[Pkg-emacsen-addons] Bug#802154: Bug#802154: sml-mode: fails to upgrade lenny -> squeeze -> wheezy -> jessie -> stretch

Barak A. Pearlmutter barak at pearlmutter.net
Tue Oct 20 07:54:06 UTC 2015

> There's really no reasonable way to support versions of emacs older than
> 24 with the elpa based infrastructure. Indeed most emacs addon packages
> just won't work, never mind packaging issues. I guess a versioned depend
> on emacs would do the trick to pull in emacs24. If that seems like the
> right solution, I can have dh-elpa do it automatically.

That does indeed seem to me like the right solution.

However, I'd think it should be *possible* to install elpa- packages
without having emacs installed at all.  They might not be very useful,
but so be it.  This would argue for a "Recommends:" dependency.  And
also an "Enhances:".  And it would give dpkg a bit more freedom.

The current bug is somewhat deeper.  If the elpa infrastructure can't
handle emacs (< 24), then it probably shouldn't try to use it.  This
situation could come up if both emacs23 and emacs24 are installed, say,
with update-alternatives set to point to emacs23.  So even an explicit
dependency on emacs24 won't completely address the issue.  I think these
considerations argue for explicit version testing, or careful feature
testing, in the installation scripts.  Although maybe dh-elpa (>= 0.13)
is already doing this?

(I suppose this discussion should really be moved to debian-emacsen.)


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