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Re: [Mingw-msys] Re: termcap

On Wed, 2007-10-24 at 19:45 -0400, Brandon Van Every wrote:
> So what I'm getting at, is when you guys say MSYS is for Windows
> native development, do you really mean it?

Huh?  We've never said anything of the sort.  MSYS is a *shell*; its
only purpose is to provide a replacement for the execrable cmd.exe.  Ok,
we do throw in a few tools to facilitate running the build systems for
GCS conforming applications, but it still isn't really for anything much
more than what cmd.exe is for.

Perhaps you are confusing MSYS with MinGW?  These are not the same.

> Or are you really saying, "We like everything to be Unix, but we don't
> like the bloat of Cygwin"?

No, not this either.  The original goal of MSYS was to facilitate
porting of Open Source packages, which traditionally target POSIX host
systems, *without* requiring a POSIX emulation layer, or API.  That
places an onus on the porter to replace POSIX API calls with native
Woe32 API calls, to achieve similar objectives.  Obviously, this
additional onus is inconvenient for some; to them we say "perhaps you
should just use Cygwin".

We don't view Cygwin as a competing solution; we view Cygwin and MSYS +
MinGW as complementary.  The two projects co-operate quite well, and
indeed, we share some developers.  Our objective is to offer choice to
the cross-platform developer, in how his product will be delivered.

Another issue is licensing.  When an application is built for Cygwin,
and subsequently distributed, then Cygwin licensing restrictions apply.
MinGW has a much freer licensing model.

> > ...this sort of PATH proliferation.  I'm not saying either approach is
> > right or wrong; they are simply different development models.  MinGW is
> > "Minimalist GNU for Windows"; as such, it follows the Unixy GNU model,
> MinGW is a compiler.  When I run mingw32-make from a Windows Command
> Prompt, I could care less about GNU anything.

How is this relevant to MSYS?  MinGW is *not* MSYS.  If you are running
MinGW from a Windoze Command Prompt, (a.k.a. cmd.exe), you are *not*
using MSYS.  Whether you care about it, or not, you *are* using the
*GNU* Compiler Collection.

> > > and the latter is canonical native Windows development, doesn't
> > > pollute anything.
> >
> > But it does lead to PATH proliferation, which I intensely dislike.
> Who cares?  Well, you care, but why should the native Windows
> development world care what you don't like?

I don't expect them to care.  I respect their right to choose a
development model, which is anathema to me.  I don't care that they've
made that choice; that is their business.  I *do* ask that they respect
my right to choose an alternative development model.  When I choose to
use MSYS as my primary CLI, I'm making a pretty clear statement that I
expect my development model to conform approximately to POSIX.  That I
choose MSYS + MinGW over Cygwin, expresses a preference for creating
applications which can run natively under Woe32, without requiring a
POSIX emulation layer; to achieve that, I'm prepared to put in the
porting effort, to convert POSIX API calls to Woe32 replacements.

> I can think of all sorts of things in programming I don't like, many
> of them coming from Microsoft.  I have the power to change lots of
> them in my own projects.  But there are still dominant standards which
> people use by default.

So what?  If I'm developing for my own use, or for use by like minded
people, who also favour the POSIXy model, or for portability to a real
POSIX system, why should I care what the Woe32 lock-in crowd do?

> Windows native developers aren't concerned with path proliferation.
> It's standard drill.
> > I can't speak for the others, but my primary development platform is
> > GNU/Linux; I have absolutely no interest in developing exclusively for
> > Woe32.  I use MinGW and MSYS as a vehicle for porting Unixy tools to
> > Woe32; if my employer didn't shortsightedly force me to use Woe32, I
> > wouldn't bother, for I use these Unixy tools almost exclusively, to
> > fulfil my job function.
> Right.  You see MSYS as a Windows avoidance solution.

Wrong.  As a professional engineer, I see MSYS + MinGW as a vehicle for
delivering effective solutions.  IMO, Woe32 is a pretty crap platform
for getting real engineering work done.

> I don't think that's the basis upon which we should be deciding the
> defaults, unless almost every MSYS user out there is typically a
> Windows avoider.

It has nothing to do with Windows avoidance;  it has everything to do
with expectations.  MSYS is a POSIX command line environment; those who
choose to use it, generally expect POSIX-like behaviour.

> If that's the case, then let's admit that MSYS really isn't about
> Windows native development.

It isn't.  No one but you ever claimed that it is.


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