Mats Lidell writes:
I'm not suggesting a code change. I'm suggesting that a
of 21.5 is made stable in order to replace 21.4. So what I'm
suggesting is that if 21.5 without Xft is as good as 21.4
Depends on how you define "as good as". By the historical standard of
releases, it isn't.
Does 21.5 have new features like bignums, a fancy experimental GC, and
more Common Lisp compatibility? Yes. Does it do Unicode halfway
well, and in all configurations? Yes. But I don't think those are
enough, especially since I see little evidence that bugs will get
fixed quickly after a release.
Good locking fonts are of course important but it is now blocking
progress in other areas that IMHO also are important -- The ability to
upgrade packages and run modern elisp.
Xft is not "blocking progress". There's nothing in the redisplay area
that prevents syncing to GNU, except maybe in font-lock. What's
blocking progress is a lack of code contributions. We can either get
that from the existing developer pool -- but the only currently active
core developer only seems to care about Common Lisp -- or we can get
new users. New users are going to want the fonts, I think, or they'll
go where they can get them.
 Like the ideas in continuous delivery where new features are
introduced in the trunk but controlled, hidden, by configuration.
Sure, but we already pretty much have that.
The main thing that people can do without committing too much time is
to sync GNU code. If you want to start on that, be my guest. You
don't need to worry too much about my taste in code; I'll complain
about crappy stuff like `display-message-or-buffer', but I won't veto
it, or revert it if you commit it.
 There are a large number of rough edges in Mule (especially
autodetection has regressed), many new features are undocumented and
poorly understood even by developers (eg, behaviors), there are some
issues with the new window management code (Mike blames them on
non-core code that depends on undocumented features, which is
plausible enough, but users are still going to perceive them as bugs),
and we need to do something about the PUI (package user interface)
code and bootstrapping (which is no worse than 21.4, but 21.4 users
don't need to deal with it any more, since there have not been all
that many changes to packages, while new users will find it really
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