Wine, WIDE & Unix (was: Support for pkgconfig)

Francois Gouget fgouget at
Sat Apr 26 23:47:00 CDT 2003

On Sat, 26 Apr 2003, Dimitrie O. Paun wrote:

> On April 25, 2003 04:53 pm, Francois Gouget wrote:
> > > So, can someone please tell me a *single* advantage of having KDE & QT
> > > as the GUI platform for Linux vs. having WIDE?
> >
> > I mentioned many but you seem to be conveniently ignoring them.
> No, I'm not ignoring anything. You referred to KDE/QT/GNOME/GTK,

You are ignoring:
 * portability to non x86 platforms: PowerPC, Sparc, 64bit issues,
endianness issues, etc.
 * portability to non Linux platforms such as Solaris and *BSD
 * the issue of exactly which graphical API is going to be used. Pure
Win32 or do you have some higher level toolkit in mind?
 * maturity of Win32 on non-Windows non-x86 platforms

> I argued precisely against KDE/QT. Once again, I think it is
> unacceptable to have our _platform_ (not apps) covered by the GPL.

Yes, that would tend to put Gtk (LGPL AFAIK) in a better position for
commercial development.

> Yes, QT is licensed under QPL as well -- go read it, you can't develop
> commercial stuff on it unless you pay the Trolls money,

More accurately you can either keep your source private and then you
have to use the QPL, or you have to put your software under the GPL. But
I agree many companies may prefer to use the QPL.

> its puts them in a monopolistic position.

Only as far as commercial companies are concerned. Under the GPL
license, anyone can fork QT.

> I hate to say this, I like KDE, I've used it for years, but if it were
> to kill GNOME, it will kill Linux with it.

Seems like a good argument for supporting Gnome.

> You see, that's my problem -- it's not yet another toolkit, it's the
> toolkit witch is used by the vast majority of the software out there.
> OLE and COM may suck, but it's the standard used by most software.

So you're saying Linux developpers should abandon Gnome/Gtk and KDE/QT
and instead develop using Win32+OLE+COM? I'm not criticizing, I'm trying
to clarify because in one of your previous email I had the impression
that you advocated development against a Win32-based Gtk API.

What about graphical applications? In the Windows world most
applications don't use Win32 directly for the GUI. Should we provide an
LGPL implementation of MFC?  Implement a replacement for Visual Basic? A
binary compatible one?

Or do you just want to provide the Win32 implementation and let
commercial apps provide their own framework in the form of MFC dlls and
Visual Basic runtimes?

What API would open-source developpers use for WIDE applications?

> We can't make our apps interoperate in our small universe. But if you
> look at the larger picture, how do you make all software interoperate?
> Tell me it wouldn't be cool to be able to run Word under Wine, and embed
> Gnumeric in it, instead of Excel. Now that's what I call interoperability.

Yes it would be very cool. I am far from being an expert on OLE/DCOM but
I have been told that it may be feasible. Probably a heck of a lot of
work though.

What we need is better OLE/DCOM support in Wine and to bridge that
implementation with whatever Gnome is doing for application integration
(or with KPart for KDE).

But AFAICS what's needed is much smaller in scope from what you propose
with WIDE.

Other questions so I better understand:
 * are you proposing source-level compatibility or binary level
 * if it is source level, does it mean modifying gcc to support the
Visual C++ COM extensions?
 * how do you propose to handle the issue of drive letters?

Francois Gouget         fgouget at
                     Linux: the choice of a GNU generation

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