SOC Idea: Easy usage of native DLLs in Linux programs

Dan Kegel dank at
Tue Apr 18 16:49:21 CDT 2006

On 4/18/06, Mike Hearn <mike at> wrote:
> The GIMP now has the ability to use Photoshop plugins using Wine. And so on.

As you point out later, Photoshop's plugins are out of process
( so that's
not a good example of the problem you're trying so solve.
(They make the mistake of shipping a winelib executable, but that's
a minor sin.)

> It'd be nice if there was a simple API programs could use to do this, for
> instance, wine_dlopen("whatever.dll"), wine_adopt_thread() and so on to
> make re-use of Win32 components and COM objects easy.
> This has been discussed before and Alexandre wasn't sure it was worth it
> as it'd be a significant extension to the (stable??) Wine APIs

I still think it's an excellent idea, albeit difficult.

> so IMHO
> this one shouldn't be judged on whether it gets checked in or not but
> rather whether it works and how easy it is to use.

I wouldn't put it that way.  I'd continue "and if it clearly makes the world
a happy place, Alexandre will naturally change his mind".

> Thoughts? I know roughly what needs to be done so I could mentor this one,
> but students be warned - it requires _excellent_ understanding of
> operating system design and things like threading. There's a reason such a
> thing doesn't already exist, and it's because it's hard. On the flip side
> it's not a massive amount of code IMHO so the work would mostly involve
> learning, debugging, etc rather than simply being a hard typing slog.

Yep, it would take a special student for this one.

> Such a thing has many uses:
> * Hosting ActiveX controls inside a native Firefox

Now that's an evil use :-)

On the whole, I hope this happens.  It would be an interesting experiment.
- Dan

More information about the wine-devel mailing list