[GNHLUG] CentraLUG, 7-April-2008: Coleman Kane on FOSS on Win32

Ted Roche tedroche at tedroche.com
Mon Mar 31 11:37:07 EDT 2008

The monthly meeting of CentraLUG, the Concord/Central NH GNHLUG chapter,
happens the first Monday of most months at the New Hampshire Technical
Institute's Library, room 146, at 7 PM. Next month's meeting is on April
7th at 7 PM. Directions and maps are available at
http://www.centralug.org Open to the public. Free admission. Tell your

At this meeting, Coleman Kane will talk to us on developing Free / Open
Source Software to run on the Windows platform.

About the presentation
You might be surprised to learn that you can develop FOSS for Win32 
without licensing any software or technology from Microsoft. This 
software can be developed using the same tools common for development 
under GNU/Linux, even the latest unmodified version of GCC 4.2. Many 
people are familiar with Cygwin, which is a GPL (not LGPL) 
UNIX-on-Windows environment. What many people aren't familiar with is 
MinGW32, a free (as in beer) project to provide a public-domain Win32 
API development environment for FOSS development that doesn't restrict 
authors' rights, while still offering them the market of Win32 users. 
I'll discuss using the following toolsets:

    * binutils 2.18
    * GCC 4.2.3, 4.2.2, or 4.2.1 (hopefully the latest release)
    * The public-domain mingw runtime libraries
    * The LGPL-ish w32api development API
    * The drmingw debugger plugin for Win32
    * Using #defines and other ways to make C/C++ code platform-independent

I use VIM and GNU autotools for most of my development. I once hated 
autotools, but began to love them when I tried to do that work myself 
(and realized how much of a PITA it really is). I'll probably throw in 
some GNU autotools pointers to getting configure.ac working happily too.

Helpful links:

    * http://mingw.sourceforge.net
    * http://www.cokane.org/dokuwiki/projects/mingw32-cross-compiler
      (which will likely get updated with more stuff as time goes on)

About Coleman

Coleman Kane is a Software Engineer originally from Cincinnati. He got 
his start in the open-source world when he fell in love with the FreeBSD 
Operating System (v2.2.8) in 1998. Since then, he's contributed to 
numerous open source projects, including the FreeBSD OS, OpenBSD, and 
even sometimes the Linux kernel. He's a graduate of the University of 
Cincinnati Computer Engineering dept. and currently telecommutes for 
IntelliTree Solutions llc, a software development and IT management 
company which is based in Cincinnati. Coleman Kane is currently the 
Chief Software Engineer for IntelliTree Solutions llc., directing most 
large software projects, and providing an advisory role for many of the 
smaller ones.

Coleman Kane uses FreeBSD as his primary desktop, and remains an active 
participant in the FreeBSD community.


As always, meetings are subject to change. You are encouraged to join
the low-traffic announcement list at
http://mail.gnhlug.org/mailman/listinfo/gnhlug-announce to get
announcement and cancellation information.

Upcoming meetings: summer is approaching, and the summer schedule (June,
July, August) of NHTI won't accommodate our evening meetings. Please let
me know if you have a summer location you'd prefer, and suggestions for
upcoming topics are always welcomed!)


Ted Roche
Ted Roche & Associates, LLC

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