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MinGW port w/o Cygwin?
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Date: -- (:)
From: Kuba Ober <ober.14@o...>
Subject: Re: Re : Re: [Caml-list] Re: MinGW port w/o Cygwin?
On Sunday 23 December 2007, Adrien wrote:
> 2007/12/20, Kuba Ober <ober.14@osu.edu>:
> > I guess that Ocaml maintainers should just drop that Cygwin requirement,
> > and tweak their build process to work "out of the box" with MSYS/MinGW.
>
> You shouldn't see cygwin as a _requirement_.
> Ocaml installation from source (let the binary distributions be a
> special case) use C. If there is no c compiler installed as it is
> under all windows installations (I mean right after setup is
> completed) ocaml simply can't be installed ; the problem is not with
> ocaml or cygwin but with windows. Cygwin is not a fancy requirement
> just one of the few ways to get a c compiler under windows.
>
> Also mingw without cygwin still lacks a lot of things. Capabilities
> are there but it seems header files have not been updated in ages and
> linker flags need to be different (you will often need -lws2_32 for
> many C apps especially).

THe right way is to update mingw headers, submit to the maintainers, and go 
from there. That's the OSS way.

> Anyway, the result is a big headache for the developper. I perfectly
> understand the ocaml team is not willing to make a complete mingw/msys
> port ; it's such a mess.

It's the only sane way to go. THere's no technical reason to require a unix 
environment to build ocaml. Big applications build on Windows just fine...

> So there would be msvc, cygwin, cygwin/mingw, msys/mingw with
> different configuration files for each. While such a port would be
> easy to create it wouldn't be wise to create it imho ; it wouldn't
> help maintaining and would create bugs along with more work for the
> ocaml team.

Supporting Cygwin at all is a waste IMHO. Either you run Unix or Windows, 
choose one and stick with it...

> And then one could add a SFU port (Services For Unix) which lets you
> compile ocaml without problem except that it works so well ocaml
> thinks it is running under unix and uses forward-slashes as path
> separators. (everything that ./configure can enable is enabled)

IIRC Windows accepts forward slashes everywhere just fine.

> compile with mingw just to remember last time I tried I spent two
> hours. I then used sfu, cd'ed in the source directory, ./configure,
> make, strip and within 90 seconds my rsync build was ready to
> download. SFU is free though not free as in free speech, but when
> you've spent hours on msys/mingw, you can accept anything and be
> really happy with it. *)

Well, all it means is that Ocaml wasn't designed to build on Windows, that's 
it. MSYS provides what reasonably can be provided without a Unix emulation 
layer. THe fact that Oaml uses a Unix-centric build system and whatnot makes 
things the way they are. The windows build could dispense with configure and 
whatnot.

Cheers, Kuba