[OS X Emacs] Aquamacs 2.2 .emacs.el fails after OS X 10.6 upgrade

Emil Marceta emarceta at gmail.com
Tue Apr 19 01:33:55 EDT 2011

On Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 10:06 PM, Jack Repenning <jrepenning at collab.net> wrote:
> On Apr 18, 2011, at 7:53 PM, Emil Marceta wrote:
>> The ~/.emacs.el fails to load and produces the following error in the
>> minibuffer: "Symbol's function definition is void: :name", and after
>> clicking on the frame the next message is "<ns-application-activated>
>> is undefined".
> The first thing I do in such cases is go to the buffer "*Messages*" after the startup fails. This will hold a lot more info about what has gone on during the failed start-up. You'll find your "Symbol's function definition is void" message there, again. Look at the few lines just before that to find which files were loaded, and anything they've printed out in the way of progress reports. Then look into those files for some cause for the problem.
> The message suggests a syntax error has crept into one of your start-up files. For instance, this code would cause that error:
> (defun foo nil
>  (interactive)
>  (:name))
> (foo)

Thanks. Here is the "*Messages*" when the startup fails:

Loading prestart plugin files ...
... done.
Shell: /bin/bash
eval-buffer: Symbol's function definition is void: :name

And here is successful start using the command line
/Applications/Aquamacs.app/Contents/MacOS/Aquamacs -q -load .emacs.el

Shell: /bin/bash
Loading `emulate-mac-keyboard-mode': old-style backquotes detected!
Loading /Users/emil/Library/Preferences/Aquamacs Emacs/Recent Files.el
Cleaning up the recentf list...done (0 removed)
45 environment variables imported from login shell (/bin/bash).
Loading /Applications/Aquamacs.app/Contents/Resources/lisp/aquamacs/edit-modes/auctex.el
one-buffer-one-frame-mode disabled.
Mark set [32 times]
Aquamacs is based on GNU Emacs, a part of the GNU/Linux system. It is
Free Software: you can improve and redistribute it under the GNU
General Public License, version 3 or later. Copyright (C) 2011 Free
Software Foundation, Inc. (C) 2011 D. Reitter. No Warranty.
Ido mode enabled [3 times]
Loading /Users/emil/.emacs/lisp/haskell-mode-2.1/haskell-site-file.el

It seems that the two methods result in different loading. More
loading in the case when it fails, or the order is different or some
sort of race condition. But I have no idea how to get more debug info
or follow the startup in more details.

Thanks for all the suggestions,


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