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RE: Request for a version/ revision/ release number for the whole Cygwin release/ distribution

> Thank you all for your replies thus far.  I suspected that my 
> posting would generate traffic.  :-)
> > I would especially like to request that there be a "stable"
> distribution.
> This wish was inspired by my positive experiences with Debian "stable"
> -- e.g. feature frozen, unit and integration tested, with 
> updates limited to bug and security fixes.

And I've had the same positive experience with Windows XP "stable"... plus
tons of Windows Updates, plus SP1, plus tons of Windows updates, plus SP2
(Plus Cygiwn of course ;-)).  And those guys get paid.  That sort of massive
infrastructure is what you're requesting, and only offering to donate
part-time help to (from what I can tell) simply run tests somebody else has

> Please note that Debian is a volunteer effort:
> If they can do it, I bet we can too.

I know somebody could, that's not the issue.  The issues are:

1. Who?
2. What would their motivation to do so be?  Especially considering...
3. It's a herculean task that as several have pointed out already is not
really acheivable (i.e., some bugs, even catastrophic ones, can still crawl
under the door no matter how well you've locked it).

> > 1.  I use Cygwin for ... mission-critical backup chores.
> I don't use Cygwin at customer sites; it's failed me on my 
> personal systems so I can't risk it on client machines.  I 
> view this as a huge waste of potential.

Well guy, what *hasn't* failed someone on mission-critical
something-or-other?  There is no "Debian Never-Fails Edition", is there?

> I do not have the knowledge or resources to do unit and 
> integration testing of (a subset of) Cygwin.

Then we have part of the answer to #1 above: Who == Somebody other than you.
I would like somebody other than me to go to work for me in the morning, but
what do you think the chances are of that happening?

>  I believe the 
> task to be too big for any one person.

It's also too big to simply wish it into existence.

>  So, let's all 
> cooperate -- many hands make light work.

The many hands already have more work than they can handle fixing the known

> > I was recently bitten by the cron-2.6.2 EOF issue ...
> correction -- rsync-2.6.2 EOL issue.
> > ... integration testing of Cygwin as a whole. ...
> Has anybody else noticed that software engineers tend to "forget"
> testing, while hardware engineers consider it mandatory? 

> Every software engineer should take a Verilog (or VHDL) class 
> and be converted, as was I.  Both my software development 
> process and the end result have improved greatly since I 
> began writing software and its test suite concurrently.
> I do understand that creating a good integration test suite 
> is a substantial and never-ending undertaking.  Furthermore, 
> "testing does not prove correctness" -- the game is "how many 
> 9's can you achieve for the given resources?".  That said, 
> little or no testing is not the correct answer.

Right, it isn't.  Rubbing sticks together to create fire isn't the correct
answer to building a fire either, but such is the era in which we find

>  Every 
> complex system needs integration testing.  The Cygwin library 
> and package developers are in the best position to create the 
> first draft integration test suite(s) for their work(s). 

No, test development should be done by people not involved with the
development of the software under test, or you have a conflict of interest.
> From there, testing needs to be done by "second pairs of 
> eyes", with ongoing developer coordination and support, to 
> get the maximum benefit (e.g.
> correctness).  So, each developer needs to be paired up with 
> one or more testers.

Wow.  David: Where are we gonna round up all these bodies?  And by "we" I
mean "you", because nobody else is going to do it.

> Unfortunately, software developer is commonly viewed as the 
> hot, sexy role while software tester is commonly viewed as 
> the menial, expendable role.  Fortunately, there are still 
> people, such as myself, who appreciate and enjoy the test 
> role.  Perhaps this is where my volunteer offer can be first 
> applied.  Their may be others of similar ilk lurking on this 
> list, waiting for the opportunity.

My guess is there isn't, or they'd already be developing tests and executing

> > ... I would like to be able to burn Cygwin X.Y.Z onto a CD 
> or DVD ...
> Actually, I have already copied my Cygwin package tree to a 
> CD for installing on other computers.  I need to review the 
> Cygwin license to see if a third-party distribution is allowed.

It's like any other GPL'ed software.  Give 'em the source and you're fine.

> > p.s.  I hereby volunteer my time to work on implementing my request.
> I'm still waiting to hear from somebody "in authority".

No you aren't, you've heard from all of them and then some.

>  Do I 
> need to post to cygwin-developers and/or cygwin-apps?
> I understand that [I] cannot possibly lead the effort to achieve 
> my request; I don't have the skills or the time.

Well then, like every reply here has indicated, it simply isn't going to

>  I'm looking 
> for a part-time position under the guidance of a leader who 
> can mastermind a solution and feed me pieces to build and/or 
> test.  My skill set includes C, Make, Perl, RCS/CVS, web 
> programming, database programming, Unix systems programming, 
> Unix and Windows system administration, etc.:

Well, what more skills do you think are required to do this?  If you're
reasonably proficient in all these, it seems to me that your skills are not
the issue.

Gary R. Van Sickle

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