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bug#14762: 24.3.50; hurdles getting Emacs to show images on MS Windows

From: Drew Adams
Subject: bug#14762: 24.3.50; hurdles getting Emacs to show images on MS Windows
Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2013 11:33:56 -0700 (PDT)

A while back, with some advice from Eli, I had Emacs working with images
on MS Windows.  I recently got a new laptop, with Windows 7, so I had to
start over again, to get image support for Emacs.

FWIW, and at Eli's suggestion, here is some feedback about the hassles
of doing that, and a plea to find some way to have Emacs support for
showing images out of the box.  (Yes, the usual, common image types,
at least.)

1. Some comments about README.W32.  They occurred to me when reading it,
looking for info about getting support for images in Emacs.  README.W32
text is refixed by "> ":

>     Emacs can also support some other image formats with appropriate
>     libraries.  These libraries are all available as part of GTK
>     download for Windows (http://www.gtk.org/download/win32.php),

Which is what?  (What is GTK?)  "As part of" - does that mean that
downloading GTK, whatever it is, gives me _more_ than image support?
If so, do I need to do that, or can I somehow get just image support?

>     or from the GnuWin32 project.

Which is what? and where?  Same questions, to try to understand
what to download for image support.

BTW, the GnuWin summary page, here:
says this, giving the impression that GNU Emacs includes or at least
distributes GnuWin, which I don't think is the case (is it?):

  "Utilities and libraries provided by GnuWin, are used and
  distributed with packages such as GNU Emacs and KDE-Windows."

>   * GnuTLS support
>     In order to support GnuTLS at runtime...

Well, yes, I can understand that GnuTLS support supports GnuTLS...

>   * libxml2 support
>     In order to support libxml2 at runtime...

But what ARE GnuTLS and libxml2?  Why might a user want them?

2. I also went here, looking for info about how to add image support for
MS Windows:

But that didn't really help much.  I do see that it lists various
image-support tools under the heading GnuWin32: Jpeg, GifLib,
LibPng, etc.

(The README.W32 does not say where (or even what) GnuWin32 is, does it?)

At the GnuWin32 site I see a page for GifLib, for example, but it was
not clear to me what to download and then what to do.  Should I download
the "Binaries" Zip from there?  And then what?  That GifLib page says
"You can also download the files from the GnuWin32 files page."  But
that page seems to have just a *setup.exe download.  Similarly for the
other image types.  It's not clear what to download and from where.  I
did not want to install more than just the needed image libraries

Yes, I realize that GNU Emacs and GnuWin32 are different.  If GNU Emacs
told users directly and clearly (1,2,3...) what to do to get image
support, then perhaps I wouldn't be fiddling with trying to understand
the GnuWin32 site.

3. IMHO, there could - should - be some guidance in the *Emacs manual*
about how to get image support for GNU Emacs, including on MS Windows.

4. Better - much better - would be to include image support in GNU Emacs
out of the box.  On MS Windows.  And that is what users, especially new
users, EXPECT, and SHOULD expect.

5. There was at least one other bug thread about this, #4367, but it
seems to have gone nowhere...  Still hoping that Emacs will step up to
the plate and DTRT for users when it comes to image support.

In GNU Emacs (i686-pc-mingw32)
 of 2013-06-27 on ODIEONE
Bzr revision: 113205 address@hidden
Windowing system distributor `Microsoft Corp.', version 6.1.7601
Configured using:
 `configure --prefix=/c/Devel/emacs/binary --enable-checking=yes,glyphs
 CFLAGS=-O0 -g3 LDFLAGS=-Lc:/Devel/emacs/lib

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