Versions & mass-appeal

Rick Romero rick at
Wed Oct 30 08:11:56 CST 2002

On Wed, 2002-10-30 at 07:56, Andreas Mohr wrote:
> 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.

But how many apps use 15000 Windows functions?  I think it's closer to
Beta than Alpha.
> 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.

The same could be said for anyone opening an email.  We all saw the
article on the Kmail/Wine user.  I don't think it's a good idea to put
that info out in the world.  Any application can trash your system, to
specifically say it can happen with Wine just targets Wine as a poor
program.  Hence, less users.  At some point Wine/Linux needs to break
out of the tech community, it's not going to happen if all technically
possible 'bad things' are presented right out front.

Sometimes you gotta keep your mouth shut :)
(Believe me, I have a hard time doing that myself.)

> Wine is *not* a standard boring John Doe program, it's got a massively more
> difficult way to reach final stability.

I think Wine is about where OS/2's Win16 support was.  There were a lot
of apps that worked, and a lot that didn't.  And yes, OS/2's Win16 would
take out the rest of OS/2 too.

> 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 ;-)

I thought each API was a little sub-version :P


Rick Romero
IT Manager	
Valeo, Inc.	ph: 262.695.4841
Sussex, WI.	fax: 262.695.4850
Rick at

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