Cygwin: Open or Closed System? (was: two problems with cygwin's zip)

Charles S. Wilson
Wed Jun 27 08:55:00 GMT 2001

Fred -

Because of the nature of cygwin, there are two types of users: those 
that see cygwin as a way to "pretend you're using linux while in 
windows", and those that want to use unix-oriented tools from the 
windows environment.

The former run bash as their main shell.  The latter use 
cmd.exe/ as their main shell.  Most of your open-source 
hacker-types are in category 1; almost ALL of the cygwin maintainers and 
developers fit into the category 1.

Therefore, you will see a definite preeminence of the concerns of the 
"make it work just like linux" people -- because we're the ones doing 
most of the work.  HOWEVER, the commercial interests are in favor of the 
"use unix tools from windows" people -- because many of the GNUpro 
customers are in category 2.  However, the GNUpro customers do NOT, as a 
rule, contribute anything (other than $$) back to the cygwin net 
release.  While we category 1 people *try* to be reasonable, the truth 
is that if the concerns of category 2 people are to be acted upon or 
gain influence, some category 2 people are going to have to step forward 
as maintainers or contributors.  For instance, it would be nice if a 
cabal of users began to audit packages for -- and developed patches.  This is similar to 
Earnie's role in the past: he was (and is) an active contributor who 
used text-mounts exclusively; you could always count on him to point out 
text/binary mount problems with new executables.  (He doesn't do *that* 
much anymore; I don't know if he considers all such bugs squashed or if 
he just gave up...:-)

Anyway, *as long as the bash users are not harmed* I think glob() could 
stand some work.  However, as has been mentioned, the win32-vs-cygwin 
handling in glob() has been delicately tuned over many years; you will 
have a substantial burden of proof (do no harm to unixiods, improve 
win32-behavior) in order to get your changes accepted.  That's just the 
way of things.  Good luck.


P.S. I'm not actually sure your concerns with zip will actually be 
addressed by changes to cygwin's glob() function...

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