Building LibreOffice on Windows

Bjoern Michaelsen bjoern.michaelsen at
Mon Feb 20 07:01:17 PST 2012


On Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 02:06:37PM +0200, Tor Lillqvist wrote:
> The main problem in building LibreOffice for Windows on Windows
> currently is that the *open source* stuff used in the build, i.e.
> Cygwin, is slow and causes random errors. The Microsoft compiler and
> linker work fine. If there was a way to use *only* Microsoft's own
> tools, cross-compiling for Windows from some Unix would be much less
> attractive.

I think that is oversimplifying things quite a bit. While there are some
stability issues with cygwin when combined with evil Windows necessities like
in-memory-virusscanners, the slowness is primarily a result of the abysmal
windows filesystem performance. And the compiling stuff is not really the hard
part when we talk about a windows baseline -- it is stuff like the l10n
tooling, awk, Perl, etc.. If you believe those problems to magically go away
when using the native implementations instead of the cygwin ones, you are very
naive and you would make setting up the build environment even more complex.

The joke about LibreOffice breaking any toolchain you come up with is only half
a joke. The other half is reality.

The reason why simple compiles on Windows are so slow has nothing to do with
the tooling around it -- it is because we are not using that obnoxious
'precompiled headers' cheat that makes C++ compilation times on Windows
almost bearable.



P.S.: As for cmake: We break any toolchain and cmake wont be an exception.
Compared to debugging errors in GNU-make-output or MSBuild-output generated by
cmake, debugging gbuild is a walk in the park on a sunny day.

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