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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <dennis.hamil...@acm.org>
Subject RE: Interesting Developments for Windows-targetted software
Date Fri, 08 Apr 2016 22:25:13 GMT
There's good news (2 flavors) and bad news (one) concerning the forthcoming Windows 10 Anniversary
Update.  

Features of that upgrade are now available in a Windows Insider build 10.0.14316 and I can
confirm more interesting things.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dennis E. Hamilton [mailto:dennis.hamilton@acm.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 13:49
> To: dev@openoffice.apache.org
> Subject: Interesting Developments for Windows-targetted software
> 
> <http://blog.dustinkirkland.com/2016/03/ubuntu-on-windows.html>.
> 
> Along with the ability to run native Linux later before the endo of the
> year, and improvements in access to the Windows Store for Win32
> applications, there is the additional feature of Microsoft Visual Studio
> to support a version of the VC++ with a Clang-compatible front end.
> Same error messages, same preprocessing, but the compiling engine is
> still VC++.
> 
> None of this is helpful to Apache OpenOffice just yet, but the prospect
> of getting out from under CygWin on Windows is definitely something to
> look forward to, along with the highly-improved file-system integration
> that will come with GNU/Windows as some are beginning to call this.
[orcmid] 

BAD NEWS FIRST

The Linux on Windows (aka GNU/Windows) subsystem installs easily.  The Windows file system
is visible from the subsystem environment.  However, unlike the case with CygWin, MSYS, etc.,
it is not possible to execute Windows applications from within the subsystem.  So no use of
Windows development tools and utilities.  

It's also unclear how the Linux on Windows file system is visible to Windows applications
at all.  The Windows File explorer doesn't seem to find it.


FIRST GOOD NEWS

Visual C++ Build Tools, all of the command-line tools including the VC++ compilers (x86, x64,
and ARM) and the Windows SDK are available as a separate free download,
<https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/vcblog/2016/03/31/announcing-the-official-release-of-the-visual-c-build-tools-2015/>.

This appears to include all of the parts relied upon for building Apache OpenOffice.  There
is no IDE, although one could presumably use Visual Code and any other source-code editor
of ones choosing.  

Since these are at the Visual Studio 2015 level, targeting Windows XP may be difficult.  But
as the target window for AOO eventually moves, this will be helpful.


POSSIBLY MORE-EXCITING NEWS

There is now, in beta, a method for mechanically converting Win32 desktop applications to
Windows UWP application (that is, ones that install as apps from the Windows Store),
<https://msdn.microsoft.com/windows/uwp/porting/desktop-to-uwp-root>.  

For Apache OpenOffice, the benefit is on Windows 10 desktop only.  It provides automatic conversion
from the existing .exe installer to a Windows Store app.  It is a step toward evolving the
features set to take advantage of tablet/touch and even mobile operation, but not without
developer involvement.  That is, taking advantage of full UWP (Universal Windows Platform)
capability takes more development than this special-purpose desktop-only case.

An experiment needs to be run to determine whether the automatic conversion works at all.
 If it does, it produces a signed package that is store-eligible with automatic updates from
the store become available as well.  This could provide more confident downloading for Windows
10 users and also make it more difficult for attaching adware and other unwanted provisions
to .exe installers from Apache OpenOffice.

There is no rush, but confirming what it will take, whether the arrangement is workable for
AOO, and how to take advantage of it is worthwhile to work our way into on the assumption
that becoming a full-up citizen of Windows 10 will become increasingly important.

> 
>  -- Dennis E. Hamilton
>     orcmid@apache.org
>     dennis.hamilton@acm.org    +1-206-779-9430
>     https://keybase.io/orcmid  PGP F96E 89FF D456 628A
>     X.509 certs used and requested for signed e-mail
> 
> 
> 
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