[This turned into quite a lengthy post, I'm really sorry, and I hope you
On behalf of everyone who has ever been involved with SXEmacs, both past
and present, I would like to thank each and every one of you guys for
everything you've ever done for XEmacs. We (SXEmacs), quite literally,
would not exist if it weren't for you, so thank you, thank you very very
Stephen J Turnbull <stephen(a)xemacs.org> writes:
To all XEmacs supporters and users:
We all do value XEmacs, its history, the codebase, and you, our
community. We are sad that XEmacs has fallen so far out of
competition with GNU Emacs, but it's time to admit that is the case,
and think about what we want to do now. Several alternative paths
have been suggested:
1. Close up shop and release the resources to other projects.
2. Close up shop and move en masse to GNU Emacs development.
3. Fork current GNU Emacs, and gradually recreate an XEmacs-
flavored GNU-Emacs-compatible language and editor.
4. Maintain infrastructure as a "caretaker" project, for the
benefit of continuing users, and in case somebody wants to
pick up the ball.
We (SXEmacs) have no plans of stopping or wrapping things up, regardless
of what the XEmacs team ultimately decides to do. I guess what I'm
saying is that if you enjoy hacking/using XEmacs but don't really want
to move to GNU, an option may be to come and talk to us. :-)
Some of you may be thinking: "SXEmacs? Didn't that die ages ago?" Well,
no, we're still very much alive. We just sometimes move at a different
pace to the rest of the world. :-) Yes, often that pace is slower, a lot
slower, but often it is also a lot faster than the world too. It all
depends on how excited, or how much fun we're having.
Some reasons why SXEmacs might be a good choice...
1) Copyright. Assigning away your copyright is NOT a requirement to
contributing to SXEmacs. We would never ask you to do that. You
can, if you want to, but I'll never ask, nor require it, of you.
2) We're not politically motivated. In fact, I do my best to keep
that sort of stuff right away from the project. Yes, I realise
that some things are political and you just can't keep away from
it, but they're never the reason we do what we do. On the flip
side, politics don't stop us from doing what we do, either. (don't
read too much into this, for the life of the SXEmacs project "the
politics" has never really ever come up, pretty much a total
3) Git. SXEmacs sources, and website, are managed with git. A few
may see that as a negative, but my guess is that you'd be in the
minority. Besides, it could've been a hell of a lot worse... I may
never have come to my senses about leaving tla behind. :-P
4) We forked from 21.4, so our roots are from a stable code base (oh,
I'm sure that 21.5 is quite stable too, I'm going on how things
were when we started, and that 21.4 is still advertised as the
"stable branch" on www.xemacs.org
). Yes, that does mean that there
are 21.5 things that aren't in SXEmacs, but that just gives you the
opportunity to add them if you really need them, and perhaps even
make them better. It should be noted also that there is a lot in
SXEmacs which isn't in 21.5 (more on that in a bit).
5) I'm not RMS. Regardless of who is currently wearing the maintainer
hat over at GNU/Emacs, if RMS doesn't want something going into
Emacs, it won't go in. Convincing RMS to change his mind is not
the easiest thing in the world to do. Hmm, has that _ever_
actually happened, somebody got him to change his mind? Convincing
me that your code should get into SXEmacs is very often fairly
straight forward. Especially if you understand it well enough to
explain it to a dumbo like me. :-)
6) As I hinted at in #5, I am nowhere near as smart as the amazing
folk who are SXEmacs developers. That means that I never dismiss
your ideas because I think I know more than you, because I rarely
do. What it does mean is that often I ask a lot of questions, some
of them really basic and even stupid. And you know what? That has
many times lead to better design decisions and implementations.
7) We do it because we want to. Because we enjoy it.
or maybe a new "option 5" if somebody has a good
*wink* Hello! :-)
The cool and sexy. Here's that list of some of the things that we have
and love in SXEmacs that you guys don't have. Yes, I'm trying to whet
your appetite. :-)
1) FFI. It was one of the first major new features we introduced,
over a decade ago, and it has been a fantastic blessing ever since.
Because of FFI a virgin SXEmacs install can use the PUI tools
without having to pre-install the xemacs-base and EFS packages.
Because of FFI I do pretty much all of my photo and image editing
(and viewing) in SXEmacs. Got some red-eye in those holiday snaps?
SXEmacs can fix that.
Because of FFI I can read and manage the meta data in my music
Because of FFI I don't need to leave SXEmacs if I want to download
something from the net, and I'm not restricted to FTP. I can even
do it asynchronously.
FFI means never having to say "sorry, we can't do that" :-)
2) Raw strings. Actually I think you guys may have this one in 21.5.
Including it because I'm not 100% sure if you do. But goodbye
3) Embeddable keyboard macros. We heard you like macros, bro, so we
put macros in your macros.
4) Loads of crypto goodness with OpenSSL support (and gcrypt via FFI).
5) ENT (Enhanced Number Types). It's what you guys call "bignum",
except we go way beyond bignums, bigfloats, and ratios. Using GMP,
MPFR, MPC and a couple of others I think, we also have
multi-precision floats and complex numbers with correct rounding,
gaussian numbers, residue class rings, quaternions. And don't you
dare ask me about these because I haven't the foggiest, I can't
even pronounce half of them, let alone tell you what they are
for. :-) Suffice to say that SXEmacs can do the math.
6) TTY font-lock. SXEmacs on a tty looks damn nice! Up to 256
colours if the device supports it.
7) Network server sockets #'open-network-server-stream
8) CL in DSO. We have some of the CL stuff (mainly the loop macros)
in an emodule (DSO), and oh man, is it FAST!!! The elisp versions
are still available. We'd love to move a lot more of the CL stuff
out into DSOs.
Damn, this email is going on forever. So sorry about that. And so much
more to tell you. Erm, OK... bloom filters, skip lists, double linked
lists, cached compiled regexps, PulseAudio, Jack, ALSA, ao, SoX, FFmpeg
(broken), sndfile, Mad. And probably loads more that I can't think of
Oh, yeah, we spent a great deal of time and effort auditing the code
with the aid of the Coverity defect scan (see scan.coverity.com
As you can see, we didn't sit around and do nothing, and there is loads
of cool stuff to play with. Come and say "hey" on Freenode IRC channel
"#sxemacs", you'll find me there as "SteveYoungs". Or you can
me privately, or on our dev list, sxemacs-devel(a)sxemacs.org (it's
subscriber post only to keep spam at bay)
For those who wish to continue using or developing XEmacs, we have
commitments from at least two of the infrastructure contributors to
provide minimal support for
- mailing lists
- source code repositories
- package buildbot
- binary packages
While binary package releases will continue to be provided in
"Pre-Releases", there are no plans yet for a full SUMO release. It's
quite possible, but there are some resource details (space on the
distribution site) to work out.
I know you have it under control currently, but if you ever need help
with these, drop me a line. I'd be happy to provide hosting resources
for much of these if needed.
|---<Steve Youngs>---------------<GnuPG KeyID: A94B3003>---|
| SXEmacs - The only _______ you'll ever need. |
| Fill in the blank, yes, it's THAT good! |
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