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OT: CIY - Bringing the Compile-It-Yourself Culture To Windows

by cyocum (Curate)
on Aug 05, 2004 at 12:21 UTC ( #380237=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

I want to preface this that I do know about Cygwin and the Ming compiler for windows but I have had trouble using them in the past (I probably should look at it again).

Ever since the free version of VC7 was released, I have been trying to compile various open source programs myself. This has often been a frustrating experience since often when an open source project has windows support for compiling software, it is for Visual Studio with its .dep project files which are unavailable, as far as I know, to those of us who cannot afford Visual Studio and makes it nearly impossible to compile these programs to make them the most effective for our processors. Even when the project contains make files, when trying to use nmake (the MS make system), I would get error conditions which I could not figure out (this could be more my problem than nmake's). Then there are the configure programs. There is no configure for windows that I know of (if someone does please let me know).

I would assume that if I could tell my compiler what processor it was using, I could squeeze even more speed out of these programs. This is essental for smaller companies or power users which are trying to get the most out of their processors under windows (whether you think this is a good idea since they should move to OSS operating systems or not is a matter for debate). There are several benefits of making it easier to compile under the free VC7: this allows those of us committed to bringing OSS to Windows to actively participate in projects without shelling out $700, it would move people away from the dumbed down installers if they could make more choices at install/compile time (and OSS is about more choices) and get better performance out of their machines. Basically, this is about lowering the barrier between OSS and Windows

Let me give you an example of what I mean by all of this. Apache 2.0.50 with SSL support is not avaliable with an installer from the Apache Foundation. There is a guy out there who does compiling and make avaliable a version but what happens when he stops? That would leave everyone out in the cold when it came to Apache with SSL. I would like to be able to compile Apache 2 with SSL but I have tried on a couple of times to do it without success (again this could be just my stupidity showing through here).

All I want to do here, I guess, is bring more awarness to this problem. Not all of us want to shell out the money for MSVS to be able to work on these projects. I know C/C++ (although, I am very rusty at this point from living in the Java and Perl worlds for a while) and I know that I have something to contribute but without support for the free version of VC7 and nmake, it makes it difficult.

As for solutions, the best that I would guess at this point would be to go into projects and make them compatable with the free VC7 but I also want to let others know so that this can become more of an issue and projects could help me out with trying to get them complatible (I know that perl has the ability to be compiled with the free VC7 for example (although, I have not tried it myself)). What I would suggest (and I would be interested in doing) is going from project to project and help them get something compatible with the free VC7 then move on to the next project and have a archive with HOWTO's with the VC7 on a website (possibly hosted on sourceforge?) so that others can find out how to do it.

Anyway, as always thank you for your time and suggestions on this topic.

Comment on OT: CIY - Bringing the Compile-It-Yourself Culture To Windows
Re: OT: CIY - Bringing the Compile-It-Yourself Culture To Windows
by zentara (Archbishop) on Aug 05, 2004 at 13:25 UTC
    I've been watching Ebay for discount versions of MSVC++. I wonder how far back you can go and still be compatible. MSVC++ v.4 (wrtiiten for the NT4 era) is available cheap. I wonder if the executables will work ?

    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. flash japh

      I would imagine the executable would still work. Win32 is still compatible with CP/M's COM executable, for crying out loud.

      "There is no shame in being self-taught, only in not trying to learn in the first place." -- Atrus, Myst: The Book of D'ni.

Re: OT: CIY - Bringing the Compile-It-Yourself Culture To Windows
by samtregar (Abbot) on Aug 05, 2004 at 19:38 UTC
    I recommend you re-check-out Cygwin. You'll get a working configure, a real make and gcc, just to name a few things. If you're serious about wanting to get open-source software compiling under Windows then Cygwin is the easiest way I know of.

    -sam

Re: OT: CIY - Bringing the Compile-It-Yourself Culture To Windows
by dfaure (Chaplain) on Aug 05, 2004 at 22:41 UTC
    What I would suggest (and I would be interested in doing) is going from project to project and help them get something compatible with the free VC7 then move on to the next project and have a archive with HOWTO's with the VC7 on a website (possibly hosted on sourceforge?) so that others can find out how to do it.

    A very good suggestion, you got my++. As a starting point, you may refer to Corion's tryouts with perl.

    Personally, I never had problem compiling Apache2 + OpenSSL + mod_perl with VisualStudio .NET 2003 Pro + Platform SDK from a command line, so I'm sure you could do it quite easily directly with VC7 (without forgetting the PSDK).

    ____
    HTH, Dominique
    My two favorites:
    If the only tool you have is a hammer, you will see every problem as a nail. --Abraham Maslow
    Bien faire, et le faire savoir...

Re: OT: CIY - Bringing the Compile-It-Yourself Culture To Windows
by Jaap (Curate) on Aug 06, 2004 at 08:05 UTC

      Very cool. You forgot to mention that this is beta software and that it contains automatic information gathering for MS to send to others and it is set to expire by March 5, 2005 (reading the EULA is a good idea usually and especally with MS). Otherwise, I am going to give it a shot and see if it will help out. Thanks again!

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