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Re: Installing VIM installs lots of other stuff

cgf, I've been using cygwin off and on for ~14 years and I'm aware what it is and is not. Getting defensive and huffy over a rhetorical (not technical/internal) comparison of cygwin to other "collections of tools which provide [with varying completeness] a Linux look and feel environment for Windows" isn't productive. Nor is making unwarranted assumptions about my ignorance.

On my own primary machine I've always had a more complete cygwin install and been glad to be able to, among other things, use the full toolchain to build plenty of software that would not have worked with msys/mingw or whatever. But on my other machines, or for other people, I have frequently installed a fairly minimal cygwin environment. Much of the use these installs have seen would have been adequately met by many of the "bundle of win32 binaries" offerings which include a shell. Often, however, that wouldn't suffice due to compatibility gotchas or to a missing tool. In such a situation cygwin is doing quite a similar task to what these bundles are intended to do, it's just doing it better and more completely; the internal differences are not particularly relevant to the user. Hence the 'on steroids.' Almost all of the other people I know who use cygwin use it exclusively in this way. Not everybody wants the full build toolchain, every scripting language under the sun, etc.

"Being more like linux" is not a well-defined goal, and it cannot provide any useful guidance in making decisions like this, since for any optional dependency you can find distributions which went either way. Plenty of minimalist distributions out there, and the popularity of different approaches has fluctuated over the years. (Remember when gentoo and USE flags were all the rage?)

"Being more like the latest Fedora" or the like would be well-defined and give concrete guidance, but I can't think of any reason why it would be a reliably good match for your goals for the project or for users' needs.

I really appreciate your leadership and all the work you and others have done over the years. I am not here to bicker. You folks have to make tradeoffs and decisions in trying to meet competing goals and disparate users' needs with limited resources, and of course minimalists' concerns won't always win out. Even in this case with vim, where providing for both the minimal and the full-fat is quite possible and is a route taken by many distros, spending effort on that may not be the right use of cygwin resources. I don't pretend to know. But I do think that folks are unnecessarily dismissive of this type of concern. Rick's concern really is relevant, and the decisions and tradeoffs can be made without being dismissive.

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