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Re: Cygwin Book?
On Mon, Oct 15, 2007 at 05:29:03AM -0600, Warren Young wrote:
> 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.
It seems like more and more people are using Cygwin because they want a
package that is part of the distribution. We get too many ignorant
questions for me to think that many of these people are at all familiar
with *IX systems.
>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.
Actually, this is a book that I wouldn't mind writing (assuming I could
get Corinna's help). I don't know how many people would be interested
in this though.
Writing a book with screen shots of setup.exe and instructions about
hitting "Next" is not something that I relish. It may be what people
really need though.
Whenever I think about doing that, I always think about how many
problems people have with the concept of setup.exe and then I start
thinking that we should redesign the GUI and provide a command-line
utility. Then I get discouraged and just fire up Unreal Tournament 2004
to forget about things.
I guess my point is that I'd hate to document the warts in Cygwin when
the most profitable use of time would be to fix the warts. But I guess
that doesn't really matter since these days, I'm not doing much
documenting or fixing. I've been focused on my "real job" for a couple
of years now while Corinna does the heavy Cygwin lifting.