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Re: GnuTLS for W32

From: Óscar Fuentes
Subject: Re: GnuTLS for W32
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2012 20:21:49 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.91 (gnu/linux)

Ted Zlatanov <address@hidden> writes:

> ÓF> Sharing the gnutls dll is so wrong at some many levels that I wont
> ÓF> start discussing it.
> I am puzzled by this.  Why is it wrong to share the GnuTLS DLL?

This is a common scenario on MS Windows: multiple providers of binary
packages, multiple installers with different install policies even for
the same installer, lots of directories on PATH (each application lives
on its own directory and often wants to be listed on PATH), varying
policies about where a non-privileged user is allowed to put binaries,
multiple incompatible binary macropackages that provides the same
executables and libraries with the same names (Cygwin, MSYS, GnuWin32
and what-not), a lack of culture of system administration, a growing
tendency to rely on self-updating packages... and the list goes on.

If a user is informed about the need to fix GnuTLS (through the local
newspaper, I guess) his first reaction would be "GnuWhat? Is it on my
machine?" Next, as every desktop computer user would do, he performs a
full HD file search for the library ("and BTW, how is it named,
exactly?") After locating the instance (or multiple instances) he needs
to figure out the correct procedure to update it ("Was this installed
along something else? Has this be put here by an installer of some sort?
Does that installer offer an update method? What depends on this dll?
What's the installed version, and what's the compatible update? Is it
available somewhere? If I use this newer version which I found with a
Google search, can something break apart?")

Sure, for us it all looks very easy, but I suffered DLL hell a few times
and it is very frustrating. Can't imagine how can it be for a novice or
a less computer-savvy user.

For a Windows binary package to be robust, it must be as self-contained
as possible. Quality-wise, one of the best decisions I ever made was to
distribute the C/C++ MS runtime dlls along with the rest of my binaries,
no matter they are already installed on virtually all MS Windows
machines. Certain long-standing, very nasty bugs simply went away.


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