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Re: The mingw* mess in Debian

On Thu, 24 Nov 2011 16:17:32 +0100, Fabian Greffrath <fabian@greffrath.com>
> > 32-bit packages (lots of people don't realise mingw-w64 targets 32-bit
> > Windows too; it seems the package description isn't sufficient).
> Yes, the package descriptions might need some improvement. This is how 
> mingw-w64 introduces itself on its own project home page:
> "The project's goal is to deliver runtime, headers, and libs for 
> developing 64 bit (x64), as well as 32 bit (x86), windows applications 
> using gcc-4.6 or newer versions."
> <http://mingw-w64.sourceforge.net/>
> i think that pretty much hits it. ;)

What I meant originally was more along the lines of "the package description
isn't sufficient, the package name has to be made clearer". Currently the
mingw-w64 package's description is

"MinGW-w64 provides a development and runtime environment for 32- and 64bit
Windows applications using the GNU Compiler Collection (gcc)."

which seems to me quite similar to the description you quote - the only
missing information is the x86/x64 nomenclature. It might also make sense to
mention the "Windows API" as it is now known (see
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/Aa383723 for details).

I'm actually undecided regarding the -win32 and -win64 suffixes: while it's
probably a good thing to have at least win32 in the 32-bit package names,
using those two suffixes is restrictive at least in theory: the API itself is
pretty much the same, and Windows supports x86, x64 (x86_64), IA-64 (Itanium)
and presumably some form of ARM processors soon... So your original -i686 and
-x86_64 might be more future-proof. The MinGW-w64 project's site has links to
"WIN32" and "WIN64" downloads, but none of the packages use those terms. The
automated builds use "mingw-w32" for the 32-bit target package, "mingw-w64"
for the 64-bit target package, and i686/x86_64 is used to indicate the host
CPU! rubenvb's personal builds use i686-w64-mingw32/x86_64-w64-mingw32 to
specify the target, and sezero's follow the automated builds' naming

So there's precedent for using mingw-w32 and mingw-w64, but that would
probably generate more confusion with the similarity to mingw32. I'd vote for
mingw-w64-i686 and mingw-w64-x86_64 in the end, based on the following:
* the upstream project's name is MinGW-w64, hence the mingw-w64 name
* the target CPUs are currently i686 and x86_64
* we don't differentiate Win32 and Win64 because there's no real difference
  in the APIs
* this allows future support for ARM and/or IA-64 without renaming existing
In the Windows world i?86 is known as x86 and x86_64 is x64, so those names
should appear in the description.

How about the following base description:

  MinGW-w64 provides a development and runtime environment for 32- and 64-bit
  (x86 and x64) Windows applications using the Windows API and the GNU
  Compiler Collection (gcc).

  This metapackage provides the full MinGW-w64 development environment.

(The binutils, gcc and gdb packages would be updated to suit.)

As far as the packages are concerned, the mingw-w64 source package would
produce mingw-w64, mingw-w64-i686, mingw-w64-x86_64, the corresponding three
-dev variants and a single -tools package (since that varies only by host
architecture); gcc-mingw-w64 would produce all the gcc-based packages
(gcc-mingw-w64, gcc-mingw-w64-i686, gcc-mingw-w64-x86_64; I'm also splitting
the package up into gcc, g++, gnat, gfortran etc.) including the transitional
gcc-mingw32 package; likewise binutils-mingw-w64 and gdb-mingw-w64.



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