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cygwin – How it All Started

July 25th, 2009 subogero

At the very respectable company where I spend my days, we’ve been using a mysterious cygwin shell for building software projects. Don’t ask me why. I’d been wondering what the bash2.02> prompt was supposed to mean. Sometimes I overheard sentences about how good the GNU make was, or how cool it was to pipe sed into tr, but it’d be overstating the facts that I understood them.

Considering myself an embedded software wizard? Check.
Understanding our makefile? Nope.

Until the day came, when upgrading to the newest version of cygwin was proposed to achieve compatibility with a code-checking tool. And the loser to do this job was yours truly. So I upgraded and, guess what, our make ceased to work. After consulting some gurus in the office and the internet it turned out that cygwin had stopped supporting Win32 path formats altogether. Fantastic.

My beloved drive letters (C:\) were blown out of the window.
In came a weird /cygdrive/c/ format.
In case of a Unix-hacker, the terms root directory and mount-point spring to the lips.

It was suggested that I could fix this with the bloody sed in a matter of a few seconds, thank you very much.

And so it started…

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