2018-04-18 17:55:17 UTC
TLDR: I would like to assist with making Emacs available at Flathub.
Some packagings in this format exist already.
Now the rest of this is a bit wordy because I suspect that this format
is a bit unfamiliar to many of the subscribers. So here it goes...
I would like to have GNU Emacs available in the Flatpak  format. I
will not be surprised if someone prefers to receive their prebuilt copy
of GNU Emacs in some other format, but for me it would be convenient to
be able to have the exact same Emacs build on various computers I use.
Flatpak is one way of achieving this without having to install the exact
same GNU/Linux distribution on all the computers.
To get going with this, I have written a simple flatpak packaging  of
Emacs, and based on a few days of testing it seems to be working pretty
nicely for my needs. I do not think I have all the possible features
enabled, though, because at this point I did not want to bundle extra
libraries beyond those provided by the org.freedesktop.Sdk runtime that
is used both for building emacs and running it.
Then in addition to the flatpak build that I wrote, I found at least one
other at . This packaging somewhat differs in some details,
especially in how it uses different runtime and how it adds some bundled
code to expand the functionality.
Anyway, I think it would make it easier to find Emacs in flatpak format
if it was available on a publicly available repository. Similarly to how
anyone can set up e.g. their own deb package repository, it is pretty
easy to host flatpak repositories as well. There is however one
particularly popular repository called Flathub  which hosts many
fairly well known programs. Flathub is intended to be run so that
ideally upstream projects provide the packagings, choosing e.g. a build
configuration that best suits their particular program. They seem also
open  to having "outsiders" provide such packagings in case upstream
prefers to not interact with flatpak based software distribution.
Now I think I can basically submit GNU Emacs to Flathub myself, but I
will not if someone with longer involvement with Emacs maintenance is
interested in working on this instead of me. I would not expect it to be
much work, especially if library bundling it kept to minimum. Then most
of the necessary maintenance work would coincide with new Emacs releases
becoming available. If someone wants to take this task, I'll be happy to
help if I can. Otherwise, are there objections to me submitting the
packaging to Flathub on my own? My understanding is that Flathub will
transfer ownership to Emacs as an upstream project also later if Emacs
as a project changes its mind on this.