[MLton] mingwows

Matthew Fluet fluet@cs.cornell.edu
Fri, 11 Nov 2005 15:05:12 -0500 (EST)

> Thanks for all the input everybody.  John's list of advantages and
> Andrew's picture of an imaginary user helped me a lot.  And the batch
> file helped too -- I put it on my Windows/MinGW machine, started up
> the Windows command prompt (having never used it before), and was able
> to compile and run a simple SML program with it.
> It seems to me that there are two kinds of Windows users we should
> target.
>  * Those who come from the Unix tradition and are looking for a way
>    to run MLton in a Unix-like shell.  For them, the MinGW/MSYS tgz I
>    built is fine.  Those people should have no trouble installing
>    MinGW and MSYS.
>  * Those who come from the Windows tradition and know nothing about
>    Unix.  For them, a Windows self-installing EXE (an MSI package?) is
>    the right thing.  This package should include everything needed to
>    run MLton from the Windows command prompt, including mlton.bat,
>    gcc, the needed MinGW libs, etc.  It should behave in the way
>    Windows users expect (Windows-style documentation, live in its own
>    directory, no compressed files, be uninstallable, ...).

While the second package is the ideal, I don't think it should delay the 
release.  In particular, it seems to me that one can always build the 
second package from the first.  That is, the same executable will be 
delivered by each package.

I guess my larger point is that many projects simply release with a source 
and binary .tgz.  A few days/weeks later, separate interested parties 
build .rpm, .deb, Windows installers, etc.