The archives of the emacs-devel mailing list go back to the year 2000 and are publicly available on the web.

Are there older archives somewhere? Was emacs-devel the first mailing list that was used to discuss GNU emacs development, or were there others?

  • Good question. I believe they used to be, but I don't see them now. – Drew Oct 31 '19 at 14:46

The archives go back to the very beginning of the emacs-devel mailing-list, AFAIK. Before that, development discussions were split between the help-gnu-emacs list and a non-public emacs-core mailing-list (which stopped being used when emacs-devel was created). I don't think there are any archives of the emacs-core mailing-list.

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  • Interesting. I didn't find any mention of emacs-core... I mean, I didn't find anyone talking about a list named that. Maybe it had some other name? During my search, I saw people talking about USENET groups about emacs. (Who needs a re-mailer style mailing list when you have NNTP?) So, I used to Google Groups interface to browse a few gnu.emacs.* groups. I didn't find specific information I was looking for.. But, there are indeed conversations there from the 90s. (I didn't find any group with both of these words in the name: emacs, core.) – daveloyall Oct 31 '19 at 18:00
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    IIRC technically, it was just a "mail alias" (didn't go through any mailing-list management software like mailman) and with very few members. I was added to that list somewhere around 1999 and we were less than 10, AFAIK (my memory says Gerd Moellmann, Eli Zaretskii, RMS, Miles Bader, Dave Love, Jason Rumney, Kenichi Handa and I think that was it). I don't think it was secret, but indeed it was not advertized anywhere. – Stefan Oct 31 '19 at 21:58

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