occommittee / email_paths.txt

Email to programmers on the OverChat team

Subject: Path separators

Normally, as I work on the OverChat project (which hasn't been that often lately and I apologise for this), I work on Linux.  Sometimes I work on FreeBSD.  I make changes to the Borland-based build process from Linux and hope it works.

In this case I have hit a bit of a problem, assuming something works one way in Borland, when in fact, it does not.

I shall outline this problem and my suggested solution.

the problem is that in UNIX, paths are written thus:

/path/to/file (for files)
/path/to/directory/ (for directories).

This is a useful distinction and the current configure program uses paths like this under UNIX to locate libraries which have been removed from the tree, removing libraries from the tree is an on-going process.  Under Win32, paths are separated with '\' characters, or '\\' in some scripts and in the C language.  under UNIX, paths are separated using '/'.  Borland Make interprets this:

as a line continuation, rather than a path.  Since other code relies on it ending with a '/' or an '\\', I believe we should use only '/'.  Some DOS or Win32 programs won't like this because they think '/' is a switch or an option, where as UNIX uses '-' or '--' for this purpose... but I think it's worth it, for consistency in scripts etc.

Any programs which don't like it, like xcopy, we will no longer use.  We will use Perl scripts to call these programs if necessary.  Perl is becoming an important part of building any Daybo Logic code these days and you should install Perl 5.8.0 if you want to compile OverChat, immediately.

Comments are welcome.
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