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

Christopher Faylor
Wed Jun 27 10:16:00 GMT 2001

On Wed, Jun 27, 2001 at 11:55:25AM -0400, Charles S. Wilson wrote:
>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...:-)

I agree with all of this, but I just wanted to point out that it isn't
100% black and white with regard to GNUpro customers.  My gut feeling
is that the majority of them (at least dollar wise) want unix-on-windows.

There have been a few vocal customers who were confused by things like
make's inability to parse MS-DOS syntax.  This has resulted in modifying
one or two of the packages that we provide.

Otherwise, our customers seem to be satisfied with the current state of
cygwin.  Of course, they don't get things like "zip" or "unzip" so it's
hard to know for sure.

>Anyway, *as long as the bash users are not harmed* I think glob() could 
>stand some work.

I doubt that bash uses cygwin's glob, actually.  I suspect that glob is
primarily used from the windows command prompt.

>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.



Unsubscribe info:
Bug reporting:

More information about the Cygwin mailing list