Countering arguments against Wine

Dan Kegel dank at
Sat Oct 30 09:28:05 CDT 2004

Holly Bostick wrote:
> I've got Wine running, and installed several programs I was familiar 
> with under Windows, mostly to perform tasks that I couldn't figure out 
> how to do under Linux, but which I either knew how to perform using 
> Windows apps, or could find HOW-TOs for that specified Windows apps. I 
> find that it doesn't necessarily "feel strange" or at least as strange 
> as I might have imagined. What mostly feels strange is the complications 
> of getting the program started in the first place (having to cd to the 
> application folder to run wine <program_name> from a terminal, or having 
> to write a little start script in order to make a panel shortcut to it).

Man, oh, man is that strange for the average Windows user.

> Once the program is running, though, it doesn't "feel" strange at all; 
> after all, the reason I'm running it is most likely because I'm familiar 
> with it. This of course, assumes that the program in question runs well 
> under Wine, which we will assume for the sake of this discussion, if you 
> don't mind ;-) .

I suspect that the drive letters being different adds a bit of runtime
strangeness.  And then there's a good chance that integration between
Windows apps and native Linux apps will suffer.  Finally, in all but
the best-supported apps, Wine still has problems with lesser-used
corners, and has subtly different appearance, if I'm not mistaken.

> Maybe that's what you (and I) mean by "feeling strange", but since I'm 
> not sure what causes this feeling, I am not certain that migrating XP 
> users, who are used to and have no complaints with XP functionality but 
> rather are migrating because they don't like the Windows security model 
> (or lack therof)-- meaning, for practical reasons such as increasing 
> cost for less value, rather than philosophical ones such as a deep 
> objection to Windows' design philosophy or business practices-- would 
> feel the same way after switching to Linux.

The great majority of Windows people will hate the entire idea of switching.
They don't care about Linux in the least.
They aren't switching 'because of' anything other than
a) the computer was cheaper with Linux, or
b) their company is switching to Linux.
In either case, they expect their computer to Just Work Like It Did Before,
and my suspicion is that a mixed system of Linux and Windows apps running
under Wine will always have more glitches of one sort or another
than a full set of native Linux apps.

> If I come up with a "better" reason #2, I'll let you know ;-) .

Please do!
- Dan

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