How are we doing?

Mike Hearn mike at
Mon May 29 18:17:21 CDT 2006

As the Summer Of Code begins and new blood joins us all at once,
I thought it'd be a good time to open a discussion on how we are doing as
a project. 

Questions to consider:

 * Is Wine improving or is the regression rate matching the improvement

 * Are we producing a quality product, from the perspective of
   non-technical end users?   (I appreciate this isn't a goal for everyone)

 * Are we turning away potential developers for any reason? Could we do
   more to attract new hackers?

 * Are the projects fundamental processes serving us well?

 * Any other thoughts for improvement?

In case it's not clear, I'm talking about the project as a community
adventure here rather than technical aspects of the codebase.

>From my own perspective I think Wine is doing better than ever before.
What prompted this email is the realisation that in the past few days I've
used Wine nearly every day to run a variety of apps - from games to
utilities - and it's succeeded with every single one. Not always
perfect but always good enough. I am no longer surprised when Wine runs an
app correctly as I was when I first came to the project, these days I
nearly take it for granted. Though this may be due to having developed a
feel for what will work and what won't :)

So clearly we're doing something right ... I also think we are doing OK
with attracting and keeping new hackers. The influx of new Direct3D talent
lately is fabulous for instance. The experiences of our SoC students will
be useful in assessing how to improve the learning curve and we need to
tap this resource better than we did last year.

In other words, I think we're doing pretty well. I feel more
positive about the project that I have done for a long time. It seems like
as Win32 stagnated and slowed down over the past 6 years we've been able
to turn the tide and add our own code faster than Microsoft can, which is
the tipping point.

So areas for improvement?

 * We seem to be doing very well in recruiting hackers who work on one
   particular DLL or area and solidly improve that, but a less well
   when it comes to 'general purpose' hackers who just take random apps
   and make them work. 

   It might just be that I'm out of touch but I don't see as much
   patch traffic these days along the lines of "This patch set fixes
   XYZ app" followed by 6 patches to 6 different DLLs. Discussion on
   IRC/wine-devel is 
 * No clear roadmap to 1.0 - for 0.9 we had Dimis TODO list and it was
   quite satisfying to see them go green as tasks were completed. I guess
   we have a 1.0 TODO list too but I never see any updates to it :(

 * Integration with other projects is still a weak area. Desktop/kernel/X 
   integration could all use some work. I know I know, I'm guilty in
   not doing my bit here too .... maybe I will find my hack-fu returning
   sometime soon and work on the fullscreen patch again :)

 * App specific patches. Well I don't expect policy here to change anytime
   soon but extreme cases like the WoW VMA layout problem which affects
   tons of users do highlight the issue.

 * A few random things I already got into arguments about (forums, libwine
   api etc) :)

What do you guys think? 

thanks -mike

More information about the wine-devel mailing list