Cygwin: Interoperability Is Important (was Cygwin: Open or Closed System, etc)

Robert Praetorius RPraetorius@AspenRes.Com
Wed Jun 27 13:53:00 GMT 2001

Date sent:      	Wed, 27 Jun 2001 15:13:21 -0400
From:           	"Fred T. Hamster" <>
Copies to:
Subject:        	Re: Cygwin: Interoperability Is Important (was Cygwin: Open or Closed System, etc)

> . . .  regarding users, is it really being advocated that cygwin is 
> unix, burrowed into win32, but not supporting any of those still
> stuck  in the windows world at all?  all users must sprechen diesen 
> wunderslashes from unix?  it may be unbelievable, but i do prefer to
> use  only forward slashes as often as possible.  it is not always
> possible.

 . . .

>    one issue that hasn't been stated: i do not wish to try to change
> the  way everyone uses their slashes at the place where i work. 
> that is an  uninteresting exercise in OS theology which i will not
> engage in anytime  soon.  perhaps it was a mistake to think that the
> cygwin environment was  really the right choice for getting work
> done with these officemates,  since many of them have a microsoft
> tool-user history.  but i persist in  thinking the issues are not so
> devastating that a modified  implementation would not succeed in
> supporting them as well.

 . . .

     Since I'm pretty happy with the current state of Cygwin (many 
thanks to all who have contributed) and am therefore quite unlikely to 
undertake a change to slash handling in zip, I'd like to suggest an 
approach that I think is reasonably elegant, if somewhat labor-
intensive.  (That is, since I don't expect to be doing it, I don't 
care how hard it is:-)

     Common Lisp has an interface that abstracts the assembly and 
disassembly of pathnames and filenames so it can be done somewhat 
portably on different operating systems:

I know Lisp is not for everyone, but if you skim this and ignore the 
parentheses and X3J13 notes, you'll pretty quickly get the gist of it.

     It may be that Cygwin already incorporates such an interface and 
I just failed to notice it, or that there's already copylefted 
software the implements such a system for C/C++ programs.  I just 
mentioned the Common Lisp one as a starting point for discussion since 
it happened to be the one that I know of.

     Anyway, it seems to me that, for software that may run on many 
platforms, abstraction of filename & pathname syntax is probably a 
pretty good idea.  And that people would hardly object to a concerted 
effort to systematically change widely used software to be more 
platform independent in this area (as long as it didn't break things). 
 And if there's some passion around path handling in zip, maybe that's 
a good starting point.

     BTW, has anybody noticed that win32 is officially bislashual?

(this may have already come up - I haven't read every word in the 
torrential dialogs of recent days)

"oncology recapitulates philately" --Mark Maxson    Robert M. Praetorius
"balance, not symmetry" --Mark Stanley         home: rmp@MA.UltraNet.Com
(attribution by Stigler)                  work: RPraetorius@AspenRes.Com

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