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debugging load failure

From: Ross Boylan
Subject: debugging load failure
Date: Sat, 14 Sep 2013 13:00:12 -0700

I am new to debugging elisp.

My .emacs file includes (load "ess-site").  This used to work, but no
longer seems effective--there is no sign that ESS has been loaded.
There is also no error, and nothing in *Messages* indicating a problem.
Other code in .emacs is being evaluated.

emacs --debug-init doesn't help (that is, emacs launches the same way it
does without the option), presumably because there is no error.

I would like to trace through and see what's going on.

With the cursor inside (load "ess-site") M-x edebug-eval-top-level-form
starts the debugger.  I then hit "i", which I think is the way to step
into the lower level evaluations.

This asks for a C source file (apparently the load is defined internally
in C) which a) is not on my system; b) doesn't seem as if it would be
meaningful to an elisp debugger; and c) is not likely to be where the
problem lies.  I really want to see the code in ess-site.  At any rate,
I can't get past this  step.

How can I get my hands on something to debug?

I do have the ess-site.el, and tried putting (edebug) inside of it.  I
think this brought up the regular debugger (since it was not edebug
instrumented), but it didn't show me where I was in the source and I
couldn't do anything useful.  (It also show the load command is loading
the file).  Probably a more experienced person could do something
useful, but I could use some help.  I think I want to use edebug not
debug since the former is friendlier.

Running emacs 23.4.1 on Debian GNU/Linux (wheezy).

Ross Boylan

P.S. I would appreciate a cc on the response.

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