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Re: Unidentified subject!

Arnau Marcé wrote:
I'm working on it since laast Monday... In a few weeks you'll have debian's
base system ported to cygwin (I really hope so  ;)    ).

Now, I've 18 ported packages to win32. Some of the base system an some not.

Uh huh.

| john@jardiniere ~
| $ dpkg -l | wc -l
|      55

Hurrah for me. But not really. All the 'porting' involves in most cases is a few tweaks to debian files (rules, postinst) or includes. There are some basic problems to be solved before this project can really start moving. A few off the top of my head...

Apt doesn't work. I've not looked at it yet, shouldn't be too hard, but it certainly doesn't compile ATM.

The .exe suffix screws things up. A lot of packages identify the target as Cygwin, and your executables then get that extension. Then the build fails because a filename is hard-coded in a makefile somewhere (debian/rules, for example). If you ask me, the .exe has to go. No other Debian platform uses an extension for exectuables, and you're not going to persuade everyone to change their packages to accommodate it. So I guess that means fixing config.guess, so it can identify Debian win32 systems and act appropriately; then and rebuilding gcc. Something like that.

Then there's the filename problem -- normally, Windows doesn't do certain characters, for example colons. You'll hit this one building packages for perl-doc, defoma, spamassassin, countless Perl modules, etc. Apparently you can turn on POSIX compliance, which sounds like the way to go. In a previous discussion I think people suggested patching newlib to substitute another character, but I don't like the idea of changing filenames. It just opens up more potential problems (eg breaking hard-coded filenames in scripts and configs, risks clashes with other files in Debian, etc).

Those three are just for starters. The first few packages build, and you think "hey, this is doable", but in truth, getting even the base system working properly (i.e. building cleanly, not just fiddling it) is going to need some serious work by someone who knows what they're doing.

If it's achieved "in a few weeks", I'll eat my hat.

John Ineson

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