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developerWorks: Xmingwin for Cross-Generating Apps

Feb 04, 2003, 10:00 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Cameron Laird)

"Several of 2002's most popular Server clinic columns explained how to manage common desktop technologies, including PDF and DOC files, from servers. In one sense, this is the aim of many products and books, including WINE, VMware, and Linux in the Workplace. They all advertise the ability to replicate familiar desktop experiences from a Linux host. The Resources section, below, gives references to these alternatives and suggests where each best applies.

"This column consistently handles such subjects from a different angle, though. The point this month is not to imitate Windows, but to automate the production of Windows deliverables with open source tools. Mingwin (also Mingw, Mingw32, and so on), the MINimalist Gnu for WINdows, fits this description. Mingwin is adevelopment suite for Windows, roughly comparable to Visual C++ or Borland's Delphi. Unlike the latter two, Mingwin's distinction is that it provides a UNIX-like environment under Windows. As it's based on the standard GNU compiler gcc, Mingwin also supports work in C++, Fortran, and other closely-related languages. It doesn't supply the baroquely integrated development environments (IDEs) common in Windows development shops. Instead, Mingwin's rich toolchest of robust utilities performs basic development operations: compilation, linking, and so on. All these are flexible and programmable, though, in the usual UNIX spirit..."

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