
before the version packaged with the specific distro version is behind etc. 

With fast moving/evlolving/developing emacs packages like emacspeak, the best
approach is to grab the tar ball and install it yourself. This is very easy to
do, you don't need to install it in the main file hierarchy if you don't want
to (I run mine out of my home directory and from the SVN repository, so I can
update it easily and don't need to do it as root.).

Tim



Zachary Kline writes:
 > Hello,
 > 	I've recently begun experimenting with Debian, as I remember reading that it had the largest number of Emacs packages available.  
 > With the new release of Emacs 22--which I realize hasn't yet had time to make it through the Debian security screening--I was wondering why Emacspeak 25 and 26 weren't at least in the experimental packages?  
 > 	I am still somewhat unsure of myself when installing things outside the package tree, mostly because I don't know Debian all that well yet.  Is there a plan to get a more updated package of Emacspeak soon?
 > Thanks,
 > Zack.
 > 
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-- 
Tim Cross
tcross@rapttech.com.au

There are two types of people in IT - those who do not manage what they 
understand and those who do not understand what they manage.

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