Wine's goals

Francois Gouget fgouget at
Sat Mar 29 20:46:09 CST 2003

I propose the following WineHQ patch to present and clarify Wine's
goals. I'm submitting this to wine-devel first to get a feel of whether
that would be a good addition and whether that sounds reasonable and
accurate enough.

Index: templates/en/about.template
RCS file: /home/wine/lostwages/templates/en/about.template,v
retrieving revision 1.7
diff -u -r1.7 about.template
--- templates/en/about.template	24 Mar 2003 22:49:03 -0000	1.7
+++ templates/en/about.template	30 Mar 2003 02:35:46 -0000
@@ -29,4 +29,70 @@
 <a href="mailto:julliard at">julliard at</a>. For a list of
 current developers, see the <a href="?page=who">Wine Who's Who</a>.</p>

+<h1>Wine's Goals</h1>
+<p>As mentionned in many places, the primary goal of Wine is to make it
+possible to run Windows applications on x86-based Unix systems. But there is
+often confusion as to what this covers. So let's clarify things a bit:
+  <li>Wine does not try to be a better Windows than Windows. What this means
+    is that Wine will not try to extend, improve or 'fix' the Windows API in
+    an attempt to lure developpers into using it. While we think that it is
+    important to provide a way to reuse the legacy Windows applications that
+    are out there, we feel that for new developments there are better APIs
+    than Win32.
+  <li>Wine Is Not a (CPU) Emulator. So no, we will not integrate a CPU
+    emulator in Wine any time soon. However we will do what we can to make it
+    possible to integrate Wine into a CPU emulation environment that would
+    provide the regular Unix services that Wine depends on. In such a scheme
+    both Wine and the Windows application would be run in that environment.
+    Two candidates that come to mind are <a
+    href="">QEMU</a> and
+    <a href="">Dynamite</a> from
+    <a href="">Transitives Technologies</a>.
+  <li>Wine's goal is to provide replacements for just those DLLs and APIs
+    that are needed to run Windows applications. This means that we will not
+    provide replacements for DLLs that are always shipped together with an
+    application. This also means that implementing an API that no application
+    ever uses is not a priority. Similarly, until there are applications out
+    there that use the Win64 API, it will not be a priority. That being said,
+    we will certainly try to keep our options open and to improve our API
+    coverage as we can.
+  <li>Making it possible to use Windows device drivers or VxDs on Unix is not
+    part of Wine's goals. Device drivers don't use the same API that Windows
+    applications do, and run in ring 0 instead or ring 3. To make it possible
+    to use them on Unix, one would have to hack the kernel, implement a
+    completely different API. In other words, this would be a completely
+    separate project. However, if you want to reuse Windows drivers on
+    non-Microsoft operating systems we recommend that you have a look at
+    <a href="">ReactOS</a>.
+  <li>Wine is not an operating system or a desktop environment. So writing
+    device drivers, file or window managers that look like Windows, are not
+    part of Wine's goals. If you are interested in those, the best would be to
+    contribute to the <a href="">Linux</a>,
+    <a href="">FreeBSD</a> or
+    <a href="">ReactOS</a> kernels, or to the
+    <a href="">Gnome</a> or
+    <a href="">KDE</a> desktop environments. You will get
+    the added benefit that your contribution will then be usable by everyone,
+    not just by Wine users.
+  <li>Wine's focus is on Unix operating systems, and to some extent Linux
+    because that is what most of our developpers are using. However we welcome
+    ports to other architectures such as
+    <a href="">ReactOS</a> or
+    <a href="">BeWine</a>, and will try to make
+    it possible for them to reuse as much of Wine as possible. After all,
+    reimplementing the Windows API is a big enough task that it is best if we
+    can all work together on it.

Francois Gouget         fgouget at
        War doesn't determine who's right.  War determines who's left.

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