Here are my comments and additions, additions have >>>>New Stuff>>>,
comments are just in straight text.
At 04:20 PM 6/26/98 +0200, Holger Schauer wrote:
# -*- 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
Packages are also listed on
the options menu under:
If you have efs installed and configured packages can be installed
completely from the menubar.
Now, check the above mentioned file 'PACKAGES' to see which
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.
This is misleading (correct me if I'm wrong someone). What you are dumping
are basically hooks for the package which make it possible to use the
package with little configuration. There's nothing to stop you installing a
package manually loading it and then using it. I'm assuming that xemacs
binaries will come pre-dumped with these hooks in which case people want
have to care.
<I think we also need a list of suggestions for people that want to
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.
functions that will install packages for you in the correct
location, meaning that you the user do not have to worry about where they
are. For information puposes:
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
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
The easiest and most correct way to install a package is to do:
M-x package-admin-add-binary-package <return>
input the location of the package tarball and xemacs will do the rest for
If you have efs installed and configured you can select package from the
customize menu, set their state to on and then do:
This will automatically retrieve the packages you have selected from the
xemacs ftp site and install them into xemacs. Additionally it will update
any packages you already have installed to the newest version. Note that if
a package is newly installed you will have to restart XEmacs for the change
to take effect.
Alternatively you can install packages by hand using tar, although this is
not recommended since package-admin-add-binary-package may perform
additional steps in the future:
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.
The end goal of the efs-based package distribution is for you to be able to:
1. Download and install and xemacs binary.
2. Download and install the efs package
3. Configure efs.
4. Select packages from the options menu and install them automatically.
Currently efs has some dependencies which means that you may have to
install more than efs to get going. Also as noted earlier you have to
currently restart XEmacs once packages have been installed.
*5. Using Packages from Emacs Lisp
I don't know what this means. I think you should delete it.
" .sigs are like your face - rarely seen by you and uglier than you think"
Dr Andy Piper, Technical Architect, Parallax Solutions Ltd
mail: andyp(a)parallax.co.uk web: www.parallax.co.uk/~andyp