Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to Windows, AOLServer, and OACS

Posted by Jamie Rasmussen on
I've gotten OpenACS to run on Windows reasonably well, and it was not an insignificant effort. Check out my installation documentation. I use PostgreSQL 7.1.3 on Cygwin on a modified version of AOLserver 4b1. The document isn't quite done, but a finished version should be up in another week. (Revising with PostgreSQL 7.2 information among other fixes.) My site is pretty small but I am using ImageMagick, form-based uploads, and some other moderately complex things. That document also explains why I couldn't get AOLserver to compile with Cygwin. The site is stable enough for my purposes even with an early beta of AOLserver 4, which works better for me than the last official release for Windows did. There are bugfixes and backports that would be nice, but that I won't get around to soon.

Bboard postings that might be useful, starting with the most recent:

The AOLserver team *aggressively* removed Win32 support from AOLserver 4. I think they've removed the old Windows binaries from their webpages, they ignore Win32 bug reports, etc. Anyone for reviving OpenNSD? :-) Getting OpenACS to run better on Windows definitely requires modifications to AOLserver, but nothing too difficult. OpenACS on Windows needs some minor debugging too, but again, nothing that requires too much effort for people who know the system.

OpenACS on Windows will never be "mainstream". I think it is mostly useful for development, ACS newbies who want to do the problem sets without learning Linux, etc. In my opinion, the most pressing need is for clear Windows-specific documentation, a reliable repository of patched AOLserver source and binaries, and (just getting greedy now) an installer to have the whole thing up and running in less than an hour.