An idea for the appdb
shacklein at gmail.com
Wed Feb 11 04:21:49 CST 2009
2009/2/11 Luke Benstead <kazade at gmail.com>:
> Hi all,
> I was thinking earlier it would be quite nice if when I double clicked
> a Windows app in GNOME it would display a nice dialog saying something
> like "This Windows application may not run correctly as it is
> currently rated Silver. Please report any bugs to the Wine project.
> Continue | Cancel". Obviously this kind of functionality is not a job
> for Wine, but for the distro. Still, it got me thinking how this kind
> of functionality might be achieved.
There's been quite a bit of discussion along these lines recently.
Unfortunately, AppDB simply isn't reliable enough for this type of
dependence. With any luck, that will change when the recently
discussed redesign of test data submissions is set up, but it'd still
take a long time for sensible data to become reasonably usable.
> My idea is that the appdb should allow for people to associate a list
> of checksums with an application version. For example, WoW might have
> the checksum for the setup program and the game's executable,
> associated with the appdb entry. The other extension to the appdb
> would be to allow a way to programmatically retrieve information on an
> application's rating etc. by going to a certain address (e.g.
> which would return the info in XML or some other format.
You've clearly put quite some thought into this, which is highly
commendable. However, I would personally be against such a move, as it
would put a lot of extra load on AppDB (in terms of network
bandwidth). I'm also not too keen about something that retrieves data
from the net every time you run an app. It's too easy for people to
mistake it for spyware.
Another problem with a system like this is that ratings change
depending not only on application version (which you've addressed) but
also on Wine version. Platinum apps could become Garbage for one
version (and yes, it has happened). Since AppDB test results tend to
be few and far between on version numbers, it's not really useful for
an automated "how well will this work?" system. It would have to
calculate some sort of "best fit" (which will certainly be completely
wrong on occasion), or just ignore the missing data.
And finally, just like with the other suggestions for using the AppDB
data elsewhere, this system does not take patches into account. Some
apps require patches that completely break others (the Worms
Armageddon ddraw hack and CoD hack come to mind here). Unfortunately,
there's no sensible way to account for patched Wine in this sort of
It is not a bad idea to give the user some sort of feedback on how
well they should expect their app to run, but unfortunately it's
virtually impossible to account for every possibility (patches and
broken wineprefixes being the biggest problems).
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