xemacs-beta / etc / BETA

				-*- mode:outline -*-

* Introduction

You are running an experimental version of XEmacs.  Please do not
report problems with Beta XEmacs to comp.emacs.xemacs.  Report them to

** XEmacs Beta Mailing List

*** Subscribing

If you are not subscribed to the XEmacs beta list you should be.  Send
an email message to with `subscribe'
(without the quotes) as the BODY of the message.

*** Unsubscribing

To unsubscribe from the list send an email message to with `unsubscribe' (without the quotes)
as the BODY of the message.

*** Administrivia

The XEmacs beta list is managed by the Majordomo mailing list package,
and the usual Majordomo commands work.  Do not send mailing list
requests to the main address (, always send
them to  If you have problems with the
list itself, they should be brought to the attention of the XEmacs
Mailing List manager Jason Mastaler <>.

** Beta Release Schedule

The URL always contains
the best estimate of when the next beta XEmacs will be released.  For
weekend betas the release time is generally in the vicinity of 2PM to
5PM US Pacific Time (Universal Time minus 8 hours).  For weekday
betas, the release time is generally in the vicinity of 8PM to
Midnight US Pacific Time on the listed day.

Betas are nominally a week apart, scheduled on every Saturday.
Midweek releases are made when a serious enough problem warrants it.

** Reporting Problems

The best way to get problems fixed in XEmacs is to submit good problem
reports.  Since this is beta software, problems are certain to exist.
Please read through all of part II of the XEmacs FAQ for an overview
of problem reporting.  Other items which are most important are:

1.  Do not submit C stack backtraces without line numbers.  Since it
    is possible to compile optimized with debug information with GCC
    it is never a good idea to compile XEmacs without the -g flag.
    XEmacs runs on a variety of platforms, and often it is not
    possible to recreate problems which afflict a specific platform.
    The line numbers in the C stack backtrace help isolate where the
    problem is actually occurring.
2.  Attempt to recreate the problem starting with an invocation of
    XEmacs with `xemacs -q -no-site-file'.  Quite often, problems are
    due to package interdependencies, and the like.  An actual bug in
    XEmacs should be reproducible in a default configuration without
    loading any special packages (or the one or two specific packages
    that cause the bug to appear).

3.  A picture can be worth a thousand words.  When reporting an
    unusual display, it is generally best to capture the problem in a
    screen dump and include that with the problem report.  The easiest
    way to get a screen dump is to use the xv program and its grab
    function.  Save the image as a GIF to keep bandwidth requirements
    down without loss of information.  MIME is the preferred method
    for making the image attachments.

** Getting the Source

In addition to the normal tar distribution, XEmacs source is now
available via CVS.  Please see the URL: <URL:>.

* Compiling Beta XEmacs

** Building an XEmacs from patches

All beta releases of XEmacs are included with patches from the
previous version in an attempt to keep bandwidth requirements down.
Patches should be applied with the GNU patch program in something like
the following.  Let's say you're upgrading XEmacs 20.15-beta10 to
XEmacs 20.15-beta11 and you have a full unmodified XEmacs 20.15-beta10
source tree to work with.  Cd to the top level directory and issue the
shell command:

$ gunzip -c /tmp/xemacs-20.15-b10-20.15-b11.patch.gz | patch -p1

After patching, check to see that no patches were missed by doing
$ find . -name \*.rej -print

Any rejections should be treated as serious problems to be resolved
before building XEmacs.

After seeing that there were no rejections, issue the commands

$ ./config.status --recheck
$ make beta

and go play minesweep for a while on an older XEmacs while the binary
is rebuilt.

** Building XEmacs from a full distribution

Locate a convenient place where you have at least 100MB of free space
and issue the command

$ gunzip -c /tmp/xemacs-20.15-b11.tar.gz | tar xvf -

(or simply `tar zxvf /tmp/xemacs-20.15-b11.tar.gz' if you use GNU tar).

cd to the top level directory and issue an appropriate configure
command.  One maintainer uses the following at the time of this

./configure \
	--cflags="-mpentium -march=pentium -O6 -g -fno-peep-spills" \
	--error-checking=all --debug=yes \
	--with-scrollbars=athena3d --with-dialogs=athena3d \
	--with-mule --with-xfs --with-xim=xlib

Part of the configure output is a summary that looks something like:

uname -a: Linux 2.0.32 #2 Sun Nov 16 18:52:14 PST 1997 i586

./configure  '--cflags=-mpentium -march=pentium -O6 -g -fno-peep-spills' '--error-checking=all' '--debug=yes' '--with-scrollbars=athena3d' '--with-dialogs=athena3d' '--with-mule' '--with-xfs' '--with-xim=xlib'

XEmacs 21.0-b34 "Oberhasli-pre2" configured for `i586-pc-linux'.

  Where should the build process find the source code?    /home/xemacs/xemacs-20.0
  What installation prefix should install use?		  /usr/local
  What operating system and machine description files should XEmacs use?
        `s/linux.h' and `m/intel386.h'
  What compiler should XEmacs be built with?              gcc -mpentium -march=pentium -O6 -g -fno-peep-spills
  Should XEmacs use the GNU version of malloc?            yes
  (Using Doug Lea's new malloc from the GNU C Library.)
  Should XEmacs use the relocating allocator for buffers? yes
  What window system should XEmacs use?                   x11
  Where do we find X Windows header files?                /usr/X11/include
  Where do we find X Windows libraries?                   /usr/X11/lib
  Compiling in support for XAUTH.
  Compiling in support for XPM images.
  Compiling in support for X-Face message headers.
  Compiling in support for GIF image conversion.
  Compiling in support for JPEG image conversion.
  Compiling in support for PNG image conversion.
  Compiling in support for TIFF image conversion.
  Compiling in native sound support.
  Compiling in support for Berkeley DB.
  Compiling in support for GNU DBM.
  Compiling in support for ncurses.
  Compiling in support for GPM (General Purpose Mouse).
  Compiling in Mule (multi-lingual) support.
  Compiling in XIM (X11R5+ I18N input method) support.
    Using raw Xlib to provide XIM support.
    Using XFontSet to provide bilingual menubar.
  Compiling in support for Canna on Mule.
  Compiling in support for the WNN input method on Mule.
    Using WNN version 6.
  Compiling in support for OffiX.
  Compiling in support for proper session-management.
  Using Lucid menubars.
  Using Athena-3d scrollbars.
  Using Athena-3d dialog boxes.
  Compiling in DLL support.
  movemail will use "dot-locking" for locking mail spool files.
  Using Lisp_Objects with minimal tagbits.
  Compiling in extra code for debugging.
  Compiling in code for checking XEmacs memory usage.
  WARNING: ---------------------------------------------------------
  WARNING: Compiling in support for runtime error checking.
  WARNING: XEmacs will run noticeably more slowly as a result.
  WARNING: Error checking is on by default for XEmacs beta releases.
  WARNING: ---------------------------------------------------------

Then type `make' and you should have a working XEmacs.

After you have verified that you have a functional editor, fire up
your favorite mail program and send a build report to  The build report should include

1. Your hardware configuration (OS version, etc.)

2. Version numbers of software in use (X11 version, system library
   versions if appropriate, graphics library versions if appropriate).
   If you're on a system like Linux, include all the version numbers
   you can because chances are it makes a difference.

3. The options given to configure

4. The configuration report illustrated above

   For convenience all of the above items are placed in a file called
   `Installation' in the top level build directory.  They are also
   available by performing M-x describe-installation inside XEmacs.

5. Any other unusual items you feel should be brought to the attention
   of the developers.

** Creating patches for submission

Patches to XEmacs should be mailed to <>.
Each patch will be reviewed by the patches review board, and will be
acked and added to the distribution, or rejected with an explanation.

Emailed patches should preferably be sent in MIME format and quoted
printable encoding (if necessary).

When making patches, please use the `-u' option, or if your diff
doesn't support it, `-c'.  Using ordinary (context-free) diffs are
notoriously prone to error, since line numbers tend to change when
others make changes to the same source file.

An example of the `diff' usage:




Also, it is helpful if you create the patch in the top level of the
XEmacs source directory:

$ cp -p lwlib/xlwmenu.c lwlib/xlwmenu.c.orig
  hack, hack, hack....
$ diff -u lwlib/xlwmenu.c.orig lwlib/xlwmenu.c

Each patch should be accompanied by an update to the appropriate
ChangeLog file.  Please don't mail patches to ChangeLog because they
have an extremely high rate of failure; just mail us the new part of
the ChangeLog you added.

Also note that if you cut & paste from an xterm to an XEmacs mail buffer
you will probably lose due to tab expansion.  The best thing to do is
to use an XEmacs shell buffer to run the diff commands, or ...
M-x cd to the appropriate directory, and issue the command `C-u M-!' from
within XEmacs.

Guidelines for writing ChangeLog entries is governed by the GNU coding 
standards.  Please see   [Change Logs section]
for details.

Patches should be as single-minded as possible.  Mammoth patches can
be very difficult to place into the right slot.  They are much easier
to deal with when broken down into functional or conceptual chunks.
The patches submitted by Kyle Jones and Hrvoje Niksic are stellar
examples of how to Do The Right Thing.

** Packages directory on the FTP Site

The packages directory

is divided into subdirectory by the major type of package.

drwxr-xr-x   2 beta-f   beta-f      1024 Oct 10 00:43 binary-packages
drwxr-xr-x   2 beta-f   beta-f       512 Oct 10 00:44 package-sources
drwxr-xr-x   2 beta-f   beta-f       512 Oct 10 00:44 utils

** Support Utilities (utils)

The utils directory contains tools to deal with current Lisp sources that
have not had yet gotten XEmacs package integration.  The script `'
is used with Quassia Gnus.  Edit the appropriate variables at the top of
the script to reflect the local configuration and run it in the top level
directory of a Quassia Gnus source tree to install an update to Quassia Gnus.

** Binary package installation (binary-packages)

Prerequisite:  XEmacs 21.0-b1.

Binary packages are complete entities that can be untarred at the top
level of an XEmacs package hierarchy and work at runtime.  To install files
in this directory, run the command `M-x package-admin-add-binary-package'
and fill in appropriate values to the prompts.

** Manual procedures for package management

Prerequisite: XEmacs 21.0

When adding and deleting files from a lisp directory the
auto-autoloads.el (global symbols) and custom-load.el (Customization
groups) must be kept in synch.  Assuming one is manipulating a
directory called `lisp-utils', the command to rebuild the
auto-autoloads.el file is:

xemacs-21.0 -vanilla -batch -l autoload -f batch-update-directory lisp-utils

The command to rebuild the custom-load.el file is:

xemacs-21.0 -vanilla -batch -l cus-dep \
	-f Custom-make-dependencies lisp-utils

To bytecompile both of these files the command is:

xemacs-21.0 -vanilla -batch -f batch-byte-compile \
	lisp-utils/auto-autoloads.el lisp-utils/custom-laod.el

** Building XEmacs and XEmacs packages from scratch

To build everything completely from scratch (not a high priority as a
design goal), the following procedure should work.  (I don't recommend
building this way).

*** Phase 1 -- Get a minimal XEmacs binary with mule to build the package
    lisp with.

**** Grab a mule-base tarball and install it into a newly created package

**** Configure XEmacs with mule and a package-path including the
     directory created above.

**** Do a `make dist' to build an XEmacs binary.

*** Phase 2 -- Build and install the package lisp.

**** Modify XEmacs.rules for local paths and the XEmacs binary created in 
     Phase 1.

**** Do a make from the top level package lisp source directory.[1]

**** Do `make bindist's on all the packages you wish to install and
     remove the byproduct .tar.gz's.

*** Phase 3 -- If necessary, redump XEmacs
    with the packages that require dump-time support and install it.

**** Reconfigure without Mule if you don't wish a Mule-ish XEmacs, and
     rebuild XEmacs.

- or -

**** rm lib-src/DOC src/xemacs; make

**** Install or run in-place.

Note that this is in essence what `make all-elc' has always done.