Support for pkgconfig

Dimitrie O. Paun dimi at
Tue Apr 15 14:47:39 CDT 2003

On 15 Apr 2003, Alexandre Julliard wrote:

> Apart from the obvious technical problems with that, and the overall
> ugliness of the result, the major drawback is that you are essentially
> putting Microsoft in control of the direction of the Unix desktop.

The tehnical problems are workable, and seem easier to deal with than 
the current ugly mess. The ugliness, like beauty, is in the eye of the 
beholder :) In my vision, only toolkits need to mess with Win32, so 
I'm not worried too much about his aspect.

However, the last point moves us into the political arena. There are
interesting questions: should we not develop something even if it
made technical sense because it may help Microsoft? Are we on war with
Microsoft, or are we just developing the most useful stuff we can, so
we can live in freedom?

Fortunately, I think we can avoid these issues for now. I don't think
Microsoft is in any control. All they can do is _extend_ the API. If
they move it from under us, *we* will keep backwards compatibility,
they die, and we are happy. So again, all they can do is extend it.
Which makes the current API a free interface. We can choose to extend
it too, when we feel we can add useful stuff to it. But that's a
different matter.

What we have currently is an API that's accepted by most software
industry, tested, and refined through many years. Is it pretty? No.
But the same goes for many things in Unix. We now have a free
implementation of this API. Why is this dangerous? Why shouldn't
people use it? If they care not to be controlled by MS, all they
have to do is to not use useless extensions comming out of Redmond.
All they have to do is to WANT to be free. Once we have a good
enough coverage of the API, we don't care what MS does. From this
perspective, I can't see how MS can control the Unix desktop.

I think Wine is quite underestimated. At a global level, people 
invested unthinkable sums of money to train people into knowing 
it (and yeah, I've heard the arguments with MFC/Mono/etc,
but all these are related to Win32 one way or another, so they
fall into the same basket). If we are to kill MS and move people
to Linux, the benefit that Wine brings to the global economy is
huge. But we have to know to leverage it. I think a WIDE project
make sense, not sure if it's politically viable. Only starting
work on it will tell. Maybe post 1.0 :)


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