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Mail Archives: djgpp/1999/09/01/18:00:42

Date: Wed, 1 Sep 1999 12:25:35 +0300 (IDT)
From: Eli Zaretskii <eliz AT is DOT elta DOT co DOT il>
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To: Shawn Hargreaves <ShawnH AT Probe DOT co DOT uk>
cc: djgpp AT delorie DOT com
Subject: Re: Can we vote on letting RSXNTDJ rest in peace?
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On Tue, 31 Aug 1999, Shawn Hargreaves wrote:

> 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.

I'd rather think that this task is not as huge as it might seem.  In
the first approximation, just going through the DJGPP-ported sources
and adding #ifdef _WIN32 to every #ifdef __MSDOS__ would probably make
for a very useful set of tools.  Some replacements for library
functions are probably due (since the DJGPP ports rely heavily on some
hidden library features), but DJGPP library sources are free, so that
part shouldn't be too hard, too.

Once that is done, the next step would be to selectively enable
features that DJGPP doesn't support, like multiple jobs in Make,
perhaps some kind of job control in Bash, support for SIGWINCH, etc.
If these are added as the needs arise, not in one large bulk like
Cygwin does, then you'd still have a ``minimal'' development system
that is useful on its own.

It does require a couple of dedicated individuals to make this happen,
but given the path charted by DJGPP, it should be nowhere as hard as
it was in our case.  (Typically, each of the packages that are central
to the DJGPP environment, like Make, Bash and Fileutils, took about
two major ports and 2 to 3 years elapsed to get right.)

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

I have no doubt ;-).  But then people like you are not a good test
case for installation instructions.  That's why the DJGPP installation
instructions are still constantly reworked, although no one of the
developers have ever had any problems following the original DJ's
README.1ST, and even though complaints from newbies, including the
infamous -lstdcx problem, don't come anywhere near the flood of
problems with installing RSXNTDJ.

> 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.

Better still, a compilation driver could be written to do that
automatically.  Or perhaps even some magic in lib/specs would be
enough to pull out that trick.

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