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Re: concensus on removing TeX and Emacs from standard

John Hasler <john@dhh.gt.org> writes:

> Robert Woodcock writes:

> > My reasoning is a large number of Debian users have no use for these
> > subsystems, therefore they should be add-ons instead of default
> > infrastructure.
> I agree.  I use emacs (I'm using it right now) but I can see why others
> feel the same way about it as I do about Tex.

I'm not a developer, but I have been monitoring this list for a long time.
At present I run SuSE but I ran Debian slink for a long time and liked it
very much.  I will very likely move back to Debian once potato is released
as stable.  How and why I switched to SuSE is a long and irrelevant story.
Having said all that just so you know where I'm coming from, if I may voice
an opinion:

I agree with Robert, John, and others on this matter.  I run Xemacs, not
Emacs.  I have for a long time.  Before I ran SuSE, before I ran Debian, I
ran Slackware for a long time.  I got the sources and built Xemacs 19
something.  After some time I figured out that I didn't need Emacs any more
and I did need the disk space so I removed it.

With all due respect to FSF, GNU, RMS, and all the pioneers who made Emacs
and the GNU tools available to us all.  I prefer Xemacs over Emacs.  I
found it somewhat frustrating that slink more or less insisted that I
needed a bunch of Emacs packages even though I didn't want them and never
(as far as I know) used them.  If a Debian installation requires some basic
functionality from some Emacs packages, I think there should be some
minimal package that provides only those functional bits that are required.
An average user who doesn't need or want Emacs should not have to commit
disk storage for a large package that will never be used.  I think the
maintainers of the Emacs packages should abstract out those bits which are
truly needed.

Now about TeX.  I use it a lot.  I would miss it terribly if I didn't have
it.  But just like Emacs, I think someone who doesn't need or want it
should not have to commit a large chunk of disk space for something they
will never use.  I think the maintainers of the TeX package should abstract
out those bits which are truly required for a funtional system.

If the Emacs and TeX packages are so intertwined with the basic
functionality of the Debian system that they cannot be removed, then
perhaps it is time for a fundamental reconsideration of how the Debian
system is put together.  Of course it goes without saying that all the
above is my humble opinion, nothing more.  I'll go back to lurk mode now.

Bud Rogers <budr@sirinet.net>	http://www.sirinet.net/~budr/zamm.html

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