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[Mingw-cross-env-list] Re: About porting of GCC and possible redundancy

From: Volker Grabsch
Subject: [Mingw-cross-env-list] Re: About porting of GCC and possible redundancy
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2010 23:45:09 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)

Kārlis Repsons <address@hidden> schrieb:
> I catch myself in having no idea what it actually takes to port GCC for 
> making 
> Windows apps, nor who's doing it. I was thinking, that it's a whole lot of 
> things to do and presumed, that people around mingw.org are the ones, who do 
> it. Well, but then Keith Marshall tells me, their project still uses GCC 
> 3.4.5, while mingw-cross-env has 4.4! How come? Who is actually porting GCC?!

The official MinGW project does not only support GCC 3.4.5. It also supports
GCC 4.4.0, and since a few days GCC 4.5.0.

Also note that the MinGW project provides the mingwrt (MinGW runtime)
and w32api (Win32 API) packages, which are as essential as GCC in order
to compile applications for win32.

However, for historical reasons, mingw-cross-env uses mingwrt and w32api
from MinGW, but the GCC from TDM, a small fork of MinGW. TDM provided
win32 support for the GCC 4.x versions a long time before MinGW. Since
GCC 3.x became more and more outdated, and some libraries didn't even
compile on GCC 3.x anymore, I decided to give TDM a try, and it worked.
But as already mentioned, we still use w32api and mingwrt from MinGW.

Nowadays, MinGW does support GCC 4.x, so we could switch back. However,
that wasn't worth the work yet. Also note that patches from MinGW wander
back to the GCC project, so some GCC versions seem to be usable for
win32 cross compiling without any extra patches of the MinGW project,
because those are already included. However, we haven't yet checked in
how far that really works.

Alternatively to switching back to MinGW, we could also switch to
MinGW-w64, which supports 64-bit Windows platforms. However, there
are currently unsolved issues in that regard.

Tony Theodore is currently doing some research into all directions, in
order to find out which solution will be the best for mingw-cross-env:

    * plain GCC
    * GCC from MinGW
    * GCC from MinGW-w64
    * TDM-GCC

BTW, in addition to GCC/mingwrt/w32api there is a fourth important
package: Binutils. However, those are already full-featured in their
original version from the GNU project, and the packages provided by
MinGW are actually identical to the offical GNU package. So when we
speak about porting, Binutils is a non-issue.



Volker Grabsch
NotJustHosting GbR

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