Windows version autodetection

Roderick Colenbrander thunderbird2k at
Mon Dec 22 05:54:25 CST 2008

> > On Sunday 21 December 2008 07:48:58 pm Damjan Jovanovic wrote:
> >> The heuristic isn't "app works on this Windows version", it's "app is
> >> designed for this Windows version".
> >
> > Should that matter? Plenty of Win95 apps will work in WinXP.
> ... because WinXP has such a version heuristic already in place?
> I think it's perfectly possible to do an heuristic which is sometimes  
> useful, but never harms. As already mentioned, the age of the  
> installer/installed files is such a data point: Apps written in 1996  
> are never ever designed to run on WinXP. It's a matter of being  
> conservative enough.

The way Windows solves application compatibility is way, way, way more involved then a date check or checking the build id an app. Basically microsoft ships its own 'appdb' which contains the windows version an app wants to see and in general much, much more things. For instance their appdb allows windows to override the return values of functions, it can fake the presence of certain files/directories/registry keys, it can perform memory hacks and so on.

Adding an automatic mechanism to Wine creates much more issues thant it solves. If someone wants to create something like this the best thing would be to have a proper appdb which can somehow be exported to lets say a xml file. Just look for a page on windows application compatibility / shim engine and you see how huge it is. ( for instance see the application management console shot there)


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