A generic question...

Dimitrie O. Paun dpaun at rogers.com
Sun Feb 22 10:54:36 CST 2004

On February 22, 2004 09:52 am, jiangyi178 wrote:
> What is WINE project's role in future Linux programming? Will WINE/WineLib
> be so powerful that
> it will be the mainstream of Linux programming? Or it will remain part of
> Linux programming culture, but not
> the main stream?

This is a question of policy rather than technology, and as such
everybody has their opinion on it. My personal take on the situation
is that I would like to make Win32 a first-class citizen in the
Linux Universe. That is, if you want to create a Linux program,
you should be free to write it either for GTK or Win32, knowing
full well that your end product will integrate perfectly in the
Linux landscape.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing that the Win32 API is a better
API than the GNOME/GTK one. A lot of people claim the other way is
true, and they are probably correct. But beauty is in the eye of the
beholder, and it should be _your_ _choice_ to make, not ours to shove
down your throat. 

I believe that backwords compatibility is paramount, and we have most 
of the planet that knows Win32 inside out. In Romanian we have a saying: 
"The shortest way is the known way". In other words, for most people the
most effective and efficient way to get a job done is to use what they 
know. It's a reasonable thing to do. That is why our attempts to push 
Perl as the scripting language for our conformance tests failed: it is 
much easier for me to write a little more verbose test in C, rather then
learn Perl to do. 

Learning how to use another huge environment like GNOME is a huge 
undertaking that costs years in training, and unmentionable amounts
of money that make little sense from a business perspective.
As a community (Linux), we should _offer_ an alternative if we think
we can do much better (and this is a discussion on its own that I'm
not going into right now). But the keywork here is alternative.
Our users may have perfectly valid reasons to stick to what they know,
at least for now.

So if we succeed, we'll offer people this alternative. Whether folks
will stick to the Win32 API for the long hall, or will migrate as soon
as possible to the GNONE/KDE/<your pick> API is anybody's guess.


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