[OS X Emacs] Update on Aquamacs development

Win Treese treese at acm.org
Fri Sep 30 15:26:54 EDT 2022

Hi, Aquamacs friends. It's been a while since Aquamacs 3.6 came out, and it might seem like not much is going on. Here's an update, which I'm posting on both the main Aquamacs list (macosx-emacs at email.esm.psu.edu) and the Aquamacs developer list (aquamacs-devel at googlegroups.com).

First, Aquamacs 3.6 seems to be very stable. The number of crash reports has dropped to a trickle. There are still quite a few known issues, mostly minor, including a problem with installing the command line tools. Almost all of the problems I'm aware of are in the Github issue tracker at https://github.com/aquamacs-emacs/aquamacs-emacs/issues.

Second, the main work at the moment is updating Aquamacs to Emacs version 28. For a long time, it's been based on Emacs 25, and a lot has happened with the main version of Emacs in that time. For many of us, a big challenge with Aquamacs is not being able to install and use many recent Emacs add-on packages easily because of version requirements. Being up-to-date with Emacs 28 will fix that, as well as make it easier to update Aquamacs incrementally as future Emacs development continues.

As you might guess, there are a lot of changes between Emacs 25 and Emacs 28, including native support for the Apple M1/M2 CPUs that many of us are using now. Aquamacs works fine under Rosetta, but a native version would be nice (and quite a bit faster).

The vast number of changes means a lot of work in merging the code together. Some of it can be done automatically, and then checked to make sure it works. Other times the same parts of the code have changed in both the Aquamacs project and the main Emacs projects, and those changes need to be reconciled together.

That's what I've been working on for a while now, and it's a long haul. Unfortunately, it's work that doesn't have good intermediate results, so there's nothing visible about it right now. It's also hard to guess when it will be done; this kind of merge is like driving in the fog at night on a winding road; you might only realize that you've arrived when suddenly the destination appears around a curve.

I'm planning to make a preliminary, try-at-your-own-risk version available as soon as I can.

I'd also like to thank those who are sponsoring this continued work on Aquamacs through Github Sponsors. Your support means a lot.

Thanks for your patience as we get through this phase of Aquamacs development.



Win Treese
Aquamacs maintainer
treese at acm.org
My new book of poetry is now available:
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