Linux on Windows

Werner Koch wk at
Wed Oct 31 19:12:11 UTC 2001

On Wed, 31 Oct 2001 18:34:10 +0000, Alex Hudson said:

> For every GNU project that ports to Windows (for example) as standard, that 
> means that the source tree & builds all have to keep the Windows ports up to 
> date. That could be a simple as some #ifdef WIN32 .... #ifdef GNU .. etc., 

It is not that hard in all cases.  For example the GnuPG port to
Windows is not actually a port but 2 extra files (Entropy gatherer and
some utility functions).  With autoconf and a cross-compiler it is
really easy.

The only advantage I can see in porting a thing to Windows is that it
is far easier to get a contract on doing software for Windows than for
GNU or any Unix system.  If you plan early you can get money for
writing Windows software and you are actually improving generic GNU
programs because you can cross-develop the thing.

I really hope that this situation will change so that we can proudly
say "sorry, I don't develop for a proprietary system".

> Conclusion: I don't mind seeing Free software work on non-Free platforms, but 
> we shouldn't be expending energy doing that. If you look at the debian-hurd 

Agreed.  Actually I regularly refuse to do ports or bug fixes for
Windows stuff unless there is an advantage for Free Software, which
may either be an improved Free Software or earning money to continue
to develop FS.



Werner Koch                  Omnis enim res, quae dando non deficit,   
FSF Europe                   dum habetur et non datur, nondum habetur,
Vice-Chancellor Germany      quomodo habenda est.        -- Augustinus

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