Good morning git land! This hour of the tiger in Scotland is as good an occasion as any to issue the third episode of the msysGit Herald, the not-quite-biweekly news letter to keep you informed about msysGit, the effort to bring one of the most powerful Source Code Management systems to the poor souls stuck with Windows. These are the covered topics: Umlauts in the path name Compiling Perl from scratch! Including the 'html' branch as a submodule The language wars, this time: no .NET in msysGit Inno installer Where is HOME? Umlauts in the path name ======================== Another issue cropped up the other day; MSys cannot handle path names with umlauts alright. For example, if you try to remove a checkout of git.git (which unnecessarily contains an umlaut in a test for gitweb) with MSys' "rm", it will fail. It will say that it removed the file "Märchen", but the file is still there. We will see if at some point in future, we will be able to compile MSys from within msysGit, and maybe we will be able to fix this issue. For now, please try to avoid spaces in the installation path of msysGit! Compiling Perl from scratch! ============================ Somehow I lured Simon Sasburg into trying to get Perl compiling inside msysGit. I already had compiled it, using the "official" method, downloading dmake and stuff, and the result was a commit with a recipe how to compile it from scratch (e887f810 in the "full" branch). However, this was a MinGW Perl, not a MSys Perl. Remember: the main difference (usage-wise) is that MSys has a fake "/" directory. So wherever you install it, it will be able to find /etc/bla. And the perl I built cannot use that, and therefore does not find essential parts of git, making it useless for our purposes. Simon jumped through the hoops and got some additional packages from mingw.org installed, and was nice enough to put that into a branch in msysgit.git: msysperl. When checking that branch out, you will have a /perl directory with two scripts: one to download perl and apply some patches, and another to build perl. Including the 'html' branch as a submodule ========================================== Steffen Prohaska, who was very interested in msysGit right from the start, has joined the msysGit team. He realised that the help was not working, and created a new submodule containing the html pages, along with some patches to allow opening these pages, even when msysGit (or GitMe or WinGit) was installed to a path containing spaces. So all of you, seeking help in WinGit, look forward to the release 0.3 of WinGit, which will include some. The language wars, this time: no .NET in msysGit ================================================ We realised pretty soon that some convenient parts which are present in every Unix system are simply lacking in Windows. It begins with the missing C compiler, which is so untrivial to set up that there was a demand for msysGit. But it certainly does not end there. For example, the effort to compile Perl from scratch (see above) is necessary so that we have the chance to compile the modules missing for git-svn support. In the midst of these efforts, a tool was checked in that allows you to call an arbitrary diff viewer, by setting three environment variables. Of course, you could do that with a simple shell script, but it seems some people are so uncomfortable with the shell that they have to write a program to do the same. The big problem with this program, though, is that it was written using .NET 2.0. I already had many complaints how many dependencies msysGit has, and was actively working on reducing the size of the WinGit installer by leaving out non-essential parts; and there was even talk about making a WinGit installer that does not even install Perl. So I was not happy with the situation, and moved the commits out of our 'devel' branch into the branch 'dmitry/dotnet-gitdiff'. In the wake of this cleanup, Steffen Prohaska proposed that all new changes should first be committed to topic branches, and only move them into 'devel' once another developer has seen them. For a short time I was even thinking about asking all developers to just fork msysgit.git, and work in their repositories, but for the moment, it seems that we're okay with Steffen's proposal. However, everyone who disagrees with me is (of course) free to fork msysgit.git; repo.or.cz makes that trivial. Inno installer ============== Sebastian Schubert, a colleague of Steffen, was so disgusted with my beautiful 7-Zip/Tk based installer that he decided to work on an Inno based one. Now, we already have a script to make an installer using NSIS (see the "nsis-installer" branch of msysgit.git), but my biggest concern was always to avoid installing other software than msysGit to build the installers. And as far as I can tell, NSIS is not really small. Sebastian has promised that Inno would be small enough, so I guess we'll just wait and see... If it finds the unilateral love of the msysGit team members, version 0.3 of the WinGit installer will already be based on Sebastian's work. Where is HOME? ============== While working on the Inno setup, Sebastian suggested installing an Explorer extension so that you can "Start Git Shell here" in the Explorer. Apparently a component of Inno makes it easy to add such a small Explorer extension. Unless you do a "cd $HOME" in /etc/profile, which we do. So, when calling the shell (which has to be a login shell) we want to stay where we are, but we do not (this was requested in Issue 51 in our issue tracker). In the following discussions, it appeared that not everybody is happy that Windows, Cygwin and MSys all have different home directories. I proposed changing the HOME in MSys to the Windows home, also known as %USERPROFILE%. This would help new users, as well as uninstalling (since the repositories would be outside of the installation directory), but it would also involve changing existing setups, and we're close to 700 downloads for WinGit, and double that for msysGit. This issue is not resolved yet.