Mail Archives: djgpp/1999/09/01/01:15:31

Message-ID: <>
From: Shawn Hargreaves <ShawnH AT Probe DOT co DOT uk>
To: djgpp AT delorie DOT com
Cc: eliz AT is DOT elta DOT co DOT il
Subject: Re: Can we vote on letting RSXNTDJ rest in peace?
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 15:07:50 +0100
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Reply-To: djgpp AT delorie DOT com

Eli Zaretskii writes:
> The *real* question here (IMHO) is this: is RSXNTDJ a technically
> sound way to allow people to develop Win32 programs?

I believe so. It is essentially a cross-compiler, using a DOS toolset
to produce Win32 programs, and that makes it something of a hack,
with some strange quirks that can probably never be properly fixed
(eg. the strange linker behaviour of ignoring missing functions),
but given that we already have an excellent set of development tools,
RSXNTDJ strikes me as an excellent way to extend these to be useful
in a Windows environment.

In the long run, I think that Mingw32 (a true native Windows system)
is technically the Right Thing, but at the moment Mingw32 is just a
compiler, while djgpp provides a full Unix environment. In my recent
experience of getting Allegro to work with both of these, the Mingw32
version has caused no end of trouble with people having different
make programs, shells, system headers, etc, wheras djgpp software
tends to just work out of the box.

The ideal thing would IMHO be to put together a djgpp-style 
environment (ie. a single centralised distribution with ports of all
the major Unix tools) on top of Mingw32. But that is a huge task, and
as long as nobody has done it, RSXNTDJ works pretty well today.

> But if RSXNTDJ is a good solution, and all it needs is some work on
> getting its installation easier for the uninitiated, then the Right
> Thing to do is to take over its maintenance, not to boycot it.

Quite. I never had a problem with installing it, though: I just
followed the very clear instructions in the manual, and it worked.

The only thing that didn't work for me was building C++ programs,
which is related to newer gcc versions, and probably quite trivial 
to fix.

Another potential problem is how RSXNT replaces the standard
linker with a hacked version that doesn't work so well for building
DOS programs (it fails to warn you about missing functions, and
gives errors when used with the -s switch). It would be nice if
there was some way to have both linkers installed at once and use
a compiler switch to decide which one to run, or failing that,
the installation instructions should be updated to warn people
about these problems, and tell them how to manually switch between
the two linkers.

	Shawn Hargreaves.

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