setup Bug (?) in downloading from internet

Charles Wilson
Sun Apr 28 23:51:00 GMT 2002

Alec Mihailovs wrote:

> I have a perfect installation program for MiKTeX made 
> by Christian Schenk, see 
> You people seem to be not able to make anything even close to it. 
> Why don't you just copy it and use for cygwin instead of inventing 
> a wheel yourself? 

I'll ignore your rudeness, and pretend that you actually are trying to 
help.  I don't believe it for a minute, but I'm a decent hobbyist actor...

1) We are providing an entire development environment, that includes tex 
as just one small part.  MikTeX, which is a fine program that I use for 
all my document creation, is MUCH more narrowly focused -- includes less 
than 50 executables -- and thus places far fewer demands on its 
installer.  To be sure, there are some similarities: you might be 
tempted to draw a parallel between MikTeX's packages, and Cygwin's 
package system; but that parallel is false.  The caption2 package and 
the fancyhdr package are both just modification scripts for the same 
engine; they both help make pretty documents.  The cvs package and the 
tetex-beta package are quite different; one is a source revision control 
program and the other includes all of MikTeX's functionality.

It's a bit more complicated to install cygwin stuff.

2) We predate the MikTeX installer by quite some time.

3) Christian provides CVS access to his source code -- but the installer 
is restricted in use, and is not licensed under the GPL.  We cannot take 
it and adapt it without his permission.  Call us old-fashioned, but we 
prefer truly free (as in speech) software.

4) To claim that MikTeX's installation program is "perfect" -- e.g. bug 
free -- is utter lunacy.  Check the MikTeX forums...

5) Christian's installer, I believe, is built using MSVC and seems to 
actually leverage the MS installer code from Microsoft's installer SDK. 
  That's a fine idea -- but is probably off limits in a truly free 
(speech) project.  We require that our tools -- including the installer 
-- are built using free (speech) tools.   Now, perhaps you could make 
the argument that this proves that free tools aren't as good as the MS 
stuff; I disagree and believe it's just another example of MS leveraging 
an existing monopoly (OS) to take over another market 
(SoftwareInstallers).  In any case, the "free software vs. microsoft" 
debate belongs somewhere other than the main cygwin mailing list.

 > Best wishes,
 > Alec Mihailovs

Somehow, I doubt that you really have the "best wishes" of the cygwin 
project at heart, Dr. Mihailovs, since you began your message accusing 
us of incompetence.

--Charles Wilson

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