Cygwin1.DLL soon to be Windows Vista only

Christopher Faylor
Sun Apr 1 04:53:00 GMT 2007

After some intense discussion with Corinna, we've decided that we will
soon be removing all support for any version of Windows other than
Windows Vista 64.

I know that Corinna considers Vista to be the best in a long line of
Windows operating systems and I'm sure I'll agree as soon as I finally
get Vista installed.

So, in addition to dropping legacy support for the Windows 9x/Me
versions, we'll soon be dropping support for all versions of Windows
NT, Windows XP, and Windows 2003.  In fact, we'll be adding checks for
all of those OSes so that no one will unintentionally try to run Cygwin
on anything but Vista.  Attempts to run Cygwin on unapproved systems
will result in a message followed, five seconds later, by a reboot of
the system.  Successive attempts to run Cygwin will probably result in
something more severe than a reboot.  We haven't figured out exactly
what that will be.  I think it would be sort of funny to wipe out the
partition and install linux but that would bloat the size of the DLL by
more than 20%.

Anyway, the last version of Cygwin with support for non-legacy versions
of Windows will be 1.5.22.

We plan on adding improvements to Cygwin at a pretty rapid clip once we've
stabilized on Windows Vista.  Contemplated changes are:

1) A gcc-free version of Cygwin which does not require any compilers (this
was at the request of Microsoft and it should be doable).

2) Improvements to d2u to finally squash that CRLF problem:

  d2u --wholedisk --permanent

This command will wipe out every \r on your disk and mark the disk so
that it is subsequently impossible to have files with the \r character
in them.

3) A relaxation of the linux emulation requirements to make it easier to
port pure Windows programs to Cygwin without forcing the programs to
understand Linux.  This should result in a massive influx of Windows
programmers who will contribute useful code that is not hampered by the
strictures of the user-unfriendly Linux OS.

4) A --mascot command line option will be automatically understood by
any program which uses the Cygwin DLL.  It will cause a picture of a
hippo to be displayed.  (--nomascot will defeat this option)

5) A relaxation of the rules for package inclusion.  Packages will no
longer absolutely require maintainers.  Instead, the "upset" program will
scan the internet for likely windows programs and automatically add
these to setup.ini.  This will eliminate the huge wall which currently
exists to impede inclusion of programs to the cygwin release.

6) A total rewrite of setup.exe to make it less linux-like.  The plan
is to make setup.exe browser based via ActiveX scripts.

7) A move away from the GPL into something less restrictive.  Red Hat
lawyers are working on this now.  The intent is to change the "viral"
nature of Cygwin's licensing so that programs which link with Cygwin are
no longer GPLed.  Instead, in keeping with Red Hat's licensing, the
programs will just be automatically owned by Red Hat.  Red Hat will
license any Cygwin program back, royalty free, to the program author for
the period of one year.  It is expected that this arrangement will
continue indefinitely and it is hoped that this will eliminate all of
the confusion currently accompanied by the Cygwin's license model.

The new Red Hat slogan for Cygwin will be "All your programs are
belong to us.  Trust us.  We're not Microsoft."

8) Addition of a "--explain" option to cygserver which will explain the
cygserver source code in German, English, or Canadian.

9) A rewrite of Cygwin's fork code using the advanced Windows Vista
copy-on-right semantics.  This new interface can be used to emulate
forking with only the addition of security dialog boxes for every fork,
once per program.  Once the dialog boxes are dismissed this new
technology will allow us to copy only the "right" data/code into the
newly forked process.  We think this will result in quite a change
for programs which use fork.

10) More frequent releases of the Cygwin DLL.  We hope to release the
DLL on either a weekly or a biweekly basis starting in May.

There are many more changes contemplated but I've listed some of the
more exciting ones above.  If we can do even 100% of all of the things
we've planned I think that 2007 could be the best year for Cygwin ever!
Christopher Faylor			spammer? ->
Cygwin Co-Project Leader

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