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

Vitaliy Margolen wine-devel at kievinfo.com
Tue Jan 24 10:20:56 CST 2006

Tuesday, January 24, 2006, 2:06:06 AM, Joachim von Thadden wrote:
> Dear developers and all others reading this list,


> 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.

The problem with this as I see, is that we as Wine developers creating
an environment of one kind. And these "tools" almost totally override
that environment.

> 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!

This is not the case anymore. But not thanks to winetools. We never get
enough testing of these parts from users. Because they've been told to
install m$ components to make anything to work.

> 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.

I'm not aware of any limitations that mfc, vb-runtime and mdac places on
the system. In fact most of these components are identical in all windows
versions. Also don't forget that now Wine is more win2k like then win9x.

> 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.

How often do you guys check if a piece of software can be installed on
Wine as-is? Without any additional configuration or native components?
The point and click user have to know what they are clicking on, or not
be presented with the bad choices. With the way it is _ALL_ new times
visiting http://www.winehq.org/site/download have an impressions that
winetools are the absolute requirement and download and install them.

I can't tell how many times I had to tell the user to vipe their ~/.wine
dir and start from scratch _not_ using winetools because what they want
to run does not require anything that winetools install.

Also I don't see any post from you or Sven about these problems in the
bugzilla. How do we know that there are any problems?

> 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.

Well yeah, you just riding on the back of Wine. As I mentioned before,
every single person visiting download page thinks that winetools are
something mandatory.
Can we see some of those responses? I really like too see what programs
run and don't run with and without winetools. Also please redirect all
those users to appDB. We need information there available for everyone to
see, not in your e-mail box (no offence).

> 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.

There should be _no such software_. The winetools have to setup
environment in a such a way that it is unified! If you saying that all
you did is tinkered with lots of stuff to get few applications to work,
this in not good. Wine is not cedega designed to run games and games
only. That just proves my point that environment you have setup with
winetools is less flexible and more restrictive then Wine itself.

>> 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>

I first would like to ask you if this is the standard response time? If
Wine changes something big that brakes Wine, how long will that take for
you or Sven to fix winetools?

>> 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
> applicable.

Installing without any kinds of alterations to the Wine have to be
_mandatory_ and should be the default option. As far as bug reports -
the information collected have to cover each field in bugzilla and
provide enough information for developers. But wait, it's useless if any
of the native components were used. Because that would be the first
replay on the bug report - remove any native components and try again.


>> 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 don't imply that any one have to be in #winehq all the time. The
problem here, is that all users of winetools don't share information in
any way. Because they are not directed to do so. And most don't know what
they are doing on Linux anyway. I've seen big numbers of first time Linux
users that immediately grabbed winetools and installed IE because they
wanted to have something "familiar" on Linux (btw about 75% of those were
running as root).
But then when they wanted to install something more usefull (a game, or
some office program, they couldn't). No one on #winehq channel uses
winetools or advertises them. But that channel is the firs place most
people go for help _now_.

And just the volume of the users with different problems but all related
to winetools tells me that something is not right...

Also all the how-tos and any other instructions on the www.winehq.org or
any other place on the Internet written for vanilla Wine and not
winetools. So if something doesn't work your users are stranded (same as
they are on windows - no one will help them, because that's the
environment you've setup).

>> 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...

I'm still really want to see this particular link removed from the
download page and possibly moved to wiki page. This link in such a
prominent place that every single person things that it's a mandatory for
running Wine. Especially the way description is worded.

I think it's really silly for Wine trying to be the pure replacement of
windows and yet advertise such a utility that clearly undermines
development in number of critical areas.


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