Folks:

We currently have a problem with Ruby under Windows. The Cygwin
version shipped with the Installshield system is the most fully
featured, but at the same time seems to be flaky in some situations
(mostly due to Cygwin issues and the normal DLL hell). MinGW seems
fairly solid, but there are rumors that it doesn't support all the
background process stuff. The native VC++ version has less features,
but is easier to integrate with third party DLLs such as Oracle.

So, I'm thinking we need to do some stuff. There seems to me to be a
short term problem and a long term problem.

Short term, we need to work out which of the three available
mechanisms to use as the standard for Ruby under Windows. We can then
change the Installshield system to use this, and people developing
extensions will have something to build against. However, to do this
we need to get some hard facts: exactly what isn't available under
MinGW. How serious are the Cygwin networking issues? And so on. To do
this, I've set up a Wiki page:

   http://www.rubygarden.org/ruby?WindowsSupport

As it says on the page, this isn't a place for bug reports or "Cygwin
sux" messages. As a community, we need to understand the issues in
detail and then come to some kind of rational decision we can all live
with.

Longer term, I suspect we need to be looking at moving away from
reliance on third party tools to give us the support we need. I don't
know what would be involved. Is it right to try to emulate the Unix
process model under Windows? Should there be a Ruby version for
Windows with a totally different set of libraries. Should we see if we
can work with ActiveState to produce a port? We can discuss all this
under http://www.rubygarden.org/ruby?FutureWindows

Thanks


Dave