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Re: Yes but I don't understand ...
- From: Igor Pechtchanski <pechtcha at cs dot nyu dot edu>
- To: cygwin at cygwin dot com
- Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2003 12:31:34 -0400 (EDT)
- Subject: Re: Yes but I don't understand ...
- Reply-to: cygwin at cygwin dot com
On Tue, 5 Aug 2003, Christopher Faylor wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 05, 2003 at 08:07:46PM -0500, Wayne wrote:
> >I thought it went like this:
> >In the beginning, there was B20, and it was GOOD. After that, it went
> That raises the age old question of "If there was a B20, what about B19?
> Why are there ChangeLog entries for earlier versions?"
> Many religious philsophers have pondered this question. A common answer
> is that God created a ChangeLog with earlier entries when he created B20.
> The theory is that this is part of His imponderable plan. However, many
> find this explanation unsatisfying.
> Skeptics insist that the ChangeLog points to clear evidence of earlier
> versions and there is, in fact, a scientific discipline called
> arcygologists devoted to attempting to recreate ancient versions of
> Cygwin from ChangeLog descriptions. Many scientists theorize that
> Cygwin started as a very uncomplicated "Hello World" type Windows
> program. This type of program probably existed for uncounted years
> prior to the first occurence of a Cygwin DLL as we now know it.
> Interestingly, ancient ChangeLog records seem to show that even the name
> of the DLL was different in these early years. Arcygologists have
> pieced together a word resembling bnu-win23 as the name of this early
> The theory is that the DLL evolved as the result of constant pressure
> from an early internet mailing list type of culture. In the early years
> the mailing list consisted of an inhospitable majordomo environment.
> This environment was good enough for the early Cygwin, whose sole purpose
> appeared to be nothing more than to brighten the day of the primitive
> internet by issuing cheery "Hello World!"s from the direction of Windows
> The constant stream of "Hello World"s had an effect, however. Over time
> the majordomo environment changed, as the result of constant churning of
> email. The pressure of this early environment with such theorized
> elements as "It seems to me that bnu-win23 should be greeting me with
> the time of day when it says hello", "If bnu-win23 can't grow to meet
> the needs of the Amiga, it will certainly fail", and the frequent "I
> can't Hello World my bnu-win23 on 3.11 Windows. I have Helo WOrlded my
> 3.10 other machine! Can it be a problem with my CGA monitor?" forced a
> slow, almost imperceptible change in the program over time.
> The pressure of increased need for complexity resulted in such things as
> "cross compilers" to begin forming on the vast sea of UNIX machines which
> populated the internet. As these "cross compilers" progressed they were
> capable of building ever more complicated Windows programs. Then a
> fateful day occured when the first *compiler* emerged shakily onto the
> shores of a pre-XP windows system. This "compiler" contained the
> backbone of what would eventually become a modern, upright Cygwin B20.
> While "cross compilers" continue to exist to this day, the Cygwin
> "compiler" has grown to occupy the vast, previously uncharted niche of
> the Windows machines.
> The result of increased complexity also caused a change in the internet
> environment in which early Cygwin's had grown. Slow, huge, dim-witted
> majordomo was replaced by the smaller quick-witted and nimble
> qmail/ezmlm. There were also changes in the cygwin license, owing to
> internet feedback. In parallel to this, what started as a primitive
> public domain program, evolved into a free-but-our-competitors-can't-use-it
> license. This type of license provided inadaptable for the internet
> environment and bnu-win23 nearly foundered and died as a result. The
> internet environment began to shrink around the early bnu-win23.
> What happens next was not clear from the ChangeLog records. Apparently
> some stray internet particle caused a fortuitous licensing change to the
> now-well-known GPL. While this also caused much internet churning, it
> did result in the modern Cygwin that we know today.
> The name change from the early bnu-win23 to Cygwin is also clouded by
> gaps in ChangeLog records. The current theory is that some massive
> internet outage caused the extinction of many early copies of bnu-win23,
> allowing their less well-known and practically invisible Cygwin
> counterparts to take center stage.
> In any event, the theory is that the churning of this majordomo/ezmlm
> internet structure continued. Cygwin was subjected to a constant
> barrage of random comments, causing it to metamorphosize into its
> present structure.
> Interestingly, arcygologists are certain that if you were to repackage
> and polish a B20, it would be nearly indistinguishable from the 1.x.x
> Cygwins of today. The only change would be a certain subtle meanness
> associated with the 1.x.x versions, which, while present in the B20 era,
> was less conspicuous.
> Personally, I think I lean towards the "God created a ChangeLog with
> evidence of previous Cygwins in it as part of His inscrutable plan."
Now, if this doesn't belong on the Cygwin history page, I don't know what
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