[erlang-questions] Windows

Loïc Hoguin essen@REDACTED
Wed May 20 18:20:01 CEST 2015

Like I said before, try eleveldb, or any other project that depends on 
another lib that's not so friendly with Windows. The Twitter discussion 
I was referring to also mentioned Yaws, though that's probably not a 
permanent issue. I could find you more, there's no shortage of NIFs and 
ports in the open source projects.

To make things work in a proper Windows environment you have to rely on 
every project to be targetting Windows and that's no small matter, 
especially for those that use a library that's hard to use on Windows.

At least with Cygwin there's no added burden on open source project 
developers. And that's very important, considering how little most 
projects are willing to deal with.

Making everything work in a proper Windows environment is a *gigantic* 
task and involves a lot more than just dealing with Erlang projects 
themselves. I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Rebar is fine for small things but can't deal with everything. Rebar3 is 
about the same but requires the project to also target Rebar3 (unless 
that changed). erlang.mk will eventually get at the same level as rebar 
once it switches to Make 4. But the experience is not smooth with any of 

Cygwin can deal with a lot more and doesn't require effort on the part 
of the open source project developer or on the part of the user 
(everyone can run one setup command in a cmd shell). That's a win win to me.

Adding a Cygwin target to Erlang should not be too hard. After all it's 
already possible to compile Erlang/win32 on Cygwin. I imagine the Cygwin 
build would just require different defines enabled, little else.

On 05/20/2015 06:07 PM, Tristan Sloughter wrote:
> 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
> appreciated.
> 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 :)

Loïc Hoguin

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