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Re: .info files

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: .info files
Date: Sat, 05 May 2012 10:05:55 +0300

> Date: Fri, 04 May 2012 14:33:00 -0700
> From: Paul Eggert <address@hidden>
> CC: address@hidden, address@hidden
> On 05/04/2012 01:49 PM, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
> > In developing and maintaining code, we meet such problems and solve
> > them every day.  The fact that this one was caused by MS-DOS is just a
> > coincidence.
> Yes, it was a coincidence that I happened to run into an MS-DOS-related
> build problem a few minutes before seeing your email.  But it is not a
> coincidence that MS-DOS support comes at a cost.

The cost is negligible, even for me.  For others, it's less than
negligible.  It is being blown out of proportions for reasons that
have nothing to do with maintenance.

> Supporting MS-DOS is like supporting K&R C compilers, in that
> it's a minor hassle during development that benefits a small number
> of users, and we have to estimate whether the benefits are worth the cost.

You are conveniently forgetting that keeping the MS-DOS port is of
some benefit for Emacs.  The benefits might be minor, but they are not
negligible.  The tty color remapping, something without which using
colors on a tty in pre-release versions of v21 was a painful
experience, came from the MS-DOS port; inventing something like that
from scratch could have taken many months if not years.  Likewise the
mouse highlight on a tty.  Even for the issue that started this
thread, the MS-DOS port was the trigger that moved Emacs manuals to
what the Texinfo maintainer considers to be TRT, namely avoiding
splitting the manuals; and I was the one who suggested that as a

Finally, these days I'm slowly working on adding true menus to the tty
Emacs; the ideas, design, and most of the code for that will be lifted
from msdos.c.

I think these minor benefits more than outweigh the minor "hassles",
but that's me.

> With K&R C we decided the benefits are not worth the cost, and perhaps
> a similar decision is appropriate for MS-DOS.

Since almost all of the costs are mine, the decision should be mine.
Currently, I decided that I will support the MS-DOS port for as long
as I have time and energy to work on Emacs.  Keep badgering me about
this, and you will eventually succeed to break my spirit, and will
lose me for Emacs development for good, because I don't enjoy being
part of a group whose select members feel like kicking me in the butt
once in a while.

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