Better user feedback and better user experience (idea)

Zachary Goldberg zgold at
Tue Dec 16 21:03:58 CST 2008

2008/12/16 Sander Devrieze <s.devrieze at>:
> Hi,
> One of the reasons why Linux distributions do not want to include Wine
> by default is because compatibility issues may result a bad impression
> of the quality of the OS. Users think Linux sucks because their
> Windows application does not run (as good) under Wine as it does under
> Windows.
> Problem: Windows applications ran by Wine do not always run without
> issues and the user does not know why. Hence, (s)he will think this is
> because Linux is less stable than Windows.
> What do Wine coders think about solving the issue by adding a user
> feedback interface to Wine? It may for instance work like this:
> * By default open a user feedback dialog after the application is
> closed (or crashes). In this dialog, the user will be explained why
> this dialog is shown, and why he might have experienced bugs or
> crashes in the Windows application. The user also can provide text
> feedback and other types of feedback (e.g. a checkbox saying "The
> application crashed").
> * The user has the option to send this information to the Wine project
> by hitting a button. Gathered information will be integrated in the
> Wine application database and can be helpful for Wine coders and
> users.
> Advantages:
> * Users will better understand why their application did not run as
> well on Linux as on Windows.
> * Wine will become more interesting to be actively supported by Linux
> distributors.
> * Users will feel they easily can contribute to the Wine project.
> * The Wine project will receive more feedback.
> Other subidea:
> Create a database with hashes of .exe files. Wine can consult this
> database *before* it executes a Windows binary and provide the user
> with feedback like this: "Remark that 60% of users were not satisfied
> when running this application in this Wine version. Do you want to
> proceed?" Or like this: "This application has these issues: ... Do you
> want to proceed?"
> --
> Kind Regards,
> Sander Devrieze.


This conversation has been had many times before.  Some of the issues
mentioned previously for why this hasn't been done are as follows:

1) User generated crash reports are not always high enough quality to be usable
2) Users capable of putting in the effort to help fix issues generally
already use the AppDB and are indeed helpful.
3) No development area has claimed a need to simply have a ton of
crash dumps or user information in order to help make progress.

The problem is that Wine is developed by first understanding the
problem of a specific function via blackboxing windows with a test and
then making wine conform to that blackbox behavior.  Often which
function to chose is either motivated by a specific application
malfunction that a developer is already working on or just to in
general improve a specific library.  In other words most devs have
lots of itches to scratch already and are working on those.  Simply
throwing more input of the form 'this doesn't work' sadly doesn't help
this form of project most of the time.  To allow users to "Send Error
Report" (in the microsoft sense) would be a sham I think.

Regression tests are very helpful to fix specific problems users face
however most users are not willing to provide that due to


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