X86/PPC linking (was Re: [Darwine] Re: Wine Emulation: Swapping functions)

Jim White jim at pagesmiths.com
Fri Aug 27 05:37:35 CDT 2004

Mike Hearn wrote:

>> This is the more general project that has emerged from my initial idea 
>> for Darwine, namely X86/Linux binary compatibility for OS X.  
> Hmm, what is that useful for? Nearly all software for Linux is open 
> source and can be ported or sometimes simply recompiled for any given 
> platform. Do you have any particular programs in mind for this ability, 
> or is it just for the cool factor?

Your knowledge of porting is evidently limited.  The folks at the Fink 
project would be surprised to learn that what they're doing is simple.

For starters there is Wine.  Although X86/Darwin should work fine (as 
I'm guessing the loader is not needed), obviously working with your 
preferred platform will help with compatibility questions.  Beyond that 
there are plenty of other applications that are dependent on ELF in 
various ways making porting anything but simple.

When you realize that there can be more than a little gap between what 
users' want and can do for themselves and what developers' are 
interested in and actually do (and when they do it), it is very easy to 
understand why being able to run a supported-and-tested binary RPM can 
be hugely preferrable to creating yet-another-port of an application. 
So even though Mac OS X's popularity ensures that most useful 
applications will be ported and supported, the number of applications 
that fall into the gap is plenty big enough.

Jim White

More information about the wine-devel mailing list