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RE: coreutils rm - win32 native port

From: Aviad Lahav
Subject: RE: coreutils rm - win32 native port
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 17:24:19 +0300

- I tried Mingw's MSYS now; it suffers from the problems similar to
cygwin's: needs to be installed and needs a DLL.

- Why shouldn't coreutils accept native win32 ports? GNU make does. I think
native win32 support should be an objective of the project; if not, the
situation I described before won't be solved: win32 users will have endless
choices of non-standard, not-entirely-working ports.


-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Blake [mailto:address@hidden 
Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2007 05:05
To: Aviad Lahav
Cc: address@hidden
Subject: Re: coreutils rm - win32 native port

Hash: SHA1

According to Aviad Lahav on 8/13/2007 7:29 AM:
> I needed to use rm.exe on my project but found no decent pre-built
> -          Cygwin binary was bad for me because the dependency on the DLL
> and the mess it does with paths

The cygwin community is aware of this - it is the price they are willing
to pay for the most complete POSIX emulation among the various Windows

> -          GnuWin32 had some bugs with "\"

GnuWin32 has earned somewhat of a reputation on this list of being
woefully out of date.

> -          UnxUtils had problems with read-only files (rm -f doesn't work)

I'm not that familiar with UnxUtils.

Have you tried mingw?  It is probably the best-maintained port that does
not also require a separate dll.

> So I built my own version of rm, modified coreutils 6.9; tried to minimize
> changes; remove.c was almost completely re-written using the native WIN32
> API. It now compiles with MSVC 2005 and works well.

Sorry, but this list probably will not accept patches to convert to the
Windows API.  The gnulib list might take patches for ports of common POSIX
functions, when a more efficient implementation that uses Windows API
under the hood is provided, and where the patch is easy enough to
maintain.  But it is much easier to write portable code that uses a
portable, publicly maintained API (anyone can join the Austin Group and
contribute to POSIX free of charge, whereas the Windows API is proprietary
and not portable).  This is not meant to discourage you from submitting
your patches to UnxUtils or GnuWin32, but I can also guarantee that your
patches won't be accepted into the cygwin port of coreutils.

> Bottom line:
> I'd like this to be committed to main CVS - how and who? Does this need
> review?

This is the right list for posting proposed patches; and even if we have
reasons for not incorporating them, someone else can read the archives and
use the patch if they like it.  The other thing you have to have to get
non-trivial patches incorporated upstream is copyright disclaimer to the

- --
Don't work too hard, make some time for fun as well!

Eric Blake             address@hidden
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Comment: Public key at home.comcast.net/~ericblake/eblake.gpg
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