Google's support for Wine in 2007
dank at kegel.com
Thu Feb 14 00:03:21 CST 2008
As you might know, I work for Google, and part of my
day job is to help improve Wine. Here's a little report
about what we've been up to.
Google uses Wine primarily as the basis for the Linux
port of our photo management software, Picasa.
In fact, the Linux version is exactly the Windows build
of Picasa, bundled with a lightly patched version of Wine.
Most of the work in that port was to improve Wine so it
could handle Picasa, and that work is still going on.
Codeweavers did the initial port, and Googlers
Lei Zhang, Nigel Liang, and Michael Moss are
improving Wine further for Picasa 2.7.
Beyond Picasa, a few of us (Lei Zhang, Alex Balut, and I)
have been fixing random Wine bugs in our 20% time.
I've also been doing regular Valgrind runs over the Wine test suite,
pestering developers who accidentally check in code that Valgrind
doesn't like. Hats off to the Valgrind team for a great tool, and
to the (non-Google) folks who work on Valgrind/Wine compatibility
(Eric Pouech, Tom Hughes, and John Reiser, among others).
Google also sponsored some work by Codeweavers to improve
support for Photoshop ('cause so many people want it) and
for Dragon Naturally Speaking ('cause even Linux users get RSI).
While not yet perfect, those apps are a lot more usable now
as a result. In particular, Photoshop CS and CS2 are quite usable
indeed. (See http://wiki.winehq.org/AdobePhotoshop for
I also had the pleasure of hosting eight students as
Google interns working on Wine throughout the year.
Here are their names, and roughly what they worked on:
Dan Hipschman: widl
Evan Stade: gdiplus, Powerpoint Viewer
James Hawkins: msi
Jennifer Lai: win16 conformance tests
Juan Lang: crypt32, iTunes
Matt Jones: mono testing
Mikolaj Zalewski: Photoshop, Limux
Roy Shea: svchost, BITS
So, you're wondering, what exactly does that all boil down to?
I tallied all our accepted patches recently; the list is now up
(along with the exact Wine source we use for Picasa) at
I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the list.
Separately, Google also sponsored nine Summer of Code
students this year. Just to name two who remain active even
after the end of summer:
Alex Sørnes, who improved Wine's Wordpad, and
Maarten Lankhorst, who solved tons of sound problems.
(And oh, how nice it is to not have to change sound settings anymore!)
All that may sound like a lot, and perhaps it is, but it pales
compared to the work put in on Wine by the rest of the Wine developers.
Thanks, everybody! I'm really looking forward to Wine 1.0
(which, according to Alexandre, is planned for sometime in 2008).
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