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Re: [Libtool] Re: Naming a project gnu-win32?

From: Paul Sokolovsky
Subject: Re: [Libtool] Re: Naming a project gnu-win32?
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 17:39:36 +0300

Hello Richard,

[Sorry for crossposting to libtool list, but I don't risk cc this to
cygwin list]

Richard Stallman <address@hidden> wrote:
Chris Faylor <address@hidden> wrote:

CF>     An issue has recently been raised (by me) in the libtool mailing list
CF>     regarding the desirability of using the label "gnu-win32" in scripts
CF>     like libtool (and, I presume, configure).

        Original note was talking about making technical feature which
applies to all targets using GNU compiler/linker/other utilities to
produce applications for set of systems (aka platform) officially
called 'Win32', and not about putting anything containing substring
'gnu-win32' into libtool or configure. And that was colloquial note,
not official statement for press. Of course, there can be made
agreement upon euphemism like 'cygwin and its shameless, ingrate
offshots' or 'gnu-w', but who will serve as a censor (maybe add a note
to GNU Coding Standards? ;-) ).

        Apart from that, there're lots of outsiders - using cryptic
names hardly will help them to get interested with the stuff. And yes,
I believe that promotion of 'GNU compiler/linker/other utilities for
producing applications for set of systems (aka platform) officially
called 'Win32'' (hereafter referred as 'gnu-win32') will help both GNU
Project and Free Software as a whole - I don't believe your original
reasoning example for 'gnu-win32' is sound - for me, it means "there
is thing called win32 (and you know what it is, don't you?), but even it
hasn't been allowed to live benighted - it was civilized by GNU".

RS> In hacker terminology, calling something a "win" is a form of praise.
RS> People who wish to praise Microsoft Windows are free to do so, but in
RS> the GNU Project we don't do it.  So we write either "Windows" or "w",
RS> not "win".

    But what to do the people who just want to refer to system with
official name "Win32"? I don't remember unix-haters teasing about "how
such a mishmash, unbeautiful OS could be named such", so why peak
about some vendor's choosing letters for name of their system? I guess
even Microsoft's advertising managers could hardly imagine that that
name would make GNU Project sway supporting that os, and thus
preserving their monopoly across large share of market.

     Let them name it whatever they want - for example, their last
craft named 'Windows Me' (Who Windows Me? Don't Window Me!)

CF>     Anyway, there is now a new, unrelated project now that is billing itself
CF>     as "gnu-win32" and I thought it might be a good idea to alert you to
CF>     this before the name started popping up in configure and libtool
CF>     scripts.

        That name is short and precise reference to the bunch of
targets sharing many common properties. But there's no such target,
such an option or even a variable name. If you pledge for not inclusion
that even in comments, make final decision for substitute.

RS> If these people want to be part of the GNU Project, they ought to talk
RS> with me about this project in any case.  Could you send me some brief
RS> info about the project, and the email addresses of the leaders (only),
RS> so I can talk with them?

    I could try to give some info for that (subject for disagreement
with what Chris Faylor may say). Apart from Cygwin, the official part
of GNU Project, there're some others too. They all use GNU core
development packages (gcc/binutils), and utilise PE-COFF support
initially done for Cygwin. In fact, all they are differ is runtime
libraries, their completeness and licenses. The oldest (from 1998) is
called 'Mingw', homepage, current maintainers can
be reached at address@hidden . It cannot be part of
official GNU Project because most important part of it is in public
domain, and it is maintainers' attitudes to keep it so (and it's
understood - clean-roomedness of implementation of win32 headers can
be challenged, and it is authors' playing safe to disclain any
interest in them apart from doing 'public good'). But there still some
problem can be found with Mingw - technically speaking, Mingw is
acronym for 'Minimalist GNU Win32'. Here, again, GNU doesn't refer to
being official part of a project, but to basing on GNU toolset. Since
that string is just informal description, and not a name, I hope you
won't request to hide it away.

    There's also other, 'PW32', hack of mine
( It hardly can be compared by user base
with Cygwin or Mingw. I don't have ambitions for it to become part of
GNU either; even if I would, it couldn't be done since I'm basing on
DJGPP's libc, copyright of which is held by DJ Delorie.

Paul Sokolovsky, IT Specialist

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