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ITP: openwatcom -- C/C++ compiler and IDE that produce efficient, portable code

Package: wnpp
Severity: wishlist

* Package name    : openwatcom
 Version         : I plan to do version 1.4 (or 1.6, if it comes out soon)
 Upstream Author : an independent team of volunteer contributors
* URL             : http://www.openwatcom.org/
* License         : Sybase Open Watcom Public License 1.0 (it is OSI-approved)
 Description     : C/C++ compiler and IDE that produce efficient, portable code

Open Watcom includes a C/C++ IDE and a full set of command-line tools
for compilation, including the superb Watcom debugger. It emits
easy-to-understand errors and warnings when things go wrong. Current
outstanding issues include imperfect template support and an inability
to dynamically link with shared libraries built by GCC. These will be
fixed sooner if you help. :-)

There is also an Open Watcom Fortran 77 compiler, but I probably won't
package it. I might package the full manual set, or I may just ship the
PDFs on the website. I have not checked if the docs are Free or non-Free.

Help Wanted

I have started work on the openwatcom package already. If someone is
interested in co-maintaining or helping out with it or with an
openwatcom-doc package (which may have to go into non-free), please
email me.

Will I succeed in getting Open Watcom into Debian?

I am not a Debian Developer, and I have never built a Debian package
before. Based on the challenges involved, I do not know if I will
succeed in making a policy-compliant package:

* Open Watcom is a huge package, and it does not use autoconf or
 automake. It is built using Watcom tools called wmake and builder.
 Luckily, wmake and pbuilder can be built using GCC / G++.

* Open Watcom requires various environment variables to be set before
 use, which goes against Debian policy. I hope not to use shell scripts
 wrapping each binary and checking that $WATCOM is set; IMO that would
 be too big a kludge. Instead, I hope to address this issue by patching
 the source code, as I have started to do already with the owcc tool.

In sum, I do not know if I will succeed in building a finished package
or not. If you are curious about how the work is going at any point, or
if you want a copy of my work so far, please feel free to email me.
The package I have built so far currently installs OK and seems to work for
basic use. However, the it installs a bunch of non-executable
files to /usr/bin, has no real README, and has many other problems.

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