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Re: MS-Windows build using Posix configury

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: MS-Windows build using Posix configury
Date: Sun, 19 May 2013 17:51:54 +0300

> From: Stephen Leake <address@hidden>
> Date: Sun, 19 May 2013 01:48:49 -0500
> >>     It is always preferable to use --prefix to configure Emacs for
> >>     some specific location of its installed tree; the default
> >>     /usr/local is not suitable for Windows.
> It would be best to say _why_ you think "/usr/local is not suitable for
> Windows". Certainly Microsoft doesn't care about "/usr/local".

It's funny how the most obvious things draw most of the questions.
Here are 2 obvious reasons which I had in mind when I wrote that:

 . /usr/local does not specify a drive letter, so its location is
   ambiguous, as it depends on the current drive

 . Windows systems don't usually have /usr/local on _any_ drive, even
   if they have many MinGW packages installed, while one of the main
   goals of this build was to allow installing Emacs as part of a
   larger tree of ported software, not as a stand-alone package

There's also a subtler problem, already mentioned in this thread,
which might be known to fewer people:

> Neither does MSYS or MinGW (if installed in the default places).

You are wrong here: MSYS does care.  It maps /usr/local to a
subdirectory of its installation root.  So if MSYS was installed in
C:\MSYS, /usr/local will be actually C:\MSYS\local (note that the
'usr' part disappeared, because MSYS maps both / and /usr to the same
place).  Imagine the surprise of a newbie who says "make install" and
then looks in vain for any "usr/local" directory anywhere, and doesn't
find it!

Since INSTALL.MSYS cannot be a treatise on MSYS or anything near it, I
thought that it will be sufficient to say "not recommended", and rely
on people to know about the 2 obvious reasons above, and just go with
the recommendation.  How naive of me...


> Cygwin might, if installed at c:/ (as I do). In that case, it would
> appear your MSYS/MinGW Emacs build is a Cygwin build, which would be
> confusing.

Here, you actually answered your own question: there are Emacs users
on Windows who do actually have Cygwin installed.

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