Hi,

Andrew Hunt writes:

#     >I really don't think that the CygWin installation should be
included.
#
# I disagree quite strongly.
#
# Nothing will put off propspective users faster than having to
# download a number of different packages, all from different sources
# (tk, cygwin, ruby, etc).

Well, first of all, *some*  users are going to be put off no matter what
you do, as long as trade-offs are involved. And "some" is likely to be
"many" in any case, although of course we want to make sure "many" is not
"most".

While I favor Cygwin being included, one could legitimately ask, How many
prospective users will need it to get sufficiently hooked on Ruby such
that we won't lose them if they have to pick up Cygwin on their own to get
added functionality (e.g. Tk)? One might extend the pro-Cygwin argument to
a (minimal) Tcl/Tk distribution as well. (Indeed, the latest Tcl
distribution that is compatible with expect is bundled with the expect
distribution.)

FWIW, the general Perl 6 consensus seems to be that a "SDK" distribution
should be standard, and the Tcl consensus seems to be that there should be
a standard "sumo" (i.e. heavy duty). Granted the issues here are slightly
different, but I think the reasoning and motivation is sufficiently
similar to be relevant, since they all have a common theme of "out of the
box" usability (for say, at least 95% of the users).  I think the
competitive and survival instincts that drive Perl 6 have a long and
remarkable legacy of success (which is especially noteworthy given how
many people tolerate it versus like it :-)

On these grounds, I'm in favor of taking what seems to be the increasingly
single substantially inclusive distribution approach, especially now that
*most* schools and businesses have reasonably high speed Internet links
(plus the Ruby distribution is still much smaller than the Perl
distribution, which statistically speaking, has been a huge success).

Conrad Schneiker
(This note is unofficial and subject to improvement without notice.)