cygwin started speaking German today

Thorsten Kampe
Sat Sep 10 16:10:00 GMT 2011

* Christopher Faylor (Sat, 10 Sep 2011 09:49:50 -0400)
> On Sat, Sep 10, 2011 at 01:44:44PM +0200, Thorsten Kampe wrote:
> > Corinna Vinschen (Fri, 9 Sep 2011 17:09:04 +0200)
> >> It is not at all the task of libintl to override the underlying OS,
> >> and in the case of Cygwin, the underlying OS is Cygwin, not
> >> Windows.
> >
> >Pardon me?
> >"Cygwin is: 
> >a collection of tools which provide a Linux look and feel environment
> >for Windows.
> >
> >a DLL (cygwin1.dll) which acts as a Linux API layer providing
> >substantial Linux API functionality."
> >
> >Cygwin does not have any user account management, no file system, no 
> >file system permissions, etc. So when did Cygwin become an operating 
> >system in an operating system?
> Corinna, and most of the rest of us, know full well that Cygwin is not
> a real OS but that was obviously not her point. I believe that
> Corinna's point was that Cygwin distributed packages should not
> normally call Windows functions.

I think everyone agrees on that. The problem is that Cygwin is 
overriding the user's localization choice done in Windows. Corinna says 
users can align their shell locale with the Windows if they want to. 
Bruno says users shouldn't have to align anything but get this behaviour 
by default (and I agree).
> Cygwin is emulating an OS. That is a given. I assume that Corinna
> assumed that no one would be so pedantic as to send email to hundreds
> of people to pick nits about her use of the term "OS" in this context.
> You really don't seem to have a point beyond being disagreeably picky.

My point is that Cygwin should not override Windows. Cygwin is less than 
an OS and it's more than a simple application. Nevertheless it should 
fit in the overall Windows environment and not "contradict" it.

To paraphrase Corinna: "It is not the task of Cygwin to override the 
underlying OS, and in the case of Cygwin, the underlying OS is Windows, 
not Cygwin".

Or to quote myself: "Users who chose to have a specific language 
environment most likely want to have this choice for all their 


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