[erlang-questions] Windows

Tristan Sloughter t@REDACTED
Wed May 20 17:07:45 CEST 2015

Shouldn't C code be fine when built with rebar? Makefiles are an issue
only if the project doesn't also support rebar.

That said, with rebar3 we've recently been debating what to do about
this and the most annoying thing in my opinion is Travis-CI's lack of
Windows support. Not that I blame them, Microsoft has made their money
making something like that hard and is only now attempting to reverse
decades of screw ups -- Windows containers coming in 2016, which
hopefully don't require some crazy license to run for building open
source projects like Travis does.

If anyone has a suggestion for free Windows CI it would be much

But Windows support will always have trouble as long as a developer
can't easily (and freely) spin up a test environment -- and varying test
environments, some locked down Windows free VM doesn't cut it. The only
reason this isn't the case for OSX is so many devs use it, so I can just
wait for them to find the bugs :)

  Tristan Sloughter

On Wed, May 20, 2015, at 03:33 AM, Loïc Hoguin wrote:
> Hi,
> Yesterday the topic of Windows development was brought up on Twitter. I 
> looked into it and it's clearly an issue. At best you can compile 
> projects that don't involve shell scripts, makefiles or C code, so you 
> can't really work on anything significant as a large number of open 
> source projects involve one or the other (yes, even when using rebar).
> Now there's three ways Erlang could be more friendly to Windows
> developers:
> To use Windows tools imply making open source projects work for Windows. 
> Sure perhaps it's not an issue for the simplest NIFs but some projects 
> require C libraries which themselves aren't always easy to make work on 
> Windows.
> MingW has the same issues. You need to fix everything to work on Windows.
> Cygwin makes this much easier. Everything seems to work... except 
> Erlang. Erlang on Cygwin thinks it runs on win32 and, while true to a 
> certain extent, it fails badly when dealing with files (cygwin has / as 
> root while win32 has c:\).
> Now you might say Cygwin is massive. That's true, it takes some time to 
> install and some space on the disk. But it's very easy to install and 
> can be almost entirely automated using chocolatey and apt-cyg. And 
> adding an SSH server on top of that is a couple commands away, so it is 
> a very interesting solution if you ask me.
> Now Erlang compiles on Cygwin... but produces the win32 target. Which 
> brings me to the main subject of this email: what would it involve to 
> make Erlang work on Cygwin? Considering Cygwin is a mix of Windows and 
> Linux it's probably just about enabling one or another piece of code, or 
> is it?
> It could be a fine side project but I don't really know where to start. 
> Any tips appreciated.
> PS: tried just patching os:type()... that didn't work. Ended up with 
> Erlang not finding a file that existed on disk when running common_test.
> PPS: I know "real" developers use Unix. But the more numerous "fake" 
> developers might be more interested in Erlang if they can keep their OS.
> PPPS: I know this isn't a good option if you're going to create 
> Photoshoperl, but it's still a good option for server application 
> development.
> -- 
> Loïc Hoguin
> http://ninenines.eu
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