Windows will no longer be supported by ASDF, or ASDF, Windows, Cygwin -- oh, my!

Robert Goldman rpgoldman at
Sun Mar 20 20:23:03 UTC 2016

I can set the configuration properly from an environment variable.

But there are a number of tests that then reach out into the environment
and try to reconfigure the source or otherwise read information.

These are test-program.script test-try-refinding.script

None of these work properly when Lisp is running under cygwin.

I'm inclined to think that this is an ASDF+Windows problem, and not a
problem to be fixed in the tests.  If you run a Lisp under cygwin, and
you call some of these functions, they should simply error out, because
the cygwin environment is going to give the lisp pathnames that it can't

Further, (a) we don't know how to call out to cygwin; (b) we can't call
out to CMD.EXE when running under cygwin, because we have a polluted
environment; and (c) UIOP cannot detect when it is running under cygwin.

Under the circumstances, RUN-PROGRAM simply doesn't run reliably under
cygwin.  Worse, since we can't detect Cygwin, we really can't reliably
run under windows at all, since we don't know when these functions will
and won't work.

This suggests the following:

1. We desperately need ASDF to be able to detect when it's running under
cygwin, so it can at least error out when it's going to function wrong.

2. I don't know how to program make.bat.  I will not be learning how to
program make.bat.  The test scripts that I can run are shell scripts.  I
have not been able to make Fare's lisp build and test scripts work and I
am no longer trying to make them work at all, ever, anywhere.  I don't
believe they work any better under Cygwin, anyway.

Ergo, if ASDF works on Windows, it will only be a matter of luck.

Ergo, ASDF needs a windows tester and maintainer.  I quite simply
decline to perform this function.  Someone who wants ASDF to work on
Windows should step up.

Unless someone steps up by the end of March, all further ASDF releases,
starting with 3.1.7 will be officially Windows non-supporting.  Windows
patches and bug reports will be accepted.  I will not make any attempt
to fix Windows ASDF bugs myself.  I will make only those Windows tests
that I can make under Cygwin.

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