value of maintaining emacs-mode packages in ports

Christopher J. Ruwe cjr at
Mon Nov 24 08:24:40 UTC 2014

On So, 2014-11-23 at 07:32 -0500, Daniel Feenberg wrote:
> On Sun, 23 Nov 2014, Christopher J. Ruwe wrote:
> >
> > In that light and as the ports maintainer of math/ess, the Emacs
> > speaks statistics R-mode of emacs, I am asking myself specifically
> > whether I add any real benefit in maintaining math/ess. More
> > generally, I am interested in community answers as to whether it is
> > really useful to maintain Emacs-extension-packages in ports.
> >
> As a non-Emacs user, can I raise some questions that should be asked every 
> time a service/feature is withdrawn?
> If you stop maintaining math/ess, does it go away, or merely stop 
> improving?

I think eventually math/ess would be retired on go away. Emacs package
installation is available since Emacs 24 and I believe emacs23 is
retired as of 19th November this year. 
> Does the Emacs package system support the same versions of Emacs that you 
> support in math/ess?

I have the impression they are more up to date. Latest MELPA package
is from the 14th (

> If a user upgrades FreeBSD will he lose what he has unless he converts to 
> the new Emacs package system?

Emacs packages are more like plugins (cf. firefox). Upgrades of
FreeBSD do not touch these. On upgrades of Emacs, users might need to
recompile, if the chose to run compiled Emacs Lisp modules. 

> Is the Emacs package system something that requires an installation of its 
> own?

A clear no. ESS is just an interface to the R language/interpreter
(math/R). It can run without R installed, although it is not very
useful in my opinion the same way that having a languange-mode for an
arbitrary languae is not really useful without the corresponding
language compiler/interpreter around. But people do strange things ..

> May I suggest that if you let it go away, you place a README file where 
> Emacs-extension-packages was that points users to the replacement, with 
> instructions for how to get there? Not everyone using Emacs on FreeBSD 
> follows the mailing lists for FreeBSD, (or Emacs).

I do not now procedures for deprecated ports. I see emacs modes alike
to plugins in firefox, which are not packaged as well, so I see the
idea of potentially retiring math/ess in the wider setting of giving
up more or less all emacs extensions.

Anyhow, thanks for your thoughts. Cheers,

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