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Updated build page for Windows.
authorJan Wielemaker
Wed Aug 30 16:33:47 2023 +0200
committerJan Wielemaker
Wed Aug 30 16:33:47 2023 +0200
Diff style: patch stat
diff --git a/build/index.txt b/build/index.txt
index f8f7606..352781f 100644
--- a/build/index.txt
+++ b/build/index.txt
@@ -12,7 +12,7 @@ portable and building is much easier.
   * Building
     * [Building on Unix/POSIX](</build/unix.html>)
     * [[Building on MacOS][macos.txt]]
-    * [[Building on MS-Windows][windows.txt]]
+    * [[Building on MS-Windows][windows.md]]
     * [[Android][linuxonandroid.txt]]
     * [[WASM (WebAssembly)][WebAssembly.md]]
diff --git a/build/windows.md b/build/windows.md
new file mode 100644
index 0000000..b63fbb2
--- /dev/null
+++ b/build/windows.md
@@ -0,0 +1,115 @@
+# Building SWI-Prolog on MS-Windows
+There  are three  ways to  build SWI-Prolog  from source  for Windows.
+Here are some notes regarding the different approaches:
+  - __Compiler__.  MinGW (GCC) produces 20-30% faster binaries.  The
+    resulting library can be used with MinGW as well as MSVC.  Debugging
+	can be tricky because the GNU `gdb` debugger does not understand the
+	MSVC debugging information and Microsoft debugger does not understand
+	the GCC debugging information.
+  - __Cross compiling__  Windows is notoriously slow in starting programs
+    and the compilation starts _many_ programs.   CMake does not support
+	symbolic links on Windows, which implies that we need to do a lot of
+	copying to establish the target file structure.  Cross compiling
+	using Linux is __much faster__.
+  - __Dependencies__  Getting the dependencies is fairly well handled in
+    all three scenarios.  They are built into the Docker image when using
+	docker based cross compilation.   For MSYS2, the dependencies are
+	produced by the MSYS packages and for Microsoft Visual C++ we use
+	vcpkg.
+While building  for Windows has improved  a lot with the  migration to
+CMake  for SWI-Prolog  and much  improved dependency  handling, it  is
+still a tedious  process that provides little benefits  over using the
+binary     installers     that      can     be     downloaded     from
+## Cross-compiling
+We provide a [Docker
+image](https://github.com/SWI-Prolog/docker-swipl-build-mingw) that is
+based on Fedora Linux and builds SWI-Prolog using the MinGW cross
+compilers and Wine emulation to run the Prolog steps.  This should
+work on any machine capable of running Docker.
+The Docker image uses a host filesystem directory to access the source
+tree and create the result.
+See the `Makefile`of the repo for using it.
+This is used to build the binary releases for Windows as well as
+the [daily builds](https://www.swi-prolog.org/download/daily/bin/).
+## Using MSYS
+There are also swi-prolog packages for [MSYS2](https://www.msys2.org/)
+and you  can use  MSYS2 to  compile SWI-Prolog  from source  using the
+dependencies from MSYS2.
+## Using Microsoft Visual C++ (MSVC)
+This is  a recent addition and  does not yet cover  all packages.  The
+process  is  based  MSVC and  the  [vcpkg](https://vcpkg.io/)  package
+### Preparation
+__Install Microsoft Visual C++__.  You need the command line tools and
+optionally  Visual Studio.   The  the supplied  shortcuts  to start  a
+`cmd.exe` or PowerShell prompt setup for running the MSVC command line
+__Install `vcpkg`__ if you do not have it.  The vcpkg site suggests to
+install the  package manager into a  folder close to the  device root,
+suggesting  `src\vcpkg` or  `dev\vcpkg`.   We use  the  latter in  our
+cd \
+mkdir dev
+git clone https://github.com/Microsoft/vcpkg.git
+cd vcpkg
+__Install the dependencies__  we need.  Run these  commands inside the
+`c:\dev\vcpkg` directory.  The  ``--triplet x64-windows`` flag demands
+for  the  64  bit  versions  of  the  dependencies.   The  `zlib`  and
+`pthreads` dependencies are obligatory.  The others are to support the
+.\vcpkg install --triplet x64-windows zlib pthreads
+.\vcpkg install --triplet x64-windows pcre2 libjpeg-turbo libyaml libarchive
+__Configure the system__
+Go to the  checked out SWI-Prolog sources and run  the commands below.
+Adjust the tool chain script  if you installed `vcpkg` elsewhere.  The
+command  below explicitly  lists  the packages  that  work.  All  pure
+Prolog packages such as `CHR`, `clpqr`, etc. should also work.
+mkdir build
+cd build
+cmake -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=/dev/vcpkg/scripts/buildsystems/vcpkg.cmake \
+      -DSWIPL_PACKAGE_LIST=clib;plunit;pcre;PDT;protobufs;sweep;table;utf8proc;yaml;swipy  ..
+__Build the system__
+To build  using the  command line  tools, run  the following  from the
+`build` directory.   Alternatively you  may open  the `SWI-Prolog.sln`
+file that opens Visual Studio.
+cmake --build . --config Release
diff --git a/build/windows.txt b/build/windows.txt
deleted file mode 100644
index 0796cc9..0000000
--- a/build/windows.txt
+++ /dev/null
@@ -1,5 +0,0 @@
----+ Building SWI-Prolog on MS-Windows
-SWI-Prolog for MS-Windows is compiled using [MinGW](https://www.mingw-w64.org/).  To be precise, they are generated using the MinGW cross-compiler on a Linux system.
-There are also swi-prolog packages for [MSYS2](https://www.msys2.org/).