When will Wine integrate an x86 CPU emulator?

Jim White jim at pagesmiths.com
Thu Aug 21 21:41:42 CDT 2003

Francois Gouget wrote:
> On Wed, 20 Aug 2003, Ulrich Weigand wrote:
> [...]
>>The only reason for wanting to integrate an emulator into Wine is that this
>>would allow to run the Wine components natively, and only switch to the
>>emulator for executing Windows binaries.
> [...]
> Not only it would be extremely complex but I am not even sure it would
> be more efficient.
> ...
> How does that apply to the emulator case? Well, let's take InflateRect:
> ... 

I don't understand why you put effort into shooting down strawmen.  If 
you are not interested in a version of Wine incorporating an x86 
emulator then that's just dandy.

The point of integrating the x86 emulation is not necessarily to get 
into the interface between Wine and the Windows applications.  The point 
is to avoid a whole layer of OS emulation.  I have no problem even with 
the idea that some of Wine's code remains x86 in order to avoid 
switching modes excessively.

Consider Mac OS X.  Using Wine for x86/Linux means running a second OS 
under emulation and an attendant extra file/device mapping layer.  Also 
while it is obvious that an intermediate stage will be to use X, a 
futher improvement could be to use the native toolkit.

And especially attractive from the x86 emulator's standpoint is the 
ability to identify read-only code resources with defined entry points 
that can be JIT compiled to native code rather than simply interpreting. 
  The opportunities for doing that at the machine level for hosting an 
OS are much more limited.

So while integrating x86 emulation with Wine certainly adds another 
whole set of complexity, the performance gains are easily attained 
because of the reduction in emulation layers which can readily run into 
order-of-magnitude performance penalities in all kinds of places as you 

Anyhow, I realize that the Wine-devel list isn't the most hospitable 
place for these sorts of ideas.  That's why I set up 

And there is no conflict here.  Wine has more than a big enough chunk of 
work carved out for itself, and it is it's sucess there that brings the 
attention from other perspectives with interests in leveraging that 
value into other areas.  We have a strong common interest in free and 
open software.  Otherwise we'ld just buy Windows (and for Mac OS X, 
Virtual PC).

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