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Re: Cygwin Book?

Christopher Faylor wrote:

I have gotten periodic requests to write a cygwin group from various publishers but it has always seemed like a daunting task to me.

The trick is in deciding what to cover.

It seems to me that just getting Cygwin installed could be stretched to maybe fill a chapter. The hardest part is just finding the packages you need in the tree, and because you can do it iteratively, it doesn't come to much of a practical problem. If I were writing it, I'd probably make this Appendix A, not Chapter 1.

You could fill a book with chapters that are basically "how to use Linux on Windows", but really, aren't 99% of Cygwin users *ix transplants anyway? Everyone knows how to use the tools, which is why they've sought out Cygwin in the first place. I guess there are a few who get Cygwin foist upon them as a prerequisite for something else -- some embedded systems compilers are like this, for instance -- but I'd bet this is a tiny minority of users.

I point all this out because I think I know what would be the most useful book, and you, cgf, are indeed one of the few people who can do it justice: a book on how Cygwin works and why it is the way it is. Not just cygwin1.dll internals, but how setup.exe packages work, the way various POSIX features are distorted by the Windows lens (symlinks, mounts, IPC, fork, PIDs, permissions...), etc.

The Cygwin story is one of compromises, accommodations, and probably even some outright hackery. This is the story that those of us who wish to understand Cygwin need to read.

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