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Re: Behavior of stat() changed from NT to Win2000/XP

On Tue, 27 May 2003, Peter Davis wrote:

> Corinna Vinschen <> wrote in">
> > On Mon, May 26, 2003 at 09:58:11AM -0400, Peter Davis wrote:
> >> On Windows NT, the Cygwin stat function returns a non-zero value in
> >> the st_size field when called on a directory.  However, in Windows
> >> 2000 and Windows XP, this same function returns 0 for st_size for a
> >> directory.  This change in behavior has broken some features of mutt,
> >> and possible other programs as well.
> >> [...]
> >> Is there some Cygwin setting or configuration option that controls
> >> this?
> >
> > That's Windows, actually.  This value is returned for directories
> > by the FindFile routines.  Nothing we can do about it.  However, if
> > mutt depends on the st_size of a directory, that's a problem in mutt.
> So this is a case where Cygwin fails to emulate *nix behavior.  I assume
> it works correctly on various *nix implementations.  You may consider
> that a Windows issue, but if the purpose of Cygwin is to provide a
> porting environment, then that's a shortcoming of Cygwin.
> The mutt developers aren't particularly concerned with Cygwin or
> Windows, so they don't regard this as an issue.  I don't see why this is
> a mutt problem.  They assume that stat() works correctly.  I'm not sure
> who's responsible for the Cygwin build of mutt, or for including it in
> Cygwin at all, but that's something to be considered in the future.
> I'm guessing there's no problem with mbox mail folders, since they're
> just ordinary files.  The problem comes in because maildir and MH
> formats us directories as mail folders.
> BTW, if anyone knows how to build mutt under Cygwin, I'm *dying* to find
> out.  I can work around the stat() problem, but I have not succeeded in
> building a mutt for Cygwin that doesn't crash on opening certain
> messages.
> Thanks,
> -pd

The Single Unix Specification has this to say about the st_size field of
the stat structure:

  off_t     st_size    file size in bytes (if file is a regular file)
This means, IMO, that the value for directories is unspecified, and a
portable application cannot rely on it at all.
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