Okay, folks. I am not only complaining, I just started writing an
PACKAGES-Introduction. The following is far from complete, I'm sure,
so I need help. Lots and lots of help. If somebody likes to fill in
the black holes, don't hesistate. Or even better: somebody with much
more competence on this theme (Andy, Adrian ?) should take it, rip it
apart and do it right.
One more comment: Just as Steve does, I believe that with a
SUMO-tarball alone, we will return to the "What can I delete"-FAQ, so
a file like the one below is very necessary.
Down below we go ...
# -*- Mode: text -*-
As of Version 21.0, XEmacs no longer ships with one huge set of Emacs
Lisp files. Instead most of these files are distributed separately in
the form of so called packages, so that users and system
administrators can choose which packages they need. This file explains
how packages work in XEmacs 21.0.
* 1. Getting Started
When you first grab (i.e. ftp) XEmacs 21.0, you will usually ftp the
file xemacs-21.0.tar.gz (currently xemacs-21.0-b46.tar.gz). Unzipping
and untarring this file will leave you with the sources and a minimal
set of Emacs Lisp files, which are in the subdirectory named
'lisp'. This subdirectory used to contain all Emacs Lisp files
distributed with XEmacs.
In the 'etc' subdirectory you can find a list of all available
packages in the file 'PACKAGES'.
*2. Choosing the Packages You Need
The available packages can currently be found in the same ftp
directory where you grabbed the 21.0 sources from, from the
subdirectory 'binary_packages'. Package file names follow the naming
Now, check the above mentioned file 'PACKAGES' to see which packages
you want. You will probably always want to install the 'xemacs-base'
Here is an overview which packages should be dumped  with XEmacs
and thus need to be installed before compiling XEmacs, if you like
to use them.
<please fill out this section !>
<I think we also need a list of suggestions for people that want to do
several stuff with XEmacs, like reading/sending mail, programming, W3
surfing, etc. You get the idea. Yes, I know of etc/PACKAGES but that
contains no suggestions.>
Hint to system administrators of multi-user systems: it might be a
good idea to install all packages and not to interfer with the wishes
of your users.
When installing XEmacs, it will be installed in a certain place,
usually underneath a directory, here commonly refered to as $(prefix)
. Usually, XEmacs will be installed under $(prefix), with the
XEmacs binary in $(prefix)/bin and the "rest" under
$(prefix)/xemacs-<version>. This includes the etc/, info/ and
lisp/-subdirectories as well as the directory for
Thus, a typical installation (as performed by `make install') looks like:
$(prefix)/lib/xemacs-<version>/info - Core 21.0 distribution
The "normal" intended way where packages should go is in a directory
_beneath_ 'xemacs-<version>', for instance to 'xemacs'. For a XEmacs
with MULE  you will need a 'mule-packages' subdirectory and a
'xemacs-packages' directory for all common packages.
Thus, for the packages you should have the following
*4. Installing packages and XEmacs
For installing packages, you will now need to unzip and untar all
packages you want to install. After that, you are done for the moment
with the package stuff and can proceed to compiling and installing
When configuring XEmacs, specify the package-path you are using, i.e.,
configure with, say
./configure <other-configure-options> --package-path=<PACKAGE-DIRECTORY>
If you don't specify --package-path a default of
$(prefix)/lib/xemacs/xemacs-packages will be used.
*5. Using Packages from Emacs Lisp
Aehh, HELP, I do know nothing yet ...
*X. Final Notes
This should be all you need.
 If you don't know what dumping is, please refer to the file
 This notion stems from the makefile used to build XEmacs, and is
set with configure by using the option --with-prefix=<DIRNAME>.
 If you don't know what MULE is, please refer to the file