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Re: Anyone building Emacs trunk with MinGW w64 (32 bits)

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Anyone building Emacs trunk with MinGW w64 (32 bits)
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2013 15:24:14 +0200

> From: Óscar Fuentes <address@hidden>
> Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2013 13:34:02 +0100
> >> What new requirements would add running ./configure on Windows, as per
> >> your plan?
> >
> > MSYS and the auxiliary MSYS tools will have to be installed on the
> > end-user system.
> Ugh! I strive to keep my machines Cygwin and MSYS-free (being MSYSGit
> the only allowed trespasser, for obvious reasons.)

If you have MSYSGit installed, then resisting MSYS is kinda pointless,
don't you think?  Because you already have most of MSYS, and then

> I'm not saying that I'll stop building Emacs the day MSYS becomes a
> requirement, but you'll admit that it is a heavy, potentially
> problematic one.

I agree that it's a disadvantage.  But most Free Software packages
already require to have MSYS installed to build a native MinGW port,
so it's not like Emacs will be the first offender here.

> > I've used CMake in a package much less complex than Emacs (Gawk, if
> > you want to know), and my conclusion was that it also requires some
> > non-trivial amount of tinkering, in order to work well with the MinGW
> > development environment.  And that tinkering needs good knowledge of
> > CMake, something not easily gleaned from the available docs.  So I see
> > no significant advantage going that way, unless mainline Emacs
> > development switches to CMake.
> I'm not saying that it would be trivial. And some MinGW-specific
> tinkering would be necessary, yes. But for the user it would be
> hassle-free (well, CMake with the "MinGW Makefiles" generator doesn't
> want a `sh.exe' on your PATH, but it explicitly tells you so when you
> start the build.)

For the user it is hassle-free already.  In fact, it is even more
hassle-free than it could ever be with CMake: it doesn't require CMake
to be installed and configured.  (And if you think that's a
no-brainer, then ask me to tell you a horror story how I wasted an
hour trying to get CMake to work with my fully-functional MinGW
installation, due to a very subtle issue, not mentioned anywhere in
the docs and not found by Google.)

> > By contrast, using the Posix configure script and Posix Makefile.in
> > files will relieve us from at least one of the duties: the need to
> > track mainline development in a separate set of scripts that no one of
> > the head maintainers understands well, or wants to.  That is a huge
> > gain, which might just countermand the disadvantage of asking users to
> > install MSYS.
> I'm not inclined to adding responsibilites to the users for the
> (understandable) convenience of the developers, if other options exists.

"Developer's convenience" my foot.  From my perspective, what's at
stake is the ability of keeping a viable Windows port alive!  How many
contributors to Emacs even understand the Windows build procedure well
enough to develop and maintain it?  Asking users who build their own
Emacs on Windows to install MSYS is a small price for making sure the
Windows port will be able to keep up with the Posix build procedure
for free.  For people who don't want to pay that price, there will
always be binary distributions.

> One such thing is easily abstractable (sp?) on CMake: "run this platform
> check unless this or that condition holds, for which the answer is
> that."

Right, but when you get to implement the condition, you get burned.
Sorry, I'm not convinced, and this time based on my own bitter,
though eventually successful enough, experience.

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