mintty/Windows interoperability (was: Re: default terminal)

Thomas Wolff
Wed Jun 2 20:39:00 GMT 2010

Am 01.06.2010 01:14, schrieb Charles Wilson:
> On 5/31/2010 5:29 PM, Christopher Faylor wrote:
>> I'm wondering what the rest of the maintainer community thinks, though.
>> What do you all think about a two step plan of first making mintty part
>> of the default install and then making it the default terminal?
> Sounds good to me.

I absolutely support to promote mintty side-by-side as one of two 
desktop links.
Before making it the only default, however, there's still two issues to 
consider concerning interoperability with Windows programs:

    * The known limitation with certain Windows (or even DOS) programs
      due to the incompatibility of some of the multiple Windows output
      methods with pty. Is anyone still trying to find a wrapper that
      might solve this for input and output?
    * Another issue with even those Windows/DOS programs that do work in
      general: They assume the Windows ANSI encoding so their output
      (and input assumption) will not match the mintty character
      encoding in most cases. (Test case: configure Windows UI to
      "German", reboot (grumble), run mintty in UTF-8, enter 'xcopy'
      (without parameters), see error message "Unzulâ–’ssige
      Parameteranzahl"). This works fine in the Cygwin Console because
      the I/O method used by those programs bypasses cygwin - the Cygwin
      Console is actually a dual-character set environment. My initial
      idea that Windows could be convinced to change that for mintty
      with ' 65001' failed. I discussed it with Andy already and
      he suggested a fork point somewhere in cygwin (maybe winsup or
      newlib?) where a Windows/DOS program is being distinguished from a
      cygwin program anyway, and where a wrapper might be activated
      implicitly. (I might try to work on a patch if I knew where that
      point is.) The best thing to do then would be to wrap the spawned
      Windows/DOS program into something like 'luit'. A work-around
      would also be to switch mintty encoding dynamically but that would
      not work with multiple programs producing output simultaneously,
      for example from a background process.


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