"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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