recoverable downloads - opinions sought

Robert Collins
Sun Nov 25 01:59:00 GMT 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "Charles Wilson" <>

> Robert Collins wrote:
> But if setup used an external library (or program) it would have to be
> non-cygwin version, right?

Not necessarily. Cygwin1.dll can be loaded dynamically.

> > Using an external helper, via a bootstrap process will be a lot
> > but will sacrifice the functionality when on a non-cygwin machine.
> You're assuming that the external helper is a cygwin program, I guess.


> Ummm...I'm reminded of Dario's rpm-based cygwin distribution.  He had
> bootstrap phase that installed cygwin(dll, bare minumum tools, rpm
> itself), and then used rpm to install everything else...
> If we're going to go with a two phase setup, then his idea makes more
> than continuing to roll our own. The big argument against his plan was
> (a) two phase is bad (b) why throw away our perfectly good setup tool.
> that's two arguments. ;-)

I don't think two phase is bad, but supporting the download-only version
on non-cygwin machines is the cruncher. As for b) I'm very much in
favour of setup.exe being the user interface - to whatever does the
dirty work, be that setup.exe or another tool.

> > So I'm in favour of internal code/static library linkage. A dynamic
> > library _could_ be used, but we'd ned to treat it as a special case,
> > as a standard isntall-and-log package.
> Yep.  But if it's a special case, then we might as well link it in
> statically.  If it were in a DLL, we can't update it on-the-fly from
> setup because setup.exe is still using updates of that DLL
> to be done manually.

Exactly. (About the special case -> link static logic). As for updating
the .dll that's not a problem. Here's why. The .dll will not be in
setup.exe's import table so setup.exe can check the dll's version as the
first thing it does.

> > The alternative to internal/static code is to go down the path of
> > splitting setup into two builds, but as we'd _still_ have to get the
> > download-without-cygwin part right, I see no benefit in this.
> Also,
> I seem to remember that in early september Dario actually put together
> an ISO that embodied his whole rpm-based cygwin dist including a
> tk/tcl-based 'bootstrap' installer...

Which was really neat. I should get that out an review it :].


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