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Re: No respect for Windows?

From: Erik Huelsmann <ehuels_at_gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2008 21:43:20 +0200

On Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 9:32 PM, Robert Dailey <rcdailey_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 12:01 PM, David Weintraub <qazwart_at_gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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
>> <http://osswin.sourceforge.net/>.
> That's exactly the problem I was trying to solve myself, however I got to
> thinking: Why waste the effort? I'm sure hundreds of people have already
> gone through the effort to set all of this up on windows.

I'd be really surprised if the number of 'home built' Windows
Subversions would be anywhere near 100 excluding the developers (or
even including! Hah!).

Really, I don't think anybody thinks anything else than you do: it's
too damned hard to get the right build environment if you're not an
experienced Windows developer - and even then.

Unfortunately, I've tried to improve the setup and build process, but
it's not that easy: You really cannot assume anything to be available
readily on Windows (like the C compiler)...

> Why don't they
> release a visual studio version of the source distribution so that I can 1)
> Download and 2) Compile. The only reason why it's so difficult on windows is
> because no one has made the effort to make it easy as far as I know.

I'd like to invite you to do it. Others have tried.

> Linux
> is easy right now because all of the hard work has already been done by
> someone else (Such as the distributor of that particular version of Linux).

But also because most Linux distributions include all the tools you'd
want to have for the purpose: make, a C compiler, Python, Perl, awk,
sed, autoconf, and a whole slew of other tools. Does your Windows come
with that?

> Microsoft won't do it obviously, so someone could simply create a ZIP file
> with all of the necessary components so that all I have to do is Download &
> Compile.

I'm affraid nobody is allowed to redistribute the MS toolset.



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Received on 2008-07-30 21:43:46 CEST

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