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Compiling Chicken app for Windows from linux with Docker

From: Théo Cavignac
Subject: Compiling Chicken app for Windows from linux with Docker
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2021 12:34:24 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/78.10.2

Hi all,

After my previous mail concerning the static compilation in a Docker container I figured it would be nice to use the same idea to create a cross compilation environment for linux-to-windows dev.

Using the cross development article on the wiki, digging through the build system a bit and fiddling a lot I created a MinGW-w64 based environment that let you build standalone apps from your chicken code and your favorite eggs that can be distributed as a single binary without needing dev oriented dependencies like cygwin or MSYS2.

I have to say I am pretty happy with this achievement, even if it may not be much, because I learned a ton on the building system of Chicken, and on linking in general.

I plan on contributing to the wiki some of the knowledge I gathered during the process. I already submitted a ticket to fix what seems to be a typo in the Makefile.cross-linux-mingw file in chicken sources.

By the way, I don't think I have an account to edit the wiki. Can I have one with username lattay ?

Here is the Docker environment ready to be built:

Here is an image ready to go (because compiling chicken twice is pretty long):

The script that automate the process of spinning the container and extracting the final binary has been updated accordingly and now support the option `--platform mingw`:

Currently my testing of this environment is pretty limited. I did a test with the args egg but I don't know how well it would perform with more complex eggs like bind based one.

I don't have a non trivial app that would work on windows to test with this process.

Hence, I would be interested in some real world Windows ready app for this.

I would also be interested in feedback from testing this with your own app.

Also, I have yet to understand what is the difference between console and GUI app in windows and how this environment could be used to build graphical apps.

As always, I am very open to critiques and suggestions so please feel free !


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