Porting UNIX applications to Windows NT

Developer Tip: Porting UNIX applications to Windows NT

Porting UNIX applications to Windows NT

Are you involved in a project to port an application to the Windows NT/2000 platform? Porting code from one environment to another requires special considerations and can be unworkable in certain instances.

In his book, Porting UNIX Applications to Windows NT (published by MTP/New Riders), Andrew Lowe explains specific problems you'll face when porting to NT/2000.

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The Architect's Dilemma
If you realize that you are redesigning a program that you intended to port, stop and double-check your schedule because it may be in jeopardy. Porting is a maintenance phase activity. At this stage, be aware that some redesigning is often required. You also should realize that your rewrite productivity is not equal to your porting productivity.

A significant number of problems are related to maintenance activities. It sounds more like clerical work than engineering, but it is utterly critical to observe maintenance rules in any large-scale project. Do not attempt to undertake a complex project without establishing a source-code control system and at least a minimal defect tracking system. If you are required to maintain parallel build trees, employing a source-code control system that is available on all supported platforms, whether it provides a graphical user interface is recommended. A command-line interface begs some of the most important portability problems, which are ultimately not germane to the tool domain. Try to use tools that already exist--avoid spending a great deal of time porting tools in preparation for porting your application.

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To learn more, check out the book Porting UNIX Applications to Windows NT, published by MTP, at InformIT.com.


This was first published in August 2000

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