On Mon, 4 May 2009 22:45:42 -0400, Daniel Underwood <djuatde...@gmail.com> 
wrote:
> Giorgos, thanks a bunch--that was easy!  Your suggestions worked perfectly.
>
> When I originally tried to install ess, i downloaded the tarball and
> tried to build it's contents from source.  I did this because I
> glanced at the tarball's contents and saw such things as "Makeconf"
> and "Makefile".
>
> This, to me, begs the question: why the Makefile if there's no need to
> compile? (Pardon my limited understanding.)

Byte-compiling Emacs Lisp code can make it slightly faster to load.

So there is a marginally small advantage to doing that.  But if you
don't keep closing and reopening Emacs, causing everything to reload
from scratch, it shouldn't matter very much if you load the source .el
files once.

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