Tuesday, July 24, 2007

xmingw overlay and "competing" software

Via the Freshmeat feed, I just noticed this thing called the "MinGW cross compiling environment" that looks like it does more or less the same thing as my xmingw overlay, except that it's not distro-specific. (It's not my fault that the portage concept is awesome.) I took one look at the mercurial repository, and found that it consisted of exactly one shell script. Wow. It's a big one, too. It currently supports 26 packages and is roughly 2000 lines long. My overlay, on the other hand, supports over 200 packages (with at least one shell script per package), and I probably don't want to know how many lines of code that is. I'm surprised that the number is over 200. Well, sort of. Its Bazaar repository is currently on revision 466, and apparently I've had this branch for a little over a year. That latter part's news to me.

In related news, as I type, I'm building Firefox via xmingw. The Windows XP machine that I use is going loco, and many programs (including Firefox) crash when I try to use them. Strangely enough, my self-compiled version of Pidgin runs just fine. So, in that spirit, I'm trying to see whether a self-compiled version of Firefox will do the trick as well.

Edit: I was going to mention with regards to the Mozilla (including NSPR and Firefox) build process that they have a upside-down perspective of what "build" and "host" means, in comparison to 99% of the other autoconf-based projects out there. Usually, the "host" is the platform that one is compiling for, and "target" is the platform on which the compilation is taking place. Yes, it does make sense the way that Mozilla is doing it, but it's the opposite of everyone else, which makes it annoying to build. Well, that reason and the fact that it is a horribly monolithic build process (see OpenOffice.org, imake-powered X build process)

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