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Re: PATHEXT is fundamental to Windows and Should be recognised by CYGWIN

On Aug 9, 2016, at 2:07 AM, Herbert Stocker <> wrote:
> On 8/9/2016 2:45 AM, Michel LaBarre wrote:
>> It could very well be that, as one response to me on this thread
>> alluded, CYGWIN's role is to provide the equivalent of an isolated
> > POSIX VM under Windows without the VM.
> ...CYGWIN is *not* an isolated POSIX environment. It brings
> POSIX to the OS named "Windows”…

In addition to Herbert’s points, I also want to point out that bidirectional Windows interoperability is a key differentiator for Cygwin vs. “Bash on Windows,” a.k.a. WSL:

I’ve seen several of these isolationist moves over the years I’ve been using Cygwin, and I think they are essentially harmful to Cygwin.  The more you promote Cygwin as being its own little world, the easier it is to replace it with something that truly is isolated: WSL, a Linux VM, or even a Mac.

(If you’re wondering why Macs belong on that list, consider that if you’ve been using Cygwin on Windows because you don’t find the Linux desktop compelling, when it comes time to buy your next desktop, why not choose a first-class desktop computing platform where the Unix command line is not an afterthought, kept isolated as much as possible?)

I do not mean, by this comment, to endorse this idea of implementing PATHEXT in Cygwin.  In fact, I’ve made profitable use of the current situation by creating foo.bat and a shell script called foo, which gives me a single command that does the same task under cmd.exe and Cygwin’s shell, using mechanisms native to each.  I would not particularly want that ability to disappear.

This is not a simple question of “should Cygwin integrate with Windows?”  Your change implies a broad impact which should be carefully considered.

It sounds like you just want Cygwin to work like MKS, Michael, which isn’t going to happen.  Cygwin has ~20 years of independent development, all of which were in parallel with MKS.  If the developers of Cygwin had wanted to clone MKS, they would have done so long before now.
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