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Re: No respect for Windows?

From: David Weintraub <qazwart_at_gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2008 13:01:52 -0400

Since Windows represents about 90% of the desktops (and Windows is
probably a majority of the desktops even in Open Source shops), it is
extremely important for any Open Source project to have a Windows
version. There maybe some philosophical differences between people who
develop for Open Source and Microsoft, but the best way to kill an
Open Source project is to keep it off of Windows. So, why does it
sometimes take a bit longer for official Windows versions of Open
Source projects like Subversion?

Most Linux and Unix distributors scurry to build their own version of
open source projects like Subversion for their users while Microsoft
itself is usually not interested. So, if RedHat ports of Subversion
appear before Windows versions, it could be because Redhat did the
work necessary to get the package there.

There are other issues involved making Windows ports so difficult. On
almost any Linux or Unix distribution, I can pretty much download the
source and compile it without any problems because most Unix and Linux
distributions are loaded with the standard Open Source dependencies.
This is even true with Mac OS X as long as Fink is installed.

Windows, on the other hand, doesn't even include a standard C compiler
let alone most of the standard Open Source dependencies that
Subversion uses. It isn't impossible to get Windows to compile the
source, but it does take quite a bit of setup. You have to first get
all the dependencies -- some of which don't come with any compiled
version of the program. Then, you have to get the GCC compiler.

And, even once you do get a build going, you then have to create a
standard Windows Installation package either using InstallShield or
Microsoft's MSI -- neither of which are free.

It isn't impossible to do all of that, but if you want to build
Subversion from source on Windows, you really need to setup a Windows
machine with all the bells and whistles needed for building open
source software. You might want to take a look at MingW
<http://www.mingw.org/> or the OSS Win project

David Weintraub
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Received on 2008-07-30 19:02:23 CEST

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