Better user feedback and better user experience (idea)

Scott Ritchie scott at
Tue Dec 16 22:08:13 CST 2008

Sander Devrieze wrote:
> 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?"

Let's be careful about what problem we're trying to solve.

If it's that users blame the distro when it's a Wine problem, then we
can present them with some sort of information before installing (or
perhaps running) Wine.  After that we should get out of the way and let
them use Wine as normal.

If the problem is that we're not getting enough feedback, then a default
feedback nag might not be the best answer either.  Writing an elaborate
system to tell us about known problems isn't particularly helpful;
reports from stable or nonlatest versions would be largely ignored, and
users of the latest beta can be asked to contribute in other ways, such
as on the download page itself.

Remember, it doesn't take much work for us to know that an application
doesn't work - a single bug report can do that.  Once we have that, we
don't need to ask a million other users (literally) for confirmation.

Scott Ritchie

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