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Re: [Caml-list] Ocaml 3.03 alpha MinGW port
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Date: 2001-11-26 (13:35)
From: Dmitry Bely <dbely@m...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Ocaml 3.03 alpha MinGW port
Xavier Leroy <> writes:

> > I'm really not a specialist about this topic, but have now
> > (or in a near future) to choose between possible
> > Windows "technologies" (Visual C, Cygwin, MinGW) for
> > an OCaml program (only a console mode stuff in my case).
> > 
> > Could anybody explain to me why a MinGW isn't *always*
> > preferable to a Cygwin one (use of the same compiler, GCC,
> > MinGW being more "direct" Windows without an indirection
> > layer, not speaking about licensing problems, etc....).
> The full Cygwin provides a rather complete Unix emulation, hence the
> OCaml Cygwin port supports the debugger, all of the Unix module,

Yes, MinGW port lacks that (as well as MSVC one -- that's Win32 without
fork() and other stuff). MSVC and MinGW ports support absolutely the same
set of OCaml libraries.

> and
> (I believe) the LablGTK GUI -- all things that are missing in the
> OCaml MinGW port, if I remember correctly.

Hmm, IIRC standard 3.03 alpha contains only LablTk, not LablGTK. Yes, with
MinGW patch LablTk can be compiled out of the box. As for LablGTK, it
also should not be a problem -- gtk/Win32 does not rely on Cygwin...

> > I understand well that the Caml Team wants probably to
> > maintain a MS C version of the OCaml implementation,
> > but wanted to ask the Team if they have some ideas about
> > the future of Cygwin/MinGW ports. Isn't a MinGW port, in
> > the medium term, preferable to a Cygwin one ? Or do I
> > miss a point ?
> The situation is quite simple, really:
> - We can't support three different Windows port of OCaml; the current
>   two are already too much.

MinGW port in fact do not need any extra support; it uses the same
sources as MSVC one (and even links with MS-supplied C runtime library
msvcrt.dll), and shares Make/Configure environment with all other Unixes. I
see no real problem here...

> - Every time I mention this fact on this list, we get replies of the form
>     "I can't live without the Visual C based port of OCaml --
>      I'm doing real industrial work, and everything gcc-related is
>      just amateur work"
>   OR
>     "I got a Windows machine because that's the company policy,
>      but I really do all my work within the Cygwin environment and
>      don't want to hear about anything else".
> Draw your own conclusions...

OK, I do not insist. It really may not worth your efforts. I just thought
that for people, who cannot/does not want to buy expensive and
multimegabyte MSVC but need C compiler under Win32 (for custom runtimes,
CamlIDL etc), native Win32 port of OCaml, compiled with gcc compiler, would
be very convenient...

Hope to hear from you soon,

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