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Re: FW: [Mingw-msys] How do I recreate the MSYS distribution?

On Thu, 2007-10-25 at 15:27 -0400, Brandon Van Every wrote:
> > MSYS isn't a build tool; it is a cmd.exe replacement.
> The MinGW homepage says otherwise.  http://mingw.org/  "MSYS: A
> Minimal SYStem to provide POSIX/Bourne configure scripts the ability
> to execute and create a Makefile used by make."  Build configuration
> is stated to be its raison d'etre.

Agreed, this is badly worded; a case of trying to say too much in too
few words.  Note that this doesn't actually say it is a build system,
but that is a system to enable the execution of build scripts.  The poor
wording doesn't alter the reality; MSYS is nothing more than a CLI,
(i.e. an alternative to cmd.exe), bundled with a few external commands
which are typically required by GCS conforming configure scripts and
Makefiles, (but these are all general purpose CLI tools, rather than
specifically build system components).

How about this improved wording, for the web pages?

MSYS: A Minimal command line interpreter SYStem, (CLI), offered as an
alternative to the Windows Command Prompt, (a.k.a. cmd.exe).  Conceived
to facilitate the execution of the POSIX style build scripts commonly
provided by Open Source projects, and to interpret the Makefiles which
they generate, its CLI interprets the Bourne Shell command language, in
order to execute the commands commonly invoked by such scripts.

> Build configuration is stated to be its raison d'etre.

The driving force which inspired its development, certainly, but that
doesn't make it a build system.  So, we could say...

MSYS was conceived out of a long-lived desire to provide the MinGW
community with a Minimal SYStem, offering a Bourne Shell command line
interpreter environment, which would be capable of executing POSIX style
configure scripts, and of interpreting the ensuing Makefiles, in order
to build typical Open Source projects, while requiring minimal changes,
if any, to their build systems.

> MSYS or Minimal SYStem is a POSIX and Bourne shell environment

This explicitly *does* say what it is; nothing more than a shell,
(a.k.a. CLI), environment.  This qualification...

> [for] use with MinGW.

is unnecessary; it implies a restriction which doesn't actually exist.
So, let's rather say...

MSYS, standing for "Minimal SYStem", is a POSIX-like command line
interpreter (CLI) environment, suitable as an alternative to the Windows
Command Prompt, (a.k.a. cmd.exe), for use in situations where Bourne
Shell command language is preferred to the native language of Windows
commands.  Typically used with MinGW, (but by no means restricted to
such use), it provides a Bourne Shell CLI, (GNU bash), a hand picked
selection of external POSIX commands, (primarily those identified by the
GNU Coding Standards, as prerequisites for executing GCS conforming
configure scripts), and the GNU make tool.  This allows most of the GNU
packages to create a Makefile, simply by executing the configure script,
(which is provided by the package); this, in turn, can be interpreted by
GNU make, to build the package using the native MinGW version of GCC.

> C:\msys\1.0\doc\msys\MSYS_MISSION says, "The mission or goal of MSYS
> is to provide a minimal POSIX environment for configuring and building
> MinGW ports and code."

So what?  That's merely a *goal*, which MSYS achieves, IMO.  It doesn't
say that MSYS is a build system, or that it's restricted to such usage.
It *does* say that MSYS is a minimal POSIX environment, (i.e. a shell,
although it could, perhaps, be more explicit about that).


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