[Fwd: WineTools is in need of some major house cleaning!]

Joachim von Thadden thadden at web.de
Tue Jan 24 03:06:06 CST 2006

Dear developers and all others reading this list,

from Sven Paschukat I was informed about the discussion of removing the
WineTools link from the winehq website. I read all remarks made to that
hotly discussed topic and I am willing to tell you all a bit about the
purpose and history of WineTools as well as I will answer the questions
made by Tom Wickline. So this will be a little longish mail and I beg
your pardon for that and hope you have enough patience to read it all.

To start from the beginning, I took over the remainings of a project
winetools initially started by Frank Hendriksen <frank at frankscorner.org>
which was somehow orphaned. The very reason I did that was that in
autumn 2004 I had to write an article in the well known German computer
magazine c't. After fiddling with wine for a long time only to install a
stable IE6 or Office, I found that it was so absolute complicated to
describe all the steps needed only to install the IE6 (which is much
better now) and that also following these steps was very erroneous, that
I started to rewrite the winetools script for the readers of this

I never meant it to become so famous and wide spread, but the download
statistics after only two month showed me that there was a massive
demand for such a tool. So this is how it started and it shows very
clearly that it was always an installer to make certain important
applications easily usable under Linux. It was never meant for testing
or developing. It was always meant for the end user being able to use
his software.

At the time of the first releases it was almost impossible to install or
work with many applications without using native DCOM and/or many of the
builtin DLLs that come with the IE6. To find a configuration for as many
apps as possible was one of the goals. Not to force users (with very low
skills) to have many different wine installations *and* many wine user
directories was a second goal. So this is the reason why, until now,
everything in WineTools is based on this native M$ software (DCOM, IE6).
And believe me, no one would be more happy to wipe this DCOM, IE6 and
MSI stuff completely from his harddisk than me!

So as so many programs rely on parts of M$ software (MFC, VB and MDAC
are other important examples) and because to install and use this
software leads to so many restrictions in the wine usage, I had to pin
wine to the emulation of Win98 and also had to massively tamper around
with DLLOverrides. The goal was to built up an environment, that can
install and use as many Windows programs as possible. This did in no way
regard to the fact that it is not very helpful for the wine developers.
It was just a practical decision.

>From time to time, Sven Paschukat and me are testing wine versions to
figure out, whether we can skip some of the M$ stuff. We have not been
very successful with that until now, so this is why there are so many
remainings of the first start of the project in the concept. But again:
This tool is for the average windows user. And believe me, I tested
this with my brothers, who are just normal users. And they never ever
got a piece of windows software running with wine without my heavy
intervention. With WineTools they just need to click on some buttons
and got their software downloaded, installed and configured.

With an amount of many thousand downloads a month, not calculating the
distribution inclusions of WineTools, I get almost the same number of
direct mails about problems with the software as are coming into the
list. And I get massive positive resonance from users who were for a
long time trying to get their stuff running with plain wine and are now
happy that it just works with WineTools.

I must admit, that there raise problems out of the fact, that the same
users are trying to install not WineTools-tested software with the setup
of WineTools and coming then to the list. And your are right that this
is an undebuggable situation. The only way around that is to smoothly
migrate WineTools to more and more builtin features as long as this does
not make the programs uninstallable or unusable.

> Betreff: WineTools is in need of some major house cleaning!
> Datum: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 03:31:43 -0500
> Von: Tom Wickline <twickline at gmail.com>
> An: wine-devel <wine-devel at winehq.org>
> Hello Everyone,
> Anyone who reads the posting on this list already knows that I stood up for
> the wineTools project and almost made a couple enemies... But me and Vitaliy
> came to a half way agreement on whether or not we should keep the link
> on our downloads page to WineTools....
> I feel I need to ask a couple questions here about the future of WineTools.
> 1) Are the concerns that Vitaliy brought up being looked into?

Sven Paschukat suggested to implement a mode for WineTools to install
without native components and without that tampering in the registry.
This allows automatic installations *and* insight for developers if
something goes wrong. We can also add a debugging mode to enable the
logging of wines debug channels, to make a mailable report of bugs.
Also the other suggested corrections will be looked over and changed if

> 2) On sourceforge there are still downloads of version 1.30 from
> December 3, 2003 why is this? and do you plan to cancel this project
> or at least update it?
> sourceforge site: 
> http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=61341
> 3 )Freshmeat list WineTools latest version at 2.1.0 and last updated 1
> year, 4 months ago
> do you plan to update this site and list new versions as there released?
> http://freshmeat.net/projects/winetools/?branch_id=51159&release_id=164227

I personally had never anything to do with these versions. The one on
Sourceforge is Frank Hendriksen's. He was already contacted by Sven
Paschukat to remove the project, but Sourceforge does not allow to
remove projects. So instead he already pointed a link to the official
WineTools site. I don't see what we can do more here.

The one on Freshmeat was taken over and is maintained by Sven Paschukat.
Also Freshmeat does not allow the removal of projects. But Sven will
update the versions there and we will try to keep it uptodate. We might
also move the whole download section to Freshmeat to unburden my
download server.
> 4) Could the maintainers of WineTools help new users in #winehq on
> irc? or start a new channel #wine-tools (or something to that effect)
> and help WineTools users? Can you list either the #winehq channel or a
> new channel on your site and ask experienced users to help new users?

I am very astonished about this request. If you look through the mailing
list you will find, that Sven and me are already giving support on the
wine-users mailing list. That we will not and can not maintain a channel
should be clear as we are not earning our money by looking at channels.
Also the demand by Vitaly to provide rapid fixes to requests on such a
channel or the list is something that can be only meant as a joke!!! If
Vitaly is a man of independent means it is nice for him but we are a
free time project and can only work for WineTools, as the name suggests,
in our *free* time. And we have also a family, friends, mistresses and
other hobbies...

> I am not trying to be critical..... I hope winehq keeps the link to
> your project but you guys may need help more on winehq, and also keep
> information sites more up to date for this to take place. and also
> look in to  Vitaliy's concerns.

Well, we also do not like winehq to remove the project's link. As for
the support I already wrote a line above about that. Note that there is
a massive amount of users using Wine via WineTools. Almost all users
coming from Windows are using this software if they like to use their
programs. This might lead to more and more end user questions on the
list. As a possible solution for that, if you think this gets the upper
hand, I would suggest to have a new mailing list wine-winetools and to
redirect all users to that one. We will propagate then this list in the
readmes and on the WineTools sites. And for sure we will sit on this
list like spiders lurking for our prey...

At least I want to thank all wine developers for their absolute
fantastic work! In my opinion this is one of the most interesting and
most ambitious projects in the community of open source software. And it
really works astonishingly good.

	Joachim von Thadden
"Never touch a running system! Never run a touching system?
          Never run a touchy system!!!"

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