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groff's pre-grohtml and posix_spawn() (was: groff 1.23.0.rc4 on mingw)

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: groff's pre-grohtml and posix_spawn() (was: groff 1.23.0.rc4 on mingw)
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2023 00:58:29 -0500

Hi Bruno,

At 2023-04-16T02:24:01+0200, Bruno Haible wrote:
> G. Branden Robinson wrote:
> > > This can be simplified to a single implementation for both, based
> > > on posix_spawn. Gnulib implements posix_spawn also for native
> > > Windows; see .
> > 
> > To make sure I understand clearly, do you expect gnulib's
> > posix_spawn to resolve _both_ of the above issues (notes 1 and 2)?
> No, only note 2.
> posix_spawn is faster than fork()+exec() on Linux/glibc, because some
> effort has been made to optimize that. I'm not aware of a similar
> effort for Cygwin, and won't do it myself either.
> > I'll bet Gauis Mulley would have been thrilled to have gnulib's
> > posix_spawn way back then.  :)
> Me too :) posix_spawn was invented in 2001. But it took a long time:
> Implementing posix_spawn for native Windows was like climbing a steep
> hill.

As nice at it sounds, migrating to posix_spawn() doesn't sound necessary
right now to resolve build or runtime support for Windows-based
platforms, at least not relative to curing regressions from the level of
support we had in groff 1.22.4.

But it's a good idea, if not obviated by the tbl(1) work I mentioned, so
I have filed about it.


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