Saying things straight...

Christopher G. Faylor
Mon Dec 21 23:39:00 GMT 1998

In article <>,
Kai Ruottu <> wrote:
>But if it isn't mentioned anywhere that this packed '.exe' file 
>cannot be unpacked even under DOS/Win32s, it is weird...

I'm sorry, but I don't find it weird at all that you would, in 1998,
find a '.exe' file that is not capable of being run on DOS or Windows
3.1.  I find it quite strange that anyone would *assume* that a file
which installs cygwin on Windows was runnable on DOS.  It would also
be a gamble that it would run on Win32s.  I think the original poster
even acknowledged that.

>If you have the MS-attitude, your opinion is the first.  You don't
>understand people why try to buy a PC without Win9x, build their own
>PCs from parts and try to do anything as stupid.

I really don't understand your point here.  Sorry.  This isn't an issue
with someone building their machine from scratch.  The original poster
clearly understood that the full.exe was not intended for MS-DOS or
Windows 3.1 and even made a self-deprecating remark about it.  Several
people apparently did not take the remark as a wry comment and responded
in a defensive way, this being Usenet (essentially) and all...

>You can see in a newsgroup somebody ask help with words like "Hi, I
>want up-to date GCC to my machine (or even more precisely, "my PC"),
>Then you answer to this question saying "You will find GCC for Win32 at
>''".  The asker CAN be very happy! But you show you
>narrow-mindness in every imaginable way...

If the only comment was "Hi.  I want to run GCC on my PC" and the
message was posted to a Windows newsgroup then I don't think it is
"narrow minded" at all to assume that the person is running Windows 9x.
The majority of people are, after all.  I don't like it.  I don't
agree with it, but it is a *fact*.

If the person was running something else and expected to receive help
for it then they should have been more specific.  Personally, I find
constantly having to ask people for obvious information to be a bit of a
pain.  In a case like the above I'm very apt to just reply with what I
think they probably need.  If that is viewed as unhelpful because I
assumed that the vague question referred to a probable machine
configuration then that's fine.  Just ignore the help and try to be more
precise next time.

>But if the asker had GCC in his/hers PC now, and wants to update it,
>and he/she has Linux in his machine and cannot think (just another kind
>of narrow-mindness again) another system with GCC as the native
>compiler, being a novice, he/she can become very ANGRY after getting
>tens of messages about "How beautiful Win32 is and how well Unix
>programs port to cygwin32"...  Ok, he flames the 'kind helpers' (always
>so helpful), others get angry, defending the 'helpers', and nobody
>cares to look what he had asked, what mistake he/she did and try to
>answer his/hers original question...

Again, I don't understand your point.  If you post to a mailing list
called `gnu-win32' you will get answers from people who use and possibly
like the gnu-win32 aka Cygwin software.  That seems pretty obvious.

What this particular person was asking for was not particularly clear so
people were trying to help by providing answers to what they *thought*
he was asking.  There is nothing wrong with that.  This is a typical
Usenet phenomenon, as is getting angry when the email responses don't
provide you with the information you need.

Personally, I would have thought that if I asked for information and
received a lot of replies that didn't provide the information then I
must have not phrased the question very well.

I have seen very few people on this mailing list extolling the virtues
of Microsoft Windows.  I know that I have never done so and I don't
believe that Geoffrey has.

And, "nobody cares to look what he asked..."?  You must not have read
the subsequent messages very carefully.  A couple of people still tried
to help him.  Personally, I came to the conclusion that this person was
so far from actually knowing what he wanted that I was not going to
waste my time trying to help.

>Ok, I admire those wise guys who promptly answer asking the asker give
>more info.  A PC, 'computer' or 'machine' doesn't mean much...
>If a guy ask how to unpack a new-format package in an 'installer
>format', there should be no reason to expect him wanting to install it,
>run the binaries in it or do anything 'to be expected from an ordinary
>user'...  Ok, I cannot imagine what the extra info could be in this
>case (of course what was the stuff he imagine he will find in it...),
>but the answers were just pure flames, not caring about anything what
>the asker had asked, or trying to show some kind of sympathy to his

The responses were *not* all flames.  Geoffrey Noer *never* flames.
I've never seen Earnie Boyd react negatively.  Mumit Khan, ditto.  The
response to the (apparently misguided) attempts to help this person was
*as if* he'd been flamed but that was not 100% the case.  He responded
quite angrily to innocuous misunderstandings.

>I have always thought that the idea of the Cygwin32 project is to help
>port apps from Unix to Win32, not to do mission work to convert Unix
>people to the beautiful MS world.  Programs are those to be converted,
>not people...

Ok.  Missing your point here again...

If anything, the idea of Cygwin is to allow people to forget about the
strange Windows environment allowing the use of the familiar UNIX
environment.  Somehow, you've gotten this completely backwards.

>My thought is that this work can be done much better in a real Unix 
>environment, using the Win32 as the target. So I have never understood the
>need to make the Win32 environment behave 'like Unix'. If is is hard to
>get 'fork()' behave ok, why then try it all... If the free WWW-servers
>work ok under Linux, what joy is there if the same program finally runs under
>NT ten times slower... I'm fully content with the 'spawn()'...

Of course the work can be done much better on a real Unix system.  Not
everyone has the luxury of having a Unix system.  There are many obvious
reasons for this.

And many people are fully content with the fact that their UNIX programs
compile and run fine.  fork() may be a little slow but if your goal is
to get a program compiled and linked with minimal work then...

>Ok, all those 'real flamers' sending later flames through this maillist
>should be removed from this list...  I will ask myself to be removed,
>as a matter of fact all these 'how to get select() work', or 'why
>doesn't configure work' discussions don't interest me very much,
>select() works and configure works ok in my Linux, I haven't had any
>kind of problems to build cygwin32-targeted stuff under Linux, cannot
>help the askers in any way (but just sending 'flames' to them
>suggesting that they should switch to Linux...) and don't remember any
>problems to ask here...

Swish!  You are equating people asking for help with people who flame.
I'm missing the point again.

>Ok, I confess to be a bastard when daring to blaim guys like Geoffrey,
>Tim, Colin having some kind of 'MS-attitude', seeing only the
>Win32-environment as the 'only way' to do anything...  Or, Mumit...
>Perhaps it was just a joke from him suggesting a guy with a modem
>connection to the net to download 24M of sources.  The cygwin32 sources
>have been fully impossible for me too, since downloading the b18
>ones...  And really vain when I always have the up-to-date FSF and

I wouldn't know if you're a bastard but you seem to have some mild
perception problems if you honestly think that someone like Geoffrey who
was instrumental in the development of a UNIX environment on Windows
believes that the MS way is the only way to do things.  Does that make
logical sense to you?  It seems to me that if that were the case
we'd be taking about CygUnix and we'd have a nice Windows environment
for Linux (I do know about Wine, btw).

I'm sorry that it is not convenient for you to download 24M of sources.
We are actually talking about packaging things in a way to make
individual software components more accessible.  We're also talking
about providing Cygwin on CD-ROM.

But, if you have the FSF and EGCS sources, I don't understand what
you're complaining about.  If you don't need the sources then you
don't have to download them.

>Ok, I remove my homepage with all the links to the win32-hosted
>crosstools, quit updating the tools and helping people to use them or
>build anything to the cygwin32 environment...  And ask Michael Hirmke
>to remove my stuff from ''.  Let this be the first 'good
>decision' for the coming year from me...  I'm just sick of all this
>'MS-attitude' involved...  Ok, I do this after the Christmas, so all
>needing e.g.  WinHelp-docs about the GNU-tools, GNU libc1 and libc2
>(Win32-to-Linux cross-compiler owners -- WinHelp from the libc6...),
>can still visit '') and download the

I've just invested the time in reading this and I am still mystified as
to why you are apparently so angry.

The bottom line is that someone posted a request for information.

The request for information also contained some weak humor that could
have been construed as a flame.

Helpful people responded to the request for information as they always
do.  They misunderstood the request (for whatever reason) so their
responses were not at all helpful.

Some people responded to the "flame".  Most responses were of the
"read the FAQ" variety.  There may have been some harsh responses.

The original poster became enraged that people had misunderstood
everything in his message.  He resorted to name-calling and profanity.

And, that brings us here, with you vigorously defending the original
poster, calling people who pointed him to things like DJGPP, a DOS
package that does not require Windows, MS bigots.

Nope.  I still don't get it.
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