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

Christopher Faylor
Wed Jun 2 21:01:00 GMT 2010

On Wed, Jun 02, 2010 at 10:39:17PM +0200, Thomas Wolff wrote:
>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 "Unzul???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.

I'm pretty sure that everyone here knows that ptys don't work well with
all DOS applications.  I mentioned it when I first proposed making
mintty the default.  I'm not opposed to two desktop icons but I still
think we would be generally better off even if we only had one mintty
link in terms of end-user confusion.

There is no way to know though.  It could be that there is an application
used by thousands that works well in the console window while failing
miserably under a tty/pty.


More information about the Cygwin-apps mailing list