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6. package-info.in

package-info.in’ contains information that gets injected into the ‘package-index’ file when make bindist is run. Here is a real world example from the xemacs-base package (a description of each field follows the example):

  (standards-version 1.1
   version VERSION
   author-version AUTHOR_VERSION
   date DATE
   build-date BUILD_DATE
   maintainer MAINTAINER
   distribution xemacs
   priority high
   category CATEGORY
   dump nil
   description "Fundamental XEmacs support, you almost certainly need this."
   filename FILENAME
   md5sum MD5SUM
   size SIZE
   provides (add-log advice-preload advice annotations assoc case-table chistory comint-xemacs comint compile debug ebuff-menu echistory edmacro ehelp electric enriched env facemenu ffap helper imenu iso-syntax macros novice outline passwd pp regexp-opt regi ring shell skeleton sort thing time-stamp timezone tq xbm-button xpm-button)
   requires (REQUIRES)
   type regular

Description of the Fields in ‘package-info.in’:


The name of the package. In the case of the example it is ‘xemacs-base’.


Part of the internal package infrastructure, its value should always be ‘1.1’. Do not change this.


This is the XEmacs package version number of the package. It is set from the ‘Makefile’ variable VERSION. This is something that the XEmacs Package Release Engineer deals with so there is no need for a package maintainer to touch it. In ‘package-info.in’ just put the place-marker, ‘VERSION’ here.


This is the package’s internal, or ‘upstream’ version number if it has one. It is set from the ‘Makefile’ variable AUTHOR_VERSION.


This is the date of the last change made to the package. It is auto-generated at build time, taken from the package’s toplevel ‘ChangeLog’.


The date the package was built. It is auto-generated.


This is the name and email address of the package’s maintainer. It is taken from the ‘Makefile’ variable MAINTAINER.


An unused field, leave as ‘xemacs


An unused field, can be any of ‘high’, ‘medium’, or ‘low’.


The ‘category’ of the package. It is taken from the ‘Makefile’ variable CATEGORY and can be either ‘standard’ for non-Mule packages, or ‘mule’ for Mule packages. The is also provision for ‘unsupported’ in this field which would be for packages that XEmacs.org do not distribute.

N.B. As yet, the XEmacs Packaging System does not support this type of package. It will in the future.


Unused. Always ‘nil


A free form short description of the package.


The file name of the package’s binary tarball. It is generated at build time by make bindist.


The MD5 message digest of the package’s binary tarball. Generated at build time by make bindist.


The size in bytes of the package’s binary tarball. Generated at build time.


A whitespace separated list of all the features the package provides. Surround the list with parens.


Taken from the ‘Makefile’ variable REQUIRES. It is a list of all the package’s dependencies, including any macros and defstructs that need to be inlined.

REQUIRES’ cannot be correctly computed from the calls to require in the package’s library sources. ‘REQUIRES’ is used to ensure that all macro and defstruct definitions used by the package are available at build time. This is not merely a matter of efficiency, to get the expansions inlined. In fact, it is impossible to call a macro by name in byte-compiled Emacs Lisp code. Thus, if the macro expansion is not inlined, the call will result in an error at run-time! Thus, packages providing libraries that would be loaded because of autoload definitions must also be included.


Can either be ‘regular’ for a regular package, or ‘single-file’ for a single file package.

N.B. This doesn’t refer to the number of lisp files in a package. A single-file package can have multiple lisp files in it. See section Libraries and Packages.

The fields in ‘package-info.in’ that need to be changed directly are:

Everything else is either set from the appropriate ‘Makefile’ variable, is auto-generated at build time, or is static.

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