Wine history

Dan Kegel dank at
Wed Nov 6 16:51:40 CST 2002

Here are a few early posts:

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
From: bob at (Bob Amstadt)
Subject: Re: Impressions of WABI/Univel vs Linux
References: <C9JoGx.IMM at>
Organization: Amstadt Consulting Group
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 1993 17:36:48 GMT
X-Newsreader: Tin 1.1 PL4
Message-ID: <1993Jul2.173648.3202 at>
Lines: 7

Of course, for those of you who are interested in running Windows programs
there is an effort in progress to create something similar to Sun's WABI.
There is an activists channel, "WABI",  for discussion of this project.
There is need for many volunteers to complete this project.
Bob Amstadt
bob at
From: bob at (Bob Amstadt)
Subject: Re: WABI how good is it?
References: <1993Aug4.134724.24562 at> <CB96AH.2GDK at>
Organization: Amstadt Consulting Group
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 1993 15:30:58 GMT
Message-ID: <1993Aug5.153058.1530 at>
Lines: 27

In <CB96AH.2GDK at> guyd at (Guy Dawson) writes:

 >In article <1993Aug4.134724.24562 at>, arisz at (Aris 
Zakinthinos) writes:
 >> I have been reading in the local papers about WABI being able to
 >> translate MS Windows API calls into X calls in real time.  Has anybody
 >> tried it?  Is it any good?  How about those calls that somehow made it
 >> into the code but not the docs (i.e. the undocumented calls).  I am
 >> curious to here what it is like.  If this realy does work then I may
 >> never use MS Windows again!!!!  How is it being distributed?

 >It's not available yet!

 >It's a Windows run time enviroment for Unix boxes - Sun started it and
 >are going to produce it for their boxes. I don't know who else is looking
 >to support it...

Well, those of us in the Linux camp are working on a similar project.
It could be extended to run on other Unix operating systems if they
would be willing to provide us with the necessary call to manipulate
the LDT for the process.  Perhaps someone using one of the BSD derivatives
would like to get involved with our project?  Questions about this
project may be directed toward me.
Bob Amstadt
bob at


Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
From: bob at (Bob Amstadt)
Subject: Re: WABI/WINAPI - a Retraction
References: <1993Aug17.143450.22682 at>
Organization: Amstadt Consulting Group
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1993 20:03:21 GMT
Message-ID: <1993Aug17.200321.4496 at>
Lines: 19

In <1993Aug17.143450.22682 at> byron at (Byron A Jeff) writes:
 >2) The WABI folks aren't talking. I have not seen any software yet.

Well, considering the fact that we only got started in June, I think
we are pretty far along.  We don't have any off-the-shelf binaries
running yet, but we can run binaries that contain only implemented
API functions.

We are always looking for more help.  Only four people have provided code
to the current emulator.  I would gues that 80% of that code has been
written by two people.  If you would like to join the effort, join the
linux-activists WABI channel.

The name of the project is now Wine, and we have a directory under
/pub/linux/ALPHA on tsx-11.  Currently there is only a README file
which contains information about the status of the project.
Bob Amstadt
bob at


From: bob at (Bob Amstadt)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.announce
Subject: Wine project status update
Followup-To: comp.os.linux.misc
Date: 4 Sep 1993 17:10:34 GMT
Organization: Amstadt Consulting Group
Lines: 84
Approved: linux-announce at (Matt Welsh)
Message-ID: <26ai6a$mob at>
Reply-To: bob at (Bob Amstadt)
Summary: You like the Wine?  The Wine is good?  I get you more Wine.
Keywords: WABI Wine MS Windows Emulator
Originator: mdw at sunSITE

Numerous people have requested that the project status of Wine be
posted regularly.  For the benifit of those people, I am posting
the latest README file that I have uploaded to tsx-11...

     The Wine project for linux is an attempt to write something
with similar functionality to the WABI that was developed by Sun.
The basic goal is to be able to take a MS-Windows binary and
run it under Linux with X-Windows running.  The finished product will
essentiaily consist of two parts:

     a) A program loader, which will load the Windows binary into
the virtual memory of the linux process, provide a means for adjusting
the ldt of the processor so that the 16-bit segments that are
typically used with Windows binaries will work correctly, and provide
a means for calling the Windows binary in the first place, allowing
the Windows binary to call back to the 32-bit mode program, and
finally allow the 32-bit mode program to call back again to the
Windows binary (i.e. Windows callbacks).  In each case, the arguments
being passed wil have to be pulled from the appropriate stack and
loaded on to the other stack (there will be a 16 bit and a 32 bit
stack).  Finally some application specfic DLL libraries will have to
be loaded, and dynamic linking will have to be performed.

     b) The second part of the finished product is an emulation
library, which takes calls to Windows functions, and somehow
translates these into calls to X11 in one fashion or another, so that
equivalent functionality is achieved.

     It should be pointed out that the Windows binary will be
running directly - there will be no need for machine level emulation
of the instructions.  Sun has reported better performance with their
version of WABI than is actually achieved under MS-Windows -
theoretically the same result is possible under linux.

     The project got started as a result of discussions on
comp.os.linux in early June of 1993.  A mail channel was set up for
discussions, and this directory was created.  At the moment, all of
the files that are uploaded are in the private directory in a hidden
directory.  The reason for this is that the program is really only of
use to developers right now.  Once something is ready for public
consumption, it will be uploaded to a publicly visible directory.
The final product will almost certainly be under the GNU Public License
(or GPL for short).

     If you are interested in getting involved in this project,
join the linux activists' WABI channel.  If you have never joined
a channel before, send mail to linux-activists-request at
It will reply with a help message.  New releases are approximately
every Tuesday.  All releases are announced to the WABI channel.
Also, I will do my best to answer any question mailed to me.
My address is "bob at".


Status Report - September 3, 1993

     Windows Solitaire is barely playable for the first time
today.  Special thanks go to Alexandre Julliard, Eric Youngdale,
David Metcalfe and Peter MacDonald for their work on this project.
If you live near one of these people, buy them a beer.

     It looks like the Linux kernel modifications are nearing
completion.  Hopefully the next Linux kernel (0.99.13 ?) will not require
patching to run Wine.

     The loader portion is nearing completion.  Sample Windows
binaries are loaded correctly into memory, dynamicly linked and so
forth.  The 16/32 bit call interface is fairly complete.  There are
still a few features that remain to be added before it can be
considered "done", but it is at the point where it is actually useful.
Resource loading is only partially complete.

     A very minimal version of the emulation library has been
merged with the loader.  Windows can be created, DC's may be used,
bitmaps are handled, text drawing is implemented, and a preliminary
implementation of menus has been created.  Bugs are still present
in many of the implemented functions, but things are starting to look
Bob Amstadt
bob at

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