Countering arguments against Wine
motub at planet.nl
Sat Nov 6 18:21:45 CST 2004
Mike Hearn wrote:
> As for Cedega/WineX - well, they have a big lead in gaming, but I'd like
> to think that one day Wine will be the swiss-army knife of Windows
> emulation. Regular Wine does have DX support, we should work on that
> rather than be distracted by a pseudo-proprietary fork.
> thanks -mike
I would like that too, actually, and I doubt I'm alone. Did you hear
that TG is now offering a time-limited demo version so you can (finally)
try before you buy? The thing is, this fragmentation of the Wine project
really hurts Wine as a whole, and it just makes me wild.
It's confusing to people who simply want to run their programs. Wine
actually works better than people are led to believe by the general
scuttlebutt. WineX/Cedega does not work as well as TG would have one
believe (not to mention that many users object to the way TG chooses
what individual games to build support for, without regard to other
games of the same class/engine, or fairly often breaking something that
did work under previous versions). Crossover seems to be damn near
perfect-- as long as you stay within its definitions of what it will
deal with (but what it will deal with, it won't screw up in any way
whatsoever, which is more than you can say for the other two variants).
So how are Bob and Betty Newbie (and their kids) supposed to know what
to do when they need to run a Windows program? There's no Big Board to
say "if Program X then do this; if Program Y, then do that." And we all
surely know the consequences of trying to figure out which version of
which Wine variant runs any given application.
And if you can't figure that out, you will have a (very) bad impression
of the project as a whole, which is an argument that cannot be
Amazingly, in this sea of confusion, Wine appears to be the stable(st)
leg. Crossover is a great product, but is not so flexible (on purpose,
no offence intended). Cedega is just not stable; no one knows from
version to version whether something that worked is going to be broken,
no one knows when support for desired things (new or old) is going to
show up; you just pay with a leap of faith-- which many people
understandably object to.
Wine, on the other hand, gives a general impression of moving forward at
all times. Yes, there are regressions; yes, things break that used to
work. But because Wine works on supporting APIs and functions, rather
than specific applications (which policy I support when Crossover does
it, and object to when TG does it), when DX8 applications get working
"perfectly" under Wine, I (as a user) can feel confident that *all* DX8
apps will then work (at least as far as DX is concerned, notwithstanding
quirks of individual apps). Which for me as a user, is much more of a
load off my mind in terms of trying to keep track of how to get whatever
random app I or my family might want to run working, than trying to read
anybody's (or in fact, everybody's) application database(s) to try to
figure out how best to proceed, as I currently must do.
And Wine really does get noticeably better from month to month, which is
quite heartening-- and the fact that the project exudes a sense of
hopefulness is not to be sneezed at. People are confused by many of the
changes, but in case no one has bothered to say, symlinking the drive
paths is *brilliant*. The auto-setup on first run is pretty cool, too.
And I can certainly attest that I have run several programs that are
supposed to work better on WineX (as it was then), which in fact ran
better on Wine (or in fact, ran only on Wine).
Not to mention that WineHQ is the source of all in the first place, and
that to WineHQ we have no ethical objections (as so many do with TG). Oh
yes, I would love to see Regular Wine become the Swiss Army Knife that
it is meant to be, that users expect it to be, and that it deserves to be.
Then we won't have to counter any arguments, because "is Wine a good
thing or a bad thing?" becomes a matter of pure philosophy-- and users
don't have time to argue philosophy, being busy actually getting
something done, using tools that work.
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