RFC on our new initiative

Jeremy White jwhite at codeweavers.com
Tue Jan 20 13:56:46 CST 2004

> "We are confident that Wine has matured to the point that CrossOver will
> run 95% of all Windows applications by the end of 2005."
> Uh, guys, are you sure that isn't over-optimistic? I mean, it seems that Wine is moving
> faster than ever before and that's great, but do you have any
> hard facts or statistics to back up that claim?

Uh oh.  I knew someone would call me on that <grin>.

Actually, this did seem to be a bit over the top, but if you
think about it, it doesn't seem all that unreasonable.  
Wine right now runs a pretty amazing number of applications,
and it runs many genuinely hard ones.  Further, note that I
didn't say it would run 95% of all apps *perfectly*.  That, I
think, is too much.

I think back to 23 months ago when Wine barely could run MS Office,
and where we've come to from there, and I think it's doable.
I think it's particularly doable if Desktop Linux continues to
accelerate and we get a bunch more help to make it happen...

I also have a crazy dream of buying thousands of MS Windows
titles, locking Aric in room until they all install, and then
nailing them all to the floor with CXTest.  I think this
is conceivable (except for the part where Aric goes crazy and
bludgeons his way out of the room with his laptop <grin>).  And,
I would argue, if were to truly make an effort to get every
application to install and come to the main menu, we could make
my prediction come true.  I just need a bit more money, and a secure
enough room to hold Aric...

> I'm also a tiny bit concerned that the site seems to blur its focus a bit
> - it seems to be positioned as a replacement for the appdb, despite the
> fact that it's CrossOver specific: I think there's enough forkage between
> CX Office and Wine now to make them basically separate products. 

Yah.  This is a tricky one.  We're genuinely motivated primarily
by a desire to see Wine fly.  However, we are also required by
our spouses and physical law to make enough money to eat.

C4 is intended as a community primarily surrounding CrossOver,
although the carry over to Wine is obvious.  Essentially,
the C4 community becomes another benefit of buying Wine from us,
rather than simply downloading it for free.

So, yes, it is intentional that C4 is focused around CrossOver.

But I am concerned about the impact this will have on the
appdb.  I didn't really want to step on the toes of anyone
that has been working on the appdb; that's a hard and largely
thankless job.  But I still believe in the original
vision of the appdb (that's why I paid Jer to build it);
I just think its going to work better in a context where
it has a chance to pay for itself, so I can afford to pay
someone the dirty job of keeping it up to date.

> Possibly there's something I'm missing here, like CXTest. Something like that 
> sounds invaluable for tracking regressions if it works well, and maybe it's the
> secret sauce. I'm not sure.

Well, we're just making this up as we go <grin>, so I expect things
to evolve and grow.  Further, we do think that CXTest is going to
add a meaningful and useful component to this.  If nothing else,
I'm hoping that CXTest will let us 'lock' applications in so that
once they start working right, we can prevent them from regressing.

Again, the primary purpose of C4 is to give our customers somewhere
meaningful to go when they want to work on an app that is outside
of our 'supported' list.  People can either put their money or
their time where their mouth is, or stop bugging me <grin>.

As an aside, we have started working on a new policy of patch
submission.  We had always held an internal tree, worked against it,
and then submitted a delta after a release.  The merging started
to become unmanageable, and so we've switched policy so that
(ostensibly) all of our guys submit patches here first, and then
we merge into CrossOver frequently.  Once we get going with
C4 and CXTest, this should have the nice side effect that Wine
will get a regression testing tool and a company to run said
regression tests every night.  (Our goal is to be able to
pinpoint the exact patch that breaks half-life <grin>).

> Finally (sorry guys! :) the FAQ lists the first advantage of C4 over the appdb as
> the fact that it's maintained, but the cynic in me can't help noting that if you're
> capable of maintaining C4 you'd be capable of doing the same for the appdb ;)

But we don't get paid to maintain the appdb, and if we did maintain
it, we'd encourage people to *not* buy CrossOver, imho.  We do get paid
by people who buy CrossOver, and we've hopefully given them a reason
to be glad that they chose to give us their dollars.

> I know I'm giving you a hard time here, and while I really appreciate all you're doing
> I thought I'd better air my concerns.

I appreciate the concerns; I really appreciate that you looked
it over carefully and took the time to raise your concerns.

We're genuinely trying to figure out the best way forward, and we want
to do what's best for everyone involved.  

As a result, we're very open to suggested changes.



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