Some economic analysis of Apple's move to x86

Scott Ritchie scott at
Sat Jun 11 13:40:01 CDT 2005

On Sat, 2005-06-11 at 16:37 +0100, Mike Hearn wrote:
> On Thu, 09 Jun 2005 11:59:59 -0700, Scott Ritchie wrote:
> > In short, Apple's move is nothing short of a tremendous potential boon.
> The alternative analysis is that it's bad, as it'll mean people porting
> their apps from Win32 to the Mac APIs using Wine, and not Linux. Porting
> proprietary apps from one proprietary platform to another is sorta not the
> point in my view. Wine isn't an end, in other words - it's a means.

If it works for Wine on Mac, why wouldn't it work for Wine on Linux?
Maybe if they do some sorta half-baked frankenstein port mixing APIs,
but in that case all Wine did was reduce the expense of porting to Mac,
rather than raise the expense of porting to Linux.  Such a port,
incidentally, would mean Wine was missing a key part of the Windows API,
and extending Wine rather than converting to use the Mac APIs may be a
lot more efficient.

> By the way, this already happens. I've worked with one small game
> publisher who porting their Windows app to Linux first, but never released
> it, and then onto the Mac which was released. This is entirely without
> Wines intervention but it does reveal a problem we have in the community.
> We don't want this to get any worse than it already is.

Not releasing a working port is...a strange business decision.  Linux
ports don't have to be particularly friendly to generate a return - look
at how difficult Neverwinter Nights and Doom 3 were, for example.  Those
two games basically had a small readme file telling people how to rip
files indirectly off the CD and manually apply patches in the console -
they also went rather unsupported.  If that kind of a hackjob of a Linux
port can still make those games popular (and, indeed, generate sales),
imagine what a program with a working Wine-based installer can do.

In other words, if the game is working using Wine in Linux, or with an
internal port, what on earth does an ISV have to lose by releasing it?

> Anyway. All this is being/has been discussed inside Codeweavers. I am
> resigned to being basically the only one who doesn't care and/or thinks
> it's bad. We'll see where this goes.
> thanks -mike

Well, the good news is that whatever it means our strategy in the coming
months is still the same - make Wine a damn fine piece of software for

Scott Ritchie

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