Versions & mass-appeal

Jaco Greeff jaco at
Wed Oct 30 04:39:28 CST 2002


For somebody with a sore hand, you type an amazing amount. I seem to 
have caught your "my-right-hand-is-hurting" bug. Well, actually it is my 
arm - utterly useless at anything at present, altough I can type if I 
position it at exactly the right angle...

> I think everybody here agrees that Wine's biggest problem is the
> lack of developers. No developers, slow progress, no users, back
> to no developers. 

James had an interresting reply to your mail around the time it takes 
for new developers to break into Wine. As a newbie myself, I have some 
thoughts on this... Ok, let's face it, Wine is damn hard. I have around 
7 years experience in C++/C mostly on the Windows platform, altough I 
have done quite a number of personal projects under Linux, eg. XML 
interface into RPM, etc. I suppose Wine falls into this category, 
altough my contibution is not quite there, yet.

The reason why I like Wine so much is because it is extremely 
challenging. The beast is complex but (as I've read Jeremy White said 
before) things do take longer than anticipated. You need good 
understanding of Windows system calls plus Linux coding experience - a 
difficult combination to find. I think that a lot of people will look at 
the code, browse the web/bugzilla, be unable to find anything quick to 
break into the fold and give up.

> Why are we in this position? For reasons I will not go into right
> now, it seems painfully obvious to me that we are suffering from
> a severe case of Bad Public Image (tm). 

I personally think this is changing with CodeWeavers delivering 
commercial products based on Wine. As an example: the last time I played 
with wine was back in 96/97, I decided to take a serious look again 
after buying CXOffice and really seeing and reading and starting to 
believe... (Well, I must admit that I have been reading WWN since it's 
inception as well, just to get some sort of idea, so I haven't been 
completely out of touch.) So, yes, potentially you are right, but this 
is definately changing for the better.

> How do we change this state of affairs? Well, people need
> major events to reevaluate their opinions. Being major, they
> are by definition few, and so we don't have too many chances.
> For Wine, these events are the upcoming x.y releases. 

What both you and James are referring to is making the process more 
transparent. People need clear deliverables to be able to focus and 
redirect their engergy towards something. With my newbie hat on, I can 
say that we don't provide that. Unless you have been around for a 
longish period of time, you have no real idea as to the state of affairs.

I like both your and James' suggestions, in addition I would like to see 
the following:

1. Making sure that all tasks, big or small are in BugZilla. Make it 
easy to find - for instance, if I want to implement a DLL next, which 
one should it be? If you are not very, very familiar with Windows you 
wouldn't even know which DLL's on a Windows box are supposed to be replaced.

2. Making sure BugZilla is always updated anbd used in the right 
fashion. If something gets done, close the bug and make a comment. You 
need a record ort what has been happening. Remember that this is a real 
usefull developers-only (???) externtion to the website and makes their 
lives easier.

3. Better developers documentation, especially to get new guys onboard. 
(Erm, I think that was mentioned...)

I have quite a bit more to say, but I seem to have gottent the angle of 
the arm to the keyboard wrong at this point... So, that is it for now.


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