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1. Porting applications to Windows makes for a larger user base
2. A larger user base makes open source developers happier (as long as windows users
don't whine too much ... but then at least windows users don't flame much )
3. An happier open-source developer makes better open-source software
4. Better open-source software makes linux user happier
MinGW and why Linux users should care
Posted Nov 23, 2008 19:23 UTC (Sun) by k8to (subscriber, #15413)
My expectation as a Linux user is that programs that are available on Windows as well will cater primarily to Windows users (the larger potential market), and will become less usable.
Posted Nov 24, 2008 9:52 UTC (Mon) by rwmj (subscriber, #5474)
But that's your choice if you are the developer of a program. You could look at it another way
and say by keeping up your standards you are bringing better UI concepts / timezone handling /
whatever to Windows users.
Anyway there is nothing in the Fedora MinGW work which prevents you from #ifdef'ing pieces of
code, or even removing troublesome features from the Windows port entirely.
Posted Nov 24, 2008 11:33 UTC (Mon) by Cato (subscriber, #7643)
The sheer volume of users on Windows can be beneficial for OSS software, by stimulating bug fixes and features, as well as providing people to support the software.
As a co-developer of TWiki (before the recent fork by most of the developers, i.e. http://foswiki.org/ ), I supported it on Windows for a few years, and used it myself on Windows for a time when I didn't have a Linux server available. This helped Linux users, e.g. I18N hacks that I did to work around Windows Perl's (very broken) locale support also worked for Linux platforms with broken locales, Perl 5.005 hosting users where I18N regexes were more basic, etc.
Where Windows is somewhat broken but you still have ported the app, you can also deliver a Linux virtual machine using VMware, which is what the TWiki team did as well - this ends up being a good advert for Linux as well.
Doing cross-platform code always risks introduction of bugs, so wherever possible it's best to use a third party portability library, or a portable language such as Perl, Python, etc.
Posted Dec 1, 2008 5:35 UTC (Mon) by k8to (subscriber, #15413)
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