Versions & mass-appeal

Andreas Mohr andi at
Wed Oct 30 07:56:03 CST 2002

On Wed, Oct 30, 2002 at 07:08:08AM -0600, Rick Romero wrote:
> I would love to convert my desktops to Linux + Wine, but one 'little'
> thing keeps nagging at me (even if my apps did work perfectly).  I
> haven't seen it uttered in a while, but the phrase, "Wine is ALPHA
> software" sticks in my head.
> People know what beta software is, and when someone see's "Alpha",
> they're not even going to attempt do debug it. Alpha (at least to me)
> conjures up such a raw state of affairs, that whatever problem is
> occurring, is happening because "Alpha" is seen as horribly broken.
> I realize this isn't the case.  I'm also sure that a lot of people DON'T
> realize that.  I think CodeWeavers has greatly helped Wine's image by
> giving it a version number.  
Well, but I'd still insist that Wine IS Alpha software.

After all we've got about 15000 Windows functions, and of course we only
implement about 4000 to 5000, and of those that we do support, a ridiculously
small number is entirely bug-free.

Thus you could encounter an app which manages to trash your whole filesystem
ANY DAY; this app simply needs to use a very rarely used function that
we barely implemented... BOOM.

That this doesn't happen every day can be attributed... well... to the fact
that Wine maybe is not entirely Alpha any more, but by no means does
that mean it's Beta or even almost finished.

Wine is *not* a standard boring John Doe program, it's got a massively more
difficult way to reach final stability.
With an ordinary program, every little sub-version can easily be implemented
to reach utter stability within its sometimes totally negligible goals.
Not to mention that with a standard program, *you* define (and *know* !)
what this program is supposed to do and how, whereas with Wine...
you know the story ;-)

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