I don't want my tortuous experience of trying to get things working under this
decidedly inferior development environment to be wasted, so here's a summary of
(my) difficulties for the record:

1. If you compile Ruby using compiler X, you need to compile any extensions
   you use under compiler X.

   a. If you use the Pragmatic Programmers' Ruby/Windows distro, that X is
      MSVC.  This strikes me as not being very pragmatic, as it is not
      freely available.

2. The choices of compiler are:
   - MSVC (commercial; Windows target)
   - Borland (free download; Windows target)
   - MingGW (free; Unix-like, but Windows target)
   - Cygwin (free Unix environment, Unix-like target)

   These all have problems:

   a. MSVC is not freely available, but it's the only choice if you use
      ProgProgDistro.  If you have it, I'm sure it's fine.

   b. Borland: difficult to compile Ruby, as
      - you can't run 'configure'
      - there's no pregenerated Makefile

   c. MinGW: can't remember the problem here; I might give it another try ;)

   d. Cygwin: can create Ruby no prob (I prefer it to Windows native Ruby
      because of the beautiful GNU toolset), but extensions are a problem
      as you need to get DLLs (e.g. the Oracle OCI DLL - you have no
      choice, it IS a DLL) to combine with the Ruby SOs.


SUMMARY
-------

Perhaps MinGW is the best bet for Ruby under Windows.  I'll give it another try
and report to the group.

I've read a lot of discussions on Wiki and -talk about the decisions that
needed to be taken to leave Cygwin behind (hey, I love Command Prompt as much
as anyone), but I've never seen anything like what I've written above.
Hopefully it will be of some help to somebody hopelessly trawling the archives
in the future.  Even more hopefully, someone will do something about the
lame-arse operating environment that is Windows.

If any of the information above is known to be wrong, please correct ASAP.

--
Gavin Sinclair                                       Software Engineer
Sydney, Australia                            Soyabean Software Pty Ltd