Cygwin snapshots (was: Re: PLEASE help with V1.0 canonical mode problem

Jeff Sturm
Tue Mar 28 12:43:00 GMT 2000

James Grishaw wrote:
> " Cygwin snapshots are intended for cygwin developers only unless you
>  have been specifically told to try one of these. "

I take that to mean "don't use a snapshot in place of the release unless
you have a good reason", like comm support, ntsec, etc.  Sorta common
sense, I think...

> We all bought the CD with the idea that (a) it had undergone testing
> to
> assure that it is stable and bug-free, and (b) people that bought the
> CD would be given at least a little preference when it came to support.

There are no guarantees.  Ever read a typical EULA from shrink-wrap
software?  You know, the "NO WARRANTY...AT YOUR OWN RISK...SOFTWARE IS
PROVIDED AS-IS" stuff.  Apparently nobody ever has concerns about the

It intrigues me when someone requests better support for a commercial
package based on the public availability of source code and snapshots. 
What does it mean to "support" the CD anyway?  (Ask Microsoft to patch
Win2k to fix a single bug... do you think they'll comply?  They might
say "wait for the next release".  Having access to untested snapshots
can be no worse.)

> I'm even willing to donate engineering time to the task.  If you can't
> do
> the above, can you at least have him send me an e-mail pointing me in
> the right direction so I can do it myself?  I volunteer to supply you
> with
> my work when I am done.

I'm not too familiar with Cygwin development... is there a ChangeLog
file?  What about a "cygwin-patches" list?  If so, it shouldn't be too
hard to dig up the relevant patch.  Applying that patch to the source
release may or may not be trivial, however... sometimes there are just
too many code changes from the release  branch to main trunk.

Do Cygwin developers use regression testing?  Is there are test suite
available?  If so, any volunteer could also post test results for any
particular snapshot, to give some kind of objective indicator of the
quality of a snapshot.  (If not, a test suite would be a nice side
project, too.)

The beauty of open source is that nobody is forced to wait for
Cygnus/Red Hat... anyone who is sufficiently motivated is free to test,
patch and even build a release of the software themselves.  And if
nothing else, we have the blind assurance that each snapshot is probably
tested by a substantial group of net volunteers, even if no formal
testing is done.

(Note: I am not affiliated with Cygnus/Red Hat in any manner.  The above
is my personal opinion only.)

Jeff Sturm

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