[sword-devel] Windows users as "poor cousins"? (was: Help wanted on non-canonical text )
jmarsden at fastmail.fm
Thu Oct 1 19:28:56 MST 2009
David Haslam wrote:
> I think those of us who are Windows users are regarded as "poor
> cousins" by some CrossWire programmers. :confused:
I think you may have that somewhat backwards. CrossWire itself makes
its source code available for download to everyone with Internet access,
Linux and Windows and OS X and *BSD users, alike. Whatever OS you
choose to use, you are free to compile those sources for your chosen OS,
and use the resulting binary libraries and utilities.
For Windows users, *only*, Crosswire also offers binaries for download.
Sometimes out of date, it seems, but at least it does offer them --
something it does not do for any Linux or FreeBSD users :) This an
*additional* priviledge, a luxury offered *only* to Windows users.
Similarly, there are projects at Crosswire such as "BibleCS" (aka the
SWORD Project for Windows) which are "Windows-only". I don't know of
any Crosswire software projects that are "Linux-only" or "FreeBSD-only".
How does Crosswire going out of its way to do extra things for Windows
users make such users in any sense "poor cousins" in this context?
While there is currently an established and somewhat successful small
team (independent of, but created at the request of, Crosswire) doing
official Debian and Ubuntu Linux packaging, there does not seem to be a
similar team doing Windows packaging of SWORD and its applications. But
I don't see how that lack of a packaging team is really the fault of the
Highly unofficially, Matthew Talbert and I have recently discussed and
begun some work on creating a way to set up a (free) Windows development
environment with which to compile and install SWORD (and hopefully later
also SWORD applications such as Xiphos and BibleTime). That work is in
its very early days, and right now what is published is basically a
proof of concept that quickly gets you a working C/C++ development
environment, but does not (yet?) download/ configure/ compile/ install
SWORD or the libraries that SWORD depends upon.
See http://crosswire.org/~jmarsden/setup-mingw.html for the current
public state of that project. It is not currently of any use to
non-programmers, and is not really intended for use by non-programmers
even when (if!) it is completed -- non-programmers and C++ compilers
don't mix, and should not *have* to mix :)
Lastly: Virtualization cuts both ways! Just as Linux users can run
Windows in a virtual machine within the comfort and convenience of
Linux, Windows users can run Linux in a virtual machine within Windows.
VirtualBox OSE (for example) is free software that can allow this; so
other than the cost of licencing the Windows OS itself, there is no
economic cost to this kind of "just do both" approach -- other than the
availability of a reasonably modern PC, and your time to understand it
and set it up. This is not a "programmers only" concept, any confident
Windows user with a modern PC could make use of it.
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