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thread about Directory names containing spaces and GDB


There has been a very long thread regarding problems in gdb which
may or may not be related to user names or directory/file names
containing spaces. I'd like to add my tuppence worth :-))

Firstly, "cygwin" is a POSIX/Linux emulation layer, and all the
packages that are ported to run on windows using cygwin are
seperate entities, maintained seperately from cygwin, the action
of porting the software should not include changes to it's function,
except in a few special cases where it wouldn't make sense to leave
the function unchanged. Note that when it does or does not make
sense is ultimately the personal choice of the porter, there is
no absolute right or wrong answer.

When a package is ported, if it originally didn't tolerate
file names with spaces, than it won't after porting. If you
use a ported program, and you want it to tolerate spaces, you
should talk to the program maintaners, not the cygwin porter
(unless they happen to be the same). This would be considered
off-topic on the cygwin list.

Unix/Linux/POSIX allows spaces in file names just like windows,
some programs tolerate them, some don't. This used to be a big
issue, but in general, modern binaries don't have this problem,
and it's only a problem in some scripts.

Secondly, this is *free* software, there is no support contract,
no "duty of care" on developers, and no guarantee of "fitness for
purpose". You download it if it does what you want, if it's useful
to you. There's no guarantee that the next version will be as useful
to you as the last. In general developers take pride in what they do,
and want it to be as useful as possible to as many as possible, but
ultimately they have no user to satisfy except themselves.

Thirdly, this list is a forum for all users to exchange information
on the various programs packaged up with cygwin. Some of the users
are also developers, no two have exactly the same level of expertise
and experience. If you send email to the list asking a question, the
answers represent what the responder thinks may be useful to you. Very
often this is a reference to information elsewhere, this is for many
reasons, including the following:
1. because it gives the questioner a new source of information they
may have previously been unaware of, and avoids the errors that can
so easily creep in when technical information is paraphased.
2. because it keeps the volume of discussions on this list lower. This
is simply a practical expedient, not a philosophical poition.
3. because someone has taken the time to produce what they believe is
a useful source of information, and they want to make sure that others
don't ignore their efforts.
4. because they believe that they are showing the questioner how to
find answers to this type of question in general. Some questioners
will find this patronising, while others will find it generally useful.

Sometimes the reference to information elsewhere is not sufficient
to answer the questions in the questioners mind, note that like
the software itself, the answers are *free* with no guarantees of
helpfulness or perspicasity.

/John Vincent.

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