Call for testing: hackable Mercurial for Windows

Matt Mackall mpm at
Thu Oct 20 17:30:44 CDT 2011

On Thu, 2011-10-20 at 18:00 -0400, David Golub wrote:
> I've been building Mercurial with TortoiseHg on Windows in order to do
> TortoiseHg development, and it's been fairly simple.  You just need install
> Python (either 32-bit or 64-bit, depending on what you want) along with the
> Windows SDK for Windows 7 and .NET Framework 3.5.  It needs to be that exact
> version, not that version or later.  For TortoiseHg development, you need
> py2exe and pywin32, but I'm pretty sure that Mercurial alone can be built
> without these.  The one snag that I hit is that the SDK is missing the
> vcvarsall.bat file in the Visual Studio directory, so you need to write a
> batch file to call either vcvars32.bat or vcvars64.bat, depending on whether
> you want a 32-bit or 64-bit build.  Once that's in place, just check out the
> Mercurial source and run from a command prompt.  Everything should
> build without a problem.

..and this is PRECISELY why there's a shortage of Mercurial hackers on
Windows. The above takes at least an hour for a new user to figure out,
if not a whole day, but actually usually puts them off the idea of
hacking the source entirely well before that.

In my scheme, you "install" -one thing- which affects nothing else on
your system, and you can hack the Mercurial source and run it in-place
-without ever even running a build step-. Download, unzip, hack, run.
Given a broadband link, a new user can test a bugfix or debugging patch
in less than 5 minutes.

> David Golub
> -----Original Message-----
> From: mercurial-devel-bounces at
> [mailto:mercurial-devel-bounces at] On Behalf Of Angel Ezquerra
> Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2011 4:56 PM
> To: Matt Mackall
> Cc: mercurial-devel
> Subject: Re: Call for testing: hackable Mercurial for Windows
> On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 3:31 AM, Matt Mackall <mpm at> wrote:
> > In an effort to get more Windows people hacking on Mercurial, I've 
> > built a proof-of-concept package here:
> >
> > (~50MB)
> >
> > that contains:
> >
> > - private copy of Python 2.6.6 (32-bit)
> > - complete Mercurial history
> > - pre-compiled extensions (32-bit MinGW gcc 4.6.1)
> > - hg.exe wrapper to add to your path
> > - in-place editable source checked out and ready to go
> >
> > You should be able to unzip this into a directory and start hacking on 
> > Mercurial immediately without affecting your existing Python or 
> > Mercurial installations. Because it contains the actual Mercurial 
> > repo, you should also be able to immediately pull and update to the 
> > latest development versions (until the extensions need recompiling).
> >
> > Please give it a spin!
> I gave this a try and it works great! This will make hacking on mercurial so
> much easier for us windows users!
> Angel
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