This page contains my thoughts on building an Emacs community for Ubuntu. More concrete plans will go on a different page at some point in the future.


Coordinate Emacs and Emacs-based packages with Debian and the respective upstream authors. This can include major Emacs variants such as XEmacs and SXEmacs. For the sake of convenience, any further mentions of "Emacs" mean all of these variants, including GNU Emacs.

In particular:

  • Ensure that users of the above software have access to the latest versions of said software, regardless of whether Debian has the latest version.
  • Respond to bug reports in a timely manner and forward to upstream if necessary. Take note of bugs reported to Debian.
  • Encourage dialogue and shared bugfixes between maintainers of the same package for Ubuntu, Debian, and potentially other distributions of GNU/Linux.
  • Extend a sense of community to developers and users of the above software. This could mean one or more of: an IRC channel, a mailing list, a MOTU category, a forum.
  • Make it easy for people to find new Emacs-based packages. This might include an on-line collection of HTML documentation for the aforementioned software. There is already some need for a documentation mirror for Emacs, since the official version at gnu.org is often spotty (missing sections, etc.).
  • Set sane, consistent, and useful policies for packaging of Emacs add-on programs. This includes the following.
    • Undoing the separation of documentation and software that occurred in Debian's emacs21 package and any other Emacs-related package that has had this happen. Such a separation is unnatural in the context of Ubuntu, and greatly decreases the usefulness of the package.
    • Make our own Emacs policy that is mostly like Debian's, but improve upon it. One such known area for improvement is the lack of ease in installing local versions of packages.


To Do

  • Get a ubuntu-emacs mailing list created.
  • Solicit input on the contents of this page from known Emacs and Emacs add-on developers, as well as users of this software.
  • Does the emacs-snapshot package need a Ubuntu-side maintainer? It would be nice to make sure it stays in sync with Romain Francoise's emacs-snapshot package for Debian. In Dapper, the emacs-snapshot package was from January 2006, which was quite out-of-date.
  • Make a MOTU group for Emacs-based packages.
  • Determine whether launchpad integration for Emacs is needed. There is a debian-bts.el file which is very useful for interactively closing bugs in changelog entries. If Ubuntu has a similar interface/frontend to Debian's BTS, it would probably be sufficient to use debian-bts.el, with perhaps a couple of Ubuntu-specific customizations. Namely: Make a Ubuntu submenu for the Bugs menu.


Feel free to either in-line your comments or add them to this section. Please sign off with --YourName to all added comments.

How about putting a page on the emacswiki for Ubuntu users? It could contain links to the PPA and instructions about how to install the latest emacs version. Also I couldn't find sources.list entries for ubuntu 8.10 in the PPA page. Why is that? --aleblanc

MichaelOlson/EmacsCommunity (last edited 2010-02-10 00:42:08 by p-launchpad-aleblanc-cotse-net)