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Re: A few Windows build fixes

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: A few Windows build fixes
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 09:28:55 -0400

> From: Hannu Koivisto <address@hidden>
> Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 15:03:07 +0300
> > trouble.  By contrast, GnuWin32 is a collection of native Windows
> > ports of GNU software.  They don't "fix" any file names, and they
> > support native Windows file name format, either with forward slashes
> > or with backslashes.
> That sounds very good compared to msys.  However, I have no need
> for such native tools so I'm not going to install them and test
> with them.

You are not required to test them yourself, sorry if I was unclear
about that.  The only requirement is to not use anything that is
guaranteed to break the other environments.  Any other issues that are
not immediately clear by just reading the diffs will be in due time
discovered by others, who do have those tools installed, and we can
deal with them at that time.

> The fact that you see one environment working fine and I see others
> failing is precisely the problem I'm talking about.  The makefiles
> would be better off separated into environment specific parts and
> environment independent parts so that users of one environment
> could fix their environment specific parts or generic parts without
> worrying too much about breaking other environments (like I've just
> done with GnuWin32).  Unfortunately this is nontrivial or at least
> ugly with plain make.

Hmm... this actually gives me an idea.  How about providing a
completely separate set of Makefile.cygwin-in files, whose sole target
will be the native build with Cygwin tools?  Then the only changes
that need to be aware of the other Windows builds will be in

Of course, the downside of this would be the need to maintain a
separate set of Makefiles, although we could factor out at least the
dependencies to make it less painful...  Hmm...  Alternatively, would
it be possible to have just a separate nt/cygwin.defs file, to be used
instead of gmake.defs, and fix any issues specific to Cygwin, like
/cygdrive etc., in that file?

> > The main toolchain that is currently supported for building the native
> > Windows port of Emacs is MinGW accompanied by a few GnuWin32 ports
> > (`cp', `rm', `mv').  So supporting MinGW which needs this,
> > is indeed more important than supporting the build with Cygwin, yes.
> I think you should consider replacing the current largely obsolete
> INSTALL file and mention only this one supported build environment.

You are probably right, I will add this to my TODO.

> >> Not solving this means that "make install" won't work when cmd is
> >> not used.
> >
> > It will work if INSTALL_DIR already exists.
> Actually it doesn't, because the makefiles try to create the same
> directory (at least $INSTALL_DIR/bin, possibly others) several
> times.

Actually, it does, because each mkdir command is invoked with the `-'
flag before it. ;-) 

> I'm not going to work on these changes in the foreseeable future,
> though, so don't expect updated versions soon.  In fact, if I'll
> work on building Emacs on Windows later, I think I'd rather use my
> time on trying to fix the Visual C++/nmake build, which was my
> primary choice anyway.

The MSVC build indeed needs some care, I think no one has tried to use
it for a long time.  You will probably find the patch and the
discussions in these 2 threads useful:


I still have on my TODO to apply those patches after some changes, as
discussed on the list, but if you can do that as part of your work,
and also update the patch wrt the latest trunk while at that, it would
be much better, as I don't really use MSVC myself (and none of the
other contributors to the w32 port does, AFAIK).


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