original purpose of MinGW?

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original purpose of MinGW?

Michael T.
Hello,
 this might be a silly question and in that case I'm sorry for bothering you. I also searched the archives and didn't find any sufficient answer. The question is - what was the primary purpose for creating MinGW?
MinGW doesn't provide Linux system calls or rather the POSIX layer implementation (except the calls that are the same as standard C functions like read, write, etc.). All it does(which is great) is take a bunch of text and compile it as a native Windows application. Why the need of MinGW? There are many free C compilers for Windows out there.
Was the only reason the ability to use the unix-like access via command line instead of a GUI  based developing environment?  Particularly the gcc and make applications.
And in that case, wouldn't Cygwin be sufficient if using POSIX system calls would be avoided? (I'm not sure if one can use Win32 API in Cygwin).

Thanks,

Michael


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Re: original purpose of MinGW?

Uwe R.
Hi!

 > this might be a silly question and in that case I'm sorry for
bothering you. I also searched the archives and didn't find any
sufficient answer. The question is - what was >the primary purpose
for creating MinGW?

>MinGW doesn't provide Linux system calls or rather the POSIX layer
>implementation (except the calls that are the same as standard C
>functions like read, write, etc.). All it does(which is great) is
>take a bunch of text and compile it as a native Windows application.
>Why the need of MinGW? There are many free C compilers for Windows out there.
>Was the only reason the ability to use the unix-like access via
>command line instead of a GUI  based developing
>environment?  Particularly the gcc and make applications.
>And in that case, wouldn't Cygwin be sufficient if using POSIX
>system calls would be avoided? (I'm not sure if one can use Win32
>API in Cygwin).
>
>Thanks,
>
>Michael

Let me respond as an user.
gcc is a nice tool and the big advantage is that it is platform
(quasi) independent.
I can use it under Linux and windows. However, for windows you need
something extra.
Either you can use delories djgpp which is nice but is not capable to
do "native" window applications
and runs within cmd etc. Also I think I remember that you cannot
access the hardware e.g. serial ports
with djgpp.
If you want to use a window you have essentially two choices:
one is cygwin the other mingw.
However, if you want to combine C++ code with labview it is was/is
not working with cygwin, i.e. you can not use dll
created by cygwin and run them within labview.
I read somewhere also from problems with cygwin in other applications.
There are also other compilers out there. I dont like this fancy
visual studio and I am not sure
Borland will survive (in what form ?) as well as Watcom which is free now.
For the gnu tools I assume that will be continued in future and
therefore  I think long term support is guaranteed
thanks to the developers of gnu and mingw. I am not sure about the
other compilers so I will stick to mingw.

Regards,
Uwe


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Re: original purpose of MinGW?

Greg Chicares
In reply to this post by Michael T.
[Please wrap lines at some reasonable width like 72 characters.]

On 2010-04-07 09:57Z, Michael T. wrote:
>
> The question is - what was the primary purpose for creating MinGW?

To use gcc to build applications that use the C runtime library
provided as part of msw. Cygwin uses 'newlib' along with its own
POSIX-emulation dll, which makes Cygwin-built applications slower
and subject to more restrictive licensing.

> MinGW doesn't provide Linux system calls or rather the POSIX layer
> implementation (except the calls that are the same as standard C
> functions like read, write, etc.).

It uses the system C runtime, and adds or reimplements certain
parts (largely for C99 compliance). It's
  "Min" = minimalist
  "W" = for windows
so POSIX support is not a goal (it wouldn't be minimalist).

> All it does(which is great) is take a bunch of text and compile it
> as a native Windows application.

Yes, that's what a native compiler does.

> Why the need of MinGW? There are many free C compilers for Windows
> out there.

Its advantages relative to Cygwin are that applications can be
more liberally licensed, and run faster without POSIX-emulation
overhead.

gcc has advantages over other C compilers that are free software;
one is its portability. Not all compilers that are called "free"
by their authors are actually free software (ask for their
source code).

MinGW isn't just a C compiler. For example, it provides C++ as
well. No other free software of reasonable quality compiles C++
on msw except the MinGW and Cygwin ports of gcc.

> Was the only reason the ability to use the unix-like access via
> command line instead of a GUI  based developing environment?
> Particularly the gcc and make applications.

No. AFAIK, all free and nonfree compilers provide command-line
tools, including a compiler and a linker (and often some sort
of 'make'), even if they emphasize an IDE.

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Re: original purpose of MinGW?

sisyphus1
In reply to this post by Michael T.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael T." <[hidden email]>

> this might be a silly question

I don't think so - and I look forward to reading the replies of those best
qualified to answer the question.

> Why the need of MinGW? There are many free C compilers for Windows out
> there.

IIRC, there weren't *any* "free C compilers for Windows" when MinGW first
came on the scene .... well, perhaps there was a free version of Borland ...
but I don't think there were any others.

For me, the one thing I do like about MinGW in contrast to the MS compilers
is the improved ANSI compliance. That makes things so much simpler for me
... and I'm a very simple person :-)

Cheers,
Rob


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Re: original purpose of MinGW?

Chris Wilson-4
Hi all,

On Wed, 7 Apr 2010, Sisyphus wrote:

>> Why the need of MinGW? There are many free C compilers for Windows out
>> there.

I write open source software that compiles on multiple platforms,
including Windows (http://www.boxbackup.org). It significantly reduces the
development overhead to be able to compile with GCC on all of them. I
prefer GCC over Sun CC and MSVC.

I actually don't like MSVC at all, not just because it's non-free but
because the IDE is slow, it's extremely large (disk space and memory), it
uses weird Microsoft-specific language extensions (as usual) and it forces
me to use a proprietary runtime that I can't even redistribute with the
application. So I'd rather compile my software with GCC even though it
does technically compile with MSVC as well.

Cheers, Chris.
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Re: original purpose of MinGW?

Earnie Boyd
In reply to this post by Michael T.
Michael T. wrote:
> Hello,
>   this might be a silly question and in that case I'm sorry for bothering you. I also searched the archives and didn't find any sufficient answer. The question is - what was the primary purpose for creating MinGW?
> MinGW doesn't provide Linux system calls or rather the POSIX layer implementation (except the calls that are the same as standard C functions like read, write, etc.). All it does(which is great) is take a bunch of text and compile it as a native Windows application. Why the need of MinGW? There are many free C compilers for Windows out there.
> Was the only reason the ability to use the unix-like access via command line instead of a GUI  based developing environment?  Particularly the gcc and make applications.
> And in that case, wouldn't Cygwin be sufficient if using POSIX system calls would be avoided? (I'm not sure if one can use Win32 API in Cygwin).
>

Isn't http://www.mingw.org/wiki/MinGW enough to answer your seemingly
thoughtless question?  BTW, Cygwin itself uses MinGW to code it's DLL.
Without MinGW Cygwin can't exist or would exist by providing similar
pieces of code.  In fact the MinGW runtime package and the w32api
package have its source control embedded in Cygwin.

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Re: original purpose of MinGW?

Chris Wilson-4
Hi all,

On Wed, 7 Apr 2010, Earnie wrote:

> Michael T. wrote:
>
>> this might be a silly question and in that case I'm sorry for bothering
>> you. I also searched the archives and didn't find any sufficient
>> answer. The question is - what was the primary purpose for creating
>> MinGW?
>
> Isn't http://www.mingw.org/wiki/MinGW enough to answer your seemingly
> thoughtless question?

I dodn't find it thoughtless, as this question is quite often asked and I
didn't feel it was well answered by the site. I've written up my favourite
points of this discussion here:

   http://www.mingw.org/wiki/MinGW#toc1

Feel free to correct them or flame me :)

Cheers, Chris.
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Re: original purpose of MinGW?

Earnie Boyd
Chris Wilson wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> On Wed, 7 Apr 2010, Earnie wrote:
>
>> Michael T. wrote:
>>
>>> this might be a silly question and in that case I'm sorry for bothering
>>> you. I also searched the archives and didn't find any sufficient
>>> answer. The question is - what was the primary purpose for creating
>>> MinGW?
>>
>> Isn't http://www.mingw.org/wiki/MinGW enough to answer your seemingly
>> thoughtless question?
>
> I dodn't find it thoughtless, as this question is quite often asked and I
> didn't feel it was well answered by the site.

It was thoughtless because what was asked has been written and answered
before and there was obviously no research done on the part of the OP.

> I've written up my favourite
> points of this discussion here:
>
>     http://www.mingw.org/wiki/MinGW#toc1
>

But what you've written isn't "Why does MinGW exist, or what was the
primary purpose for creating MinGW?".  It is as you've entitled it.  The
"who, what, when" of MinGW is provided by its history and I don't
remember that you were around when it started.

> Feel free to correct them or flame me :)

You really don't want me to do that. My temperature would be hotter than
yours. ;)  I've removed the aka since it doesn't fit the "who, what,
when" of MinGW.

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Re: original purpose of MinGW?

Michael T.

> >
> > I dodn't find it thoughtless, as this question is quite often asked and I
> > didn't feel it was well answered by the site.
>
> It was thoughtless because what was asked has been written and answered
> before and there was obviously no research done on the part of the OP.

Thanks everybody for answers.
Earnie, I've done research. As I said, I searched the archives of the mailing list.
Secondly, I've been using MinGW for about 2 years now and been to
http://www.mingw.org/ many times, however I've never come across
 this particular link: http://www.mingw.org/wiki/MinGW

which perfectly answers the question.
Maybe I'm blind or completely uncapable of using my computer, but
 even now I tried to navigate to the link you posted and found
only one hyperlink in the text here http://www.mingw.org/wiki/MinGWiki
Maybe it would be more user-friendly if it was in the main navigation menu
in the Documentation section (no offense intended).

Thirdly, it was also very interesting to read other users' opinions - why and
where do particular people use MinGW. Such question can't be
 answered by a universal wiki page and a mailing list is a great way to get some feedback.

Thanks again.

Michael

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Re: original purpose of MinGW?

Keith Marshall
On Wednesday 07 April 2010 16:38:25 Michael T. wrote:

> Earnie, I've done research. As I said, I searched the archives of
> the mailing list. Secondly, I've been using MinGW for about 2
> years now and been to http://www.mingw.org/ many times, however
> I've never come across this particular link:
> http://www.mingw.org/wiki/MinGW
>
> which perfectly answers the question.
> Maybe I'm blind or completely uncapable of using my computer, but
>  even now I tried to navigate to the link you posted and found
> only one hyperlink in the text here
> http://www.mingw.org/wiki/MinGWiki Maybe it would be more
> user-friendly if it was in the main navigation menu in the
> Documentation section (no offense intended).

I don't wish to seem impertinent, but perhaps you DO need to hone
your search skills.  From the left navigation bar on that very
http://www.mingw.org site, if you click the "Documentation" link,
you will be taken to http://www.mingw.org/wiki/MinGWiki.  Now, do
you see the fourth row heading in the table in the main page body?  
Yes, that's right, the one that says "FAQ", (and you should also see
it under the now expanded "Documentation" heading in the navigation
bar).  "FAQ" stands for "Frequently Asked Questions", and it really
should be everybody's first port of call, when seeking answers; why
was it not yours?

Okay, if you've followed so far, what is the VERY FIRST topic
addressed in the FAQ?  You got it?  It is "What is ... MinGW?", and
guess what -- it takes you DIRECTLY to the page you apparently had
so much difficulty finding.

When it comes to helping the helpless, user friendliness can only go
so far.  Perhaps we could make the "Documentation" tab expanded by
default, but I really don't see what else might help further.

--
Regards,
Keith.

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Re: original purpose of MinGW?

Michael T.
> When it comes to helping the helpless, user friendliness can only go
> so far.  Perhaps we could make the "Documentation" tab expanded by
> default, but I really don't see what else might help further.
>
> --
> Regards,
> Keith.

Please don't change the discussion into critisizing the mingw.org website.
It wasn't about finding the article, it was about seeking OPINIONS and those were given and were
great. I guess that is what mailing list is for.
Even Chris who updated the very page used some inspiration from this thread.
So what's it all about? :-)
There were more people than me that enjoyed it and thought it was a good question to ask.

If you felt offended by mentioning the web - okay, it's my fault. You were right and I am
going to hone my search skills, I promise.
Web design is a broad field to explore for me, either.
And what is and what isn't user-friendly can be relative based on experience.

regards,

Michael

>
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Re: original purpose of MinGW?

Ehsan Azarnasab
In reply to this post by Michael T.

For me as a user Mingw is the only way I can benefit from gcc inside Windoze
Remember gcc is C99 so you can not compile the modern C99 code using M$
visual studio.
But I agree that Mingw website is not very helpful, I consider that as the
price that you pay for using free stuff.
I found TDM Mingw much more up to date, also Mingw-w64 is also getting
popular.


myso wrote:

>
>> When it comes to helping the helpless, user friendliness can only go
>> so far.  Perhaps we could make the "Documentation" tab expanded by
>> default, but I really don't see what else might help further.
>>
>> --
>> Regards,
>> Keith.
>
> Please don't change the discussion into critisizing the mingw.org website.
> It wasn't about finding the article, it was about seeking OPINIONS and
> those were given and were
> great. I guess that is what mailing list is for.
> Even Chris who updated the very page used some inspiration from this
> thread.
> So what's it all about? :-)
> There were more people than me that enjoyed it and thought it was a good
> question to ask.
>
> If you felt offended by mentioning the web - okay, it's my fault. You were
> right and I am
> going to hone my search skills, I promise.
> Web design is a broad field to explore for me, either.
> And what is and what isn't user-friendly can be relative based on
> experience.
>
> regards,
>
> Michael
>
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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>>
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>> cause your account to be moderated.
>>
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>>
>>
>>
>
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Re: www.mingw.org, more up-to date GCC and 64 bit windows [WAS: original purpose of MinGW?]

Earnie Boyd
dashesy wrote:
>
> But I agree that Mingw website is not very helpful, I consider that as the
> price that you pay for using free stuff.

Then fix it!  The site is a wiki and the documentation can be maintained
by anyone with an account on the site.

> I found TDM Mingw much more up to date, also Mingw-w64 is also getting
> popular.

More up-to date than gcc-4.4?  The TDM MinGW provider contributes hear.

MinGW-64 was a fork of this project for reasons I will let the user
find.  They are archived in the lists.  This project will accept any
patches that are produced from publicly available documentation
including 64 bit patches.  There is no good reason to have forked the
project.

--
Earnie
-- http://www.for-my-kids.com

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Re: original purpose of MinGW?

Tor Lillqvist
In reply to this post by Ehsan Azarnasab
> Remember gcc is C99 so you can not compile the modern C99 code using M$
> visual studio.

"Modern" yeah sure.

Or, one could say that people using C99 are living in a gcc-only dream world.

--tml

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Re: original purpose of MinGW?

Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ)
On Sat, Apr 10, 2010 at 2:54 PM, Tor Lillqvist <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Remember gcc is C99 so you can not compile the modern C99 code using M$
> visual studio.

"Modern" yeah sure.

Or, one could say that people using C99 are living in a gcc-only dream world.

--tml


Well, I like my C99 dream world, as well as my C++ dream world. Personally, I use MinGW because it is easy to make a small portable (move from PC to PC via USB stick) development environment that I can quickly compile software with. Combined with builds of Code::Blocks, I find it a very effective development system for my needs.

OpenWatcom is getting there in terms of C99 support, and many lightweight open source C compilers support C99. The nice bonus of MinGW is its C++ support in addition to C99 support. Since I work with Qt apps, this is a very nice plus! :)

The only thing I miss in MinGW is being able to compile Windows drivers and DirectX Windows apps. Maybe the ReactOS SDK can be used to fix that in the future....

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Re: original purpose of MinGW?

Vincent Torri


On Sun, 11 Apr 2010, Sir Gallantmon (¥Ë¡¼¥ë¡¦¥´¥ó¥Ñ) wrote:

> The only thing I miss in MinGW is being able to compile Windows drivers and
> DirectX Windows apps. Maybe the ReactOS SDK can be used to fix that in the
> future....

I compile code using D3D or DirectDraw without problem with MinGW (i use
the DirectX SDK of Microsoft)

Vincent Torri
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Re: original purpose of MinGW?

Ehsan Azarnasab
The best abut MinGW is that it is minimal, there are countless SDKs
that you can integrate with it with minimal effort. Including DirectX,
QT, OSG, many cameras, IPP, ...

On Sun, Apr 11, 2010 at 12:04 AM, Vincent Torri <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> On Sun, 11 Apr 2010, Sir Gallantmon (ニール・ゴンパ) wrote:
>
>> The only thing I miss in MinGW is being able to compile Windows drivers
>> and
>> DirectX Windows apps. Maybe the ReactOS SDK can be used to fix that in the
>> future....
>
> I compile code using D3D or DirectDraw without problem with MinGW (i use the
> DirectX SDK of Microsoft)
>
> Vincent Torri
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Download Intel&#174; Parallel Studio Eval
> Try the new software tools for yourself. Speed compiling, find bugs
> proactively, and fine-tune applications for parallel performance.
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> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
>
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> http://www.mingw.org/Mailing_Lists.
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> may cause your account to be moderated.
>
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