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Re: autoconf in pure MSVC environment?

From: Bob Friesenhahn
Subject: Re: autoconf in pure MSVC environment?
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2004 11:50:08 -0500 (CDT)

On Tue, 7 Sep 2004, John W. Eaton wrote:

On  7-Sep-2004, Bob Friesenhahn <address@hidden> wrote:

| Installing Cygwin is similar in magnitude to installing another
| operating system.

The last time I installed it, I just did a point and click "Next ->
Next -> Next -> Finish" kind of install.  It took a while because I
was downloading directly off the net, but if I packaged this stuff all
up on a CD and had the same installer, perhaps with a few options
omitted (we would not need to select a download site, for example) and
configured so that only what is necessary for my package is installed
by default, then why would it be any different than installing any
other piece of Windows software?

I agree that Cygwin is pretty easy to install. Programs linked with the Cygwin DLL "mount" the Windows filesystems using different paths (e.g. "/cygdrive/c") and if the mounts use Unix line termination conventions (the default), text files are in Unix format rather than MS-DOS format (i.e. can't be opened in Windows Notepad). Due to the burden imposed on Windows users, Cygwin is best reserved for people who want to use Unix under Windows.

Programs built using the MinGW environment are normal Windows programs so they don't come with any user-visible baggage, but must be written to use the core Windows APIs (not nearly as difficult as it sounds since there is stdio and underscore-prefixed calls for traditional Unix APIs like open, close, read, & write). Of course most Window's users will be extremely confused if the software does not come with a GUI and show up in the Windows "Programs" menu.

With appropriate wrapper programs (e.g. cc, ld, ar), the Microsoft compiler could be used with Autoconf executed under the MSYS shell environment.

The Microsoft command-line VC++ compilation tools are a free download so maybe someone should volunteer to work on this.

Bob Friesenhahn

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