[Fedora-packaging] package without .elc files and emacs guidelines

Jonathan Underwood jonathan.underwood at gmail.com
Wed Oct 22 17:06:14 UTC 2008

2008/10/17 Patrice Dumas <pertusus at free.fr>:
> Hello,
> In the librep there are some .el files, and Michal Jaegermann explained
> in
> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=431250#c23
> that the .elc files are not needed (and sometimes harmful). This is not
> very consistent with the Emacs guidelines. Maybe the guidelines could be
> amended for this case?

I think he's wrong. If something doesn't work when byte compiled
(.elc), then that's a bug. When loading many lisp files at startup,
byte compilation still provides noticeable speedup, even on recent
machines. So, no, I'd oppose changing the guidelines in this regard.
It's a bit like saying "we don't need .pyc" files, as we can work just
from the .py files (except that emacs doesn't do automatic byte
compilation in the way that python does if a pyc isn't present or is
older than the .py).

Michal does allude to one ugliness of byte compilation - you do often
need a packages .el files around when doing byte compilation of
another package for function definitions, and this can lead to
bootstrapping needs (see emacs-vm and emacs-bbdb for an example).

[As an aside, that package should really be putting its files in a
subdirectory of %{emacs_lispdir}.]

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