From: "MikkelFJ" <mikkelfj-anti-spam / bigfoot.com>


> >    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.
>
> This is indeed pragmatic as opposed to dogmatic.

And the reason would be?  Everything else about Ruby is free.  I'm not
dogmatic, by the way.  I have no opposition to non-free software; but I fail to
see any benefit MSVC provides over the more accessible alternatives.

> But MSVC 7.0 is freely available as a compiler without GUI development and
> without optimizations. It's part of the freely available Dot Net development
> framework - correct me if I'm wrong as I've never had the need to go along
> this path.

It would be nice to try this.  Thanks for the tip.  (Giving away a
non-optimising compiler is still a bit niggardly, though.)

>
> >    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.
>
> Cygwin is bad because it is difficult to reliably have two different
> applications on Windows that both use Cygwin, because the inevitably will be
> using different incompatible versions of Cygwin. Hence Cygwin may be nice to
> toy with, but not a realistic choice for deployment of a Ruby solution, and
> as such prohibitive for Ruby's spread on Windows. If you are big on Cygwin,
> you might as well get hold of a Linux box.

This is for work, so sadly I don't have the choice.  The ultimate target is
(probably) AIX, and I compiled for that with exactly zero problems.  However it
would benefit me to deploy on the Windows boxes around as well.

> Beside that, there is a lot of unfair critique of the Windows platform - it
> may do something less than optimal, but in many respects it just does things
> differently - programmers really should abstract out platform specific
> issues so it wouldn't be necessary to use Cygwin. Ruby does that, and it is
> not necessary to use Cygwin.

I never unfairly criticise Windows, not having within me the nature of a
zealot.  But when every single method of compilation on Windows seems to be a
square peg solution, and I found /no/ documents giving a roadmap, there is a
problem with the platform.

> As a free compiler, mingw seems great - I haven't used it a lot but I do use
> it occanasionally to verify code is running on gcc as well as on MSVC.
>
> Mikkel

Gavin