[lostwages] Remove winetools from download page

Joseph Garvin k04jg02 at kzoo.edu
Fri Dec 23 18:46:52 CST 2005

James Hawkins wrote:

>encourage peer review.  We value bug reports, comments, suggestions,
>and criticisms, whether good or bad, so that we can make wine a better
>application.  Your comments infer that the developers aren't
>interested in making wine easier for the end user, or that we are too
>'hardcore' to realize that wine may be hard to use.  The latter is
>possible, but the former is completely untrue.  We take usability
>reports very seriously, and increasing usability is a top priority. 

I do think that often developers are so technical minded that things 
that seem obvious to them are definitely not obvious to the average 
user. I peek at the KDE usability mailing list sometimes, a project more 
obviously focused on usability, and they can be just as terrible about 
it :) I didn't mean to rag on the wine developers, it's just that up to 
this point I don't think usability is an area of wine that has had a lot 
of work done on it. I'm not saying you wouldn't respond to usability 
complaints, but I think it should be apparent that in its current state 
wine would suffer from a low usability score.

>The only problem is that we don't get those types of reports as often
>as we should.  One reason why we don't get these reports is because
>users have winetools to make wine easier.  They don't run wine
>directly, configure wine with winecfg, and stumble over any usability
>issues.  That is why this issue began in the first place.
This is true to some extent but I don't think wine is to the point yet 
where you could get meaningful usability reports from users. I think 
wine developers can quite easily on their own apply the "does the user 
have to open a terminal to use and configure wine" litmus test. To do 
usability testing you have to have an interface that the usability of 
can be tested. Wine has winecfg, but the average user can't even get to 
that interface to test it.

>Speaking specifically to you Joseph, I've checked through the
>wine-devel and wine-users mailing list archives for reports of
>usability issues from you, but this is the first one.  The
>constructive thing to do would be to politely report your problems on
>the wine-devel list, or even file bug reports for them.
Well I hadn't really thought a lot about wine usability until this came 
up on the list =) I think I will.

>On at least KDE and Gnome, alt-f2 will bring up a run dialog, type
>winecfg and press enter.  Even if winecfg was only usable from the
>command line, that doesn't count against usability.  If that were the
>case, many well-known command line applications would be considered to
>have poor usability.
Many command line applications /do/ suffer from poor usability. I would 
never expect the average user to make use of them. Each command has its 
own fairly arbitrary single letter shorthands for a variety of switches, 
with no consistency between command line apps. Even to have a command go 
recursively through a directory isn't consistent, sometimes it's -r 
other times -R. I don't consider the command line to be usable by the 
average user at all. Having to type "man command" and read through 
several pages of documentation before being able to perform simple 
actions doesn't qualify as intuitive. That said, the command line is 
very useful and powerful -- for power users.

>>and you can launch a wine application that asks the user what windows
>>app they would like to run or make shortcut to so they don't have to use
>>terminal there either, /then/ maybe there can be some usability discussion.
I don't think winefile does what I described.

>>And then maybe it would be appropriate to remove winetools.
>Please re-read the posts.  No one is advocating removing winetools,
>only the link to the winetool's download from winehq.org.
Err, that's what I meant. I was unclear, sorry.

Again, I don't mean to insult anyone. I think wine is progressing at a 
breakneck pace and that it's an awesome piece of software. But I think 
removing winetools, a utility that helps to compensate for a current 
lack of wine usability, maybe unwise until wine can adequately replace 
it. I would at least set this criteria:

-.Desktop files for winecfg in all binary packages

Because without that I don't think removing winetools will cause an 
increase in usability feedback.

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