Andrew Hunt <andy / toolshed.com> wrote in message news:<200108250120.VAA17295 / toolshed.com>...
> Ned asks,
> 	>Is Cygwin necessary? Wouldn't it be better to build this without relying on 
> 	>Cygwin? Can't Ruby be compiled using VC++ or MinGW?
> 
> It can be, but you lose some features -- POSIX things like
> fork and popen either don't work, or only work partially.
> At least, that was the case some months ago.
> 
> Ruby was written for a POSIX/Unix envrionment, so with
> just plain Windows, something has to make up the difference.
> 
> /\ndy

Is this really the case ? Not having the full Unix API is 
certainly an inconvenience but I dont believe that it is a 
show-stopper. The only files I could find in the standard
distribution which actually use fork/popen are 'popen3.rb'
and 'shell/process_controller.rb' (not sure what this does).

Ruby builds clenaly under MinGW modulo some issues when 
building under Cygwin to ensure that the Cygwin environment
doesnt get picked up, and seems to work well although I have
only tested casually. The C extensions I tried also seem to 
work fine (where applicable).

I havent been able to get FXruby to link successfully even 
though I have compiled FOX under MinGW however I suspect 
that this is actually a configuration artefact in the 
twilight-zone between windows/cygwin - the really 
inconvenient bit is needing a Cygwin shell to run configure)

Lots of other heavily UNIX oriented programs have make the 
transition to native Windows (Apache, Perl etc) and I dont
think that it will be much effort for Ruby to do the same
outside the cygwin world (which I think is a better longer
term solution).

If anyone is interested I can post some recipies of how
to build under MinGW or even a MinGW installer.

(Note - I am by no means an expert on this and out of 
preference use MacOSX as my development environment however
I am pragmatic in realising that there needs to be a
solution for Win32)

Regards, Paul