Friday, November 24, 2006

Emacspeak 25.0 (ActiveDog) Unleashed

I released Emacspeak 25.0 (ActiveDog) yesterday. Here are the release notes.

While trying to release it on Sourceforge I ran into a couple of show-stoppers --- first off the SourceForge download mechanism has changed yet again and it's now gotten sufficiently convoluted that software released via SourceForge's file release system is becoming well-nigh impossible to download except for the most motivated user. Worse, as I released the file, upload services on SourceForge hung, with a consequence that it created a 0 sized emacspeak-25.tar.bz2 file --- the SourceForge mechanism made it well-nigh impossible to clean up the 0-sized file.

Given this mess, I decided to keep things simple by placing the release on the Emacspeak site directly -- this suffers from the disadvantage of the release not getting mirrored on the various Sourceforge download archives; it has the advantage of allowing users to grab the release with one click.

The other thing to note about this release is that there are no RPMs built --- a first in 7 years. I've now switched to Ubuntu on my home machine and dont have the ability to build RPMs so I'll leave this to individual distributions. I've also not built Debian packages this time around, mostly because I've not gotten around to understanding Debian's packaging system sufficiently well to do this. Moreover I prefer minimalistic packaging solutions --- and in general though Debian's packaging is nice, it still feels a little too heavy-weight for something like the Emacspeak source tarball which needs a simple make; sudo make install to get set up. So for now, I'll rely on folks like Jim Van Zandt to build downstream Debian packages for incorporating with the various distributions like Debian and Ubuntu --- this way, packages can be built to match particular distributions.