[OS X Emacs] Aquamacs 3.5 and 3.6 don't work on MacOS X 10.11 El Capitan

Robert L. Kirby kirby.bob at gmail.com
Fri Apr 15 19:22:52 EDT 2022

Both Aquamacs 3.5 and 3.6 don't work for me on a freshly installed upgrade
to MacOS X 10.11.6 El Capitan but 3.4 does. They both crash during startup
after failing to find a dynamic library reference to "_clock_gettime",
which is apparently only available on MacOS X 10.12 and beyond. Some older,
now cheaper, hardware doesn't support MacOS X beyond 10.11 but we don't
need to feed Apple's immediate greed or to work around System Integrity
Protection (SIP).

A potential fix is to build future versions of Aquamacs with a version of
Xcode 7.3.1 or earlier, which is available through
https://xcodereleases.com/. Although versions after 7.3.1 may run on MacOS
X 10.11 El Capitan, they reference software development kit SDK10.12, which
refers to "_clock_gettime". The SDK version may be checked with the
Terminal command
 xcrun --show-sdk-path
with late enough versions of Xcode. The Terminal application xcode-select
may change the Xcode version in effect for compilation if more than one
Xcode is installed. If Xcode is installed, I would suggest not installing
the Xcode command line tools, which might download a later SDK version, but
this may be overly cautious.


On Thu, Jan 27, 2022 at 8:57 AM Win Treese <treese at acm.org> wrote:

> Aquamacs 3.6 is now available, from https://aquamacs.org/downloads/ or
> directly from
> https://github.com/aquamacs-emacs/aquamacs-emacs/releases/download/aquamacs-3.6/Aquamacs-3.6.dmg
> This release has fixes for many of the reported crashes and other bugs.
> Aquamacs now prompts for needed permissions. The Aquamacs app is now fully
> signed and notarized by Apple. Several of the bundled Emacs Lisp packages
> have been updated to more recent versions, most notably AUCTeX.
> This version also includes native support for libxml2 as well as JPEG and
> SVG images. A detailed list of change is available on the downloads page
> linked above, and is included at the end of this message.
> Aquamacs 3.6 is compiled to run on any Mac OS version from El Capitan
> (10.11) forward, although it is  compiled only for the x86 architecture. It
> runs fine on Apple Silicon (M1) system with Rosetta. There are changes
> needed to the core Emacs code for it to work on Apple Silicon, so native
> support will come with a future version (more on that below).
> Note that the help system may not work properly at first. Usually, Mac OS
> seems to build an index for it that works later.
> For anyone interested in hacking on Aquamacs or building it themselves,
> the build system has been refactored somewhat to make it easier to build
> for personal use. Look in the aquamacs/build directory to find the scripts
> that do the work.
> Please report any problems by email to aquamacs-bugs at aquamacs.org, or on
> github at https://github.com/aquamacs-emacs/aquamacs-emacs/issues.
> Future development of Aquamacs
> Aquamacs 3.6 will likely be the last release based on Emacs 25. Beyond
> 3.6, Aquamacs will be updated to run with a fairly recent version of Emacs
> 27 or Emacs 28, depending on when the development catches up. The merge to
> catch up with current Emacs will probably take a while, although there's
> been a lot of behind-the-scenes work to set the stage for that.
> Sponsoring
> If you’d like to sponsor or donate to support continued development of
> Aquamacs, you can do so via GitHub Sponsors at
> https://aquamacs.org/sponsor/.
> Your Aquamacs Maintainer,
> Win Treese
> treese at acm.org
> My new poetry collection, In the Cloud: Poems for a Technological Age
> is available on Kindle at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09PH6SGLN
> Detailed Changes in Aquamacs 3.6
> The following external packages have been updated to current releases:
>   - filladapt
>   - findr
>   - highlight-indentation
>   - markdown-mode
>   - nlinum
>   - paredit
>   - smart-dnd
>   - ssh
>   - visual-basic-mode
> *** Detailed changes
> - Applied patch to correctly list colors on the Mac
> - Build with libxml2 since it is bundled with Xcode
> - Build is compatible back to 10.11 (El Capitan)
> - (For developers) The build system is more configurable for some
>   different development situations.
> - Work around crash in Save As dialogs. Emacs main will later
>   remove the problem code, so Aquamacs is temporarily patched to
>   ignore the special code for handling keys in the dialog.
> - Fixed issue #180: a crash when clicking on the menu bar.
> - Fixed issue #185: Add Mac OS permission requests for various
>   system operations, including AppleScript
> - Fixed issue #195: Backported fix for Mach port leak from Emacs (bug
> 38618)
> - Fixed issue #182: Aquamacs won't build on Catalina
> - Fixed issue #194: cmd-meta-h hides non-emacs frames
> - Fixed issue #178: Crash when deallocating image
> - Fixed issue #166: Updated ELPA package GPG keyring
> - Fixed issue #205: Updated gnutls configuration defaults
> - Fixed issue #169: Update AUCTeX to current version 12.3, with Aquamacs
> patches
> - Fixed issue #158: Don't offer to save *scratch* if there is no filename
> - Reworked some of the NSapp memory management to avoid various crashes
> - PR #208: (thanks to Michael Braun) Make display-mm-[height/width] return
> same values as Emacs-OSX. The effect of this is to make image display,
> especially LaTeX previews
>   in AUCTeX and Org, look good on Retina displays.
> - The build process is able to sign releases and notarize themwith Apple.
> - Added more automation to the process of building disk images for
> releases.
> - Fixed crashes involving cursorRects and toolbar updates (probably).
> - Fixed issue #218: Crash when a single full-screen frame is closed
> - Fix bug #224: M-x pylint throws an error
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