winhelp, Vector NTI, molecular biologists

Damjan Jovanovic damjan.jov at
Mon Sep 3 06:30:57 CDT 2007

On 9/3/07, Misha Koshelev <mk144210 at> wrote:
> Hi everybody,
> So as you all know I've been working on various bug fixes throughout
> wine, with my most significant contributions to date being MSI OLE
> automation support and implementation of http protocol support in
> urlmon. This involvement was driven by my initial experiences of getting
> a key program used by molecular biologists, Invitrogen's Vector NTI, to
> install on wine with a fairly convoluted shell script and submitting my
> first patch to fix a crash with this program; Dan Kegel helped me iron
> out this first patch a lot and furthermore his comments about how it'd
> be nice if such a complicated shell script was not necessary with wine
> got me started with my other patches and the rest, as they say, is
> history.
> So why, you may ask, am I sending all this in an email to wine-devel?
> The short answer is that this is a shameless email to see if I might
> motivate someone to work on our winhelp implementation a bit, as it is
> currently completely useless with Vector NTI. This seems like a fairly
> significant task, and my obligations at school/work have recently kicked
> up quite a bit, making it unlikely I will be able to take it on anytime
> soon. However, I hope to motivate someone with these reasons:
> (i) I feel like I've certainly been doing (and will continue to do) my
> part in helping out wine, and if this in any case motivates someone
> looking for a development direction I would certainly not object; and
> (ii) My ultimate vision/goal has been to have Vector NTI run so well
> that I could approach Invitrogen and see if they might at the very least
> say something to that effect on their Web site ("add wine + linux as a
> supported platform"), if not package Vector NTI a la Google Picassa,
> which would be great publicity for wine. Also, as you can see from the
> comments on my ubuntuforums howto
> for a lot of molecular
> biologists, Vector NTI is the only reason they have to dual-boot/use
> VMWare at all (full-disclaimer: this is not 100% true for myself). So
> you could help perhaps a fairly small but non-insignificant group of
> people by doing some work on winhelp.

Better winhelp is a goal of wine 1.0 (bug 664).

> Although Vector NTI is a rather large set of programs, currently I
> believe the only things keeping it from installing/working to a "gold"
> level according to winehq definitions are (i) winhelp and (ii) either
> MFC42 implementation (required for WSH to install properly; I suppose
> only a few functions prob are really required, but I'm not sure how good
> an idea having a very small stub MFC42 would be) or JScript support in
> wine. Either item in (ii) seems like a very significant undertaking, but
> (i) seems doable and prob. necessary for a lot of apps.

Somebody needs to make a do-nothing-useful app, intended for Windows,
that also installs on wine and supplies each and every DLL that
Windows applications need but we don't have in wine (like MFC42.DLL,
the D3DX9_xx.DLL's, new MSVCRT's, etc.). That way we can legally use
those DLLs without a Windows licence.

> So anyhow just my attempt to influence someone to start working on
> winhelp. Sorry for cluttering your inboxes.

> Misha


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