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Re: format-mode-line function

Hi Robert,

thanks for all that work. I think this makes it fairly clear
format-mode-line is not in emacs 21.x. I've also had some e-mail from
other users indicating the function is not in the version they have
and this is with other distributions. Your hand built version under
debian also eliminates the possability the function was removed by the
Debian modifications to the released version. 

It is however a bit confusing. All I can guess is that once a new
version (i.e. emacs 21) is released, only bug fixes go into minor
version updates (e.g. 21.2, 21.3 and 21.4). As format-mode-line is a
new feature rather than a bug fix and as it was added to CVS after the
release of 21.1, perhaps it wasn't included. 

I have decided for the moment to go back to emacs 22. I had dropped
back to emacs 21 because I was setting up a fresh new system and
didn't want to mix in packages from Debian unstable. I also had a
problem with a recent emacs 22 CVS snapshot failing to build emacspeak
due to speedbar issues. However, that issue seems to be resolved in
the most recent snapshots. 

I guess we should drop the maintainers a note regarding the current
emacs 22 NEWS file to let them know there is a typo in the section
concerning format-mode-line.

For others on the list, I would recommend not doing an update from the
google SVN repository if they are running emacs 21 until this issue is
resolved and remind everyone that the latest SVN snapshots are work in
progress and there is no guarantee it will build or run correctly. 



Robert J. Chassell writes:
 > A query:
 >     Would it be possible for others who are running emacs 21 to see if
 >     the function is defined and report on the emacs version.
 > "format-mode-line" exists in today's CVS as a function.  It does not
 > exist as a function in GNU Emacs 21.4, but it does exist as a symbol.
 > In
 >     GNU Emacs 21.4.1 (i486-pc-linux-gnu, X toolkit, Xaw3d scroll bars) 
 >       of 2005-10-03 on trouble, modified by Debian
 > started with   /usr/bin/emacs21 -q
 >     (functionp 'format-mode-line)
 >     nil
 > even though
 >     (symbolp 'format-mode-line)
 >     t
 > But in today's CVS snapshot, Wed, 2006 Sep  6 10:37 UTC
 >     GNU Emacs (i686-pc-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 2.8.18) 
 >       of 2006-09-06 on benthic
 > started with   /usr/local/src/emacs/src/emacs -q
 >     (functionp 'format-mode-line)
 >     t
 > and 
 >     (symbolp 'format-mode-line)
 >     t
 > Perhaps the claim that "format-mode-line" became part of Emacs 21 is a
 > typo.
 > GNU Emacs version 21.1 was released on 20 October 2001.
 > CVS claims the C code in /usr/local/src/emacs/src/emacs/src/xdisp.c
 > says the function was first written eight months later in 2002:
 >     1.754        (kfstorm  11-Jun-02): DEFUN ("format-mode-line" ...
 > However, although I do not know when 21.4 was released, the date for
 > building GNU Emacs version 21.4 on trouble, modified by Debian, is
 > more than three years after the first writing of "format-mode-line".
 > Moreover, its most recent modification as recorded in CVS was on 
 > 2 June 2005, which is four months before the build.
 > -- 
 >     Robert J. Chassell                         
 >     bob@rattlesnake.com                         GnuPG Key ID: 004B4AC8
 >     http://www.rattlesnake.com                  http://www.teak.cc

Tim Cross

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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