docu update

Geoff Thorpe geoff at
Sat Jun 19 14:01:31 CDT 2004

On June 19, 2004 01:37 pm, Alexandre Julliard wrote:
> > way towards cutting the number of non-developers building from source
> > down to zero.
> I don't see why that should be a goal at all. You guys need to get rid
> of the mindset that building from source is some 1337 thing that mere
> mortals are not supposed to do. There are plenty of legitimate reasons
> for users to build from source, and we need to make sure it works for
> them. That's why for instance the configure script is checked into
> CVS; it is of course heresy to put generated files in CVS, but it lets
> users build without having to fight the autoconf tools. It's for the
> same reason that we have wineinstall. Of course I'm all for improving
> the binary packages, but it doesn't avoid the need to also support
> source builds.

Excellent, I'm glad this was said. One only has to look at the swing away 
from binary-distributions as a case in point - people *want* to eliminate 
unknown layers of patches, packaging, and divergence from the "real" 
thing. The original source, as distributed from the project itself, is 
the only sure way to get the same version of the code that is used (and 
thus, tested) by its authors. It is also the only way to know it tried to 
adapt itself appropriately to your system. Anything else involves a 
certain blind faith in the black-magic of distribution patching by people 
who are usually *not* authors of the upstream packages. Moreover, unless 
you pay for commercial support then you are pretty much obliged to use 
the unmodified upstream code if you want to have a meaningful discussion 
with other users/devs about problems or questions you encounter.

Hardly any win32 application runs 100% perfectly under Wine (hell, the 
same can be said on MS-Windows), and Wine is not yet a complete work 
(again, a shared characteristic with the "reference implementation"). 
Under these circumstances, the path of least resistance is surely to 
*encourage* users to be singing out of the same hymn book as the 
development community? I've tried binary wine packages on a few occasions 
and *always* had major problems. Wine, and more importantly the things 
people need to do with it, are not yet at the point where binary packages 
can just drop-and-go and maintain a clean separation between users and 
developers. In this respect, I find the Wine build system extremely 
impressive. autoconf et al are not the kindest of tools and Wine has no 
shortage of environmental challenges, yet the source tree seems to be 
very solid and clean base for people to work with.

Geoff Thorpe
geoff at

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