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Re: GnuTLS for W32

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: GnuTLS for W32
Date: Thu, 05 Jan 2012 01:41:14 -0500

> From: Óscar Fuentes <address@hidden>
> Date: Thu, 05 Jan 2012 00:00:57 +0100
> You can bet on it. At the beginning there was several versions of
> MSVCRT.DLL floating around, some of them notoriously buggy. Of course,
> everybody installed the dll on system32. The problem was partially fixed
> by SxS, which essentially ensured that applications that didn't embed
> manifests (and hence didn't required a specific version of the dll) used
> the default, "safe" one provided by MS with the OS. That started with
> Windows XP, although it doesn't protect you from inadvertently picking a
> dll inside a directory that comes first on PATH. With Windows 2000, I
> had to face one of the more frustrating bugs on my career: a few users
> reported crashes, freezes and data corruption (on a DB app!). It took me
> months to discover the problem for one of the users: a mass storage
> device driver and accompanying backup utility installed their own
> custom-modified MSVCRT.DLL on system32, which somehow caused my app to
> freeze when certain gui action was performed. They didn't bothered to
> use a different version string or id on the resources of the library, so
> it reported itself as one of the "good" dlls. Then I started to put my
> runtime dlls on the same directory as the rest of my binaries, and the
> problems of those users disappeared. Most of them haven't that storage
> device. The issue costed me a several hundred work hours, mostly trying
> to desperately find bugs inside my application.

Conclusions based on experiences from Windows 2000 should be tossed as
irrelevant nowadays.  Citing this is a good "war story", but has no
bearing on design decisions for future features.

In addition, latest GnuTLS cannot be compiled with MinGW in a way that
will run on anything older than XP anyway.  (Maybe some non-trivial
tweaking could overcome that, but I didn't bother, and if Nikos built
the stock distribution, which is what I glean from his script, then
his binaries have the same limitation.)

So let's forget about Windows 2000; it's irrelevant for this thread,
if not for any other thread.

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