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Re: [feature/internal-msys] thoughts of a more function windows package

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: [feature/internal-msys] thoughts of a more function windows package
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2021 17:20:07 +0200

> From: Phillip Lord <phillip.lord@russet.org.uk>
> Cc: emacs-devel@gnu.org
> Date: Sun, 24 Jan 2021 22:13:07 +0000
> Eli Zaretskii <eliz@gnu.org> writes:
> >> > They mostly work, until they don't.  Like with Cygwin, there are
> >> > subtle incompatibilities, mainly in file names and in communications
> >> > with subprocesses and response to "signals".  Encoding defaults are
> >> > also different.
> >> 
> >> That's true for the msys2 commands but not the mingw64 ones?
> >
> > Yes.  That's why I asked about msys-1.0.dll: the programs that depend
> > on that aren't mingw64 (native) programs.
> But, mingw64 does not have all the packages I need.

Are we talking about you personally, or are we talking about Emacs

If the former, then MinGW64 are not the only source of good ports of
Free Software to Windows, far from that.  If they don't have some
package, you just go out and look for it elsewhere.

If we are talking about Emacs users who will download Emacs from the
GNU sites, then I'd say give them only what MinGW64 provides, so that
they could use pacman to easily update that.  Those who need more will
have to find and install whatever they need on their own.  Telling
them to install MSYS ports instead risks exposing them to subtle
problems, so I wouldn't recommend it.

> How do people use Emacs on windows? I mean, do they install find, ls,
> git, aspell and all the rest by hand?

If MinGW doesn't provide those, what else can you do?  Me, I ported
some of the packages myself (where I found no ports that were good
enough or new for me), and installed others where I found good ports.
Almost all of my ports are available from the ezwinports site.

> >> Would it be easier to have Emacs allow me to successfully update PATH
> >> during run?
> >
> > Update how?
> Using some magic that doesn't exist at the current time. I mean a way
> like did (by fiddling with setenv) that doesn't suffer the problems that
> it causes.

I don't think this magic can exist.  But if someone knows, let them
speak up.

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