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Re: a list of software compiled by completely free toolchain

From: Gabriel Striewe
Subject: Re: a list of software compiled by completely free toolchain
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 2009 01:17:30 +0100 (CET)

Alan Mackenzie <> hat am 12. November 2009 um 22:47 geschrieben:

> 'Evening, Gabriel!
> Gabriel Striewe <> wrote:
> > [-- text/plain, encoding quoted-printable, charset: UTF-8, 38 lines --]
> > Hello all,
> > Python (if I am not right, I am sure there exist other examples of this
> > case) as of now seems to still depend on Visual C being compiled on
> > Windows and still causing problems being compiled with MinGW.
> Is that really true?  Aren't there any free C compilers native to
> Windows?  Hasn't GCC been targeted at Windows native?

Yes, GCC has been targeted at Windows natively, in the MinGW project. The
Microsoft Visual C compiler is free of charge, but that is not in the sense
of freedom endorsed by the gnu foundation. 

As for Python, there do exist a few patches to make it compile under Windows
using MinGW, but this compilation process is not officially endorsed by
the python guys. On, you can get a python installer, but
not the source to compile on Windows/MinGW.

> > Now, assuming that providing open source software on Windows doesn't
> > give Windows an unfair advantage having all this good software
> > available on it, but rather to the contrary, makes it easier?for
> > Windows users making the transition to Linux, ....
> Which I believe would actually be the case.  As well as making it easier
> for free software programmers to hack Windows, thus making it more of a
> free-for-all.
> > ...., since all the software they started using on Windows (open source
> > software, of course) is available on Linux, too, doesn't this mean
> > Python is not as free as it could be?
> Perhaps, in theory.  If this particular lack of freedom were ever to bite
> some day, I suspect it would be fixed in days rather than weeks.

Could be that maybe I am too pessimistic about it.

> > What if one day Visual C in its license forbids using it to compile
> > open source software? Is that completely impossible?
> I suspect it wouldn't happen in practice, even if it's possible in
> theory.  It would signify Microsoft waving the white flag of surrender.
> Also, who'd buy a compiling system for several hundred euros, were it to
> restrict the licensing of their own programs?
> > On the Gnu website there is a list of completely free linux
> > distributions. Would this website be also a place for a list of
> > software which
> > a) exists on Linux as well as Windows, making the transition to a good
> > operating system possible
> That'd be a delicate suggestion, since it would, to some extent, be
> advocating the use of proprietary software, or at least look a bit like
> it.

I did not put it in clear enough words: of course this list would only 
include free software.

> > b) can (on Windows) be compiled using a completely free toolchain (that
> > is, MinGW)
> Can't all free software written in C be built with MinGW?

That's what I wish would one day be true. 

> > Any hints whether such a site / interest group already exists are
> > greatly appreciated.
> I don't know of any.

During the next days I am going to try to compile K3D under Windows
using MinGW. If it's successful, I will set up a note on my

> > Thanks
> > Gabriel Striewe
> -- 
> Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).
> _______________________________________________
> gnu-misc-discuss mailing list

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