Article on wine development strategy

Reece Dunn msclrhd at
Sat Apr 18 03:59:12 CDT 2009

2009/4/18 Kai Blin <kai.blin at>:
> On Saturday 18 April 2009 05:21:20 Dan Kegel wrote:
>> The one that worked out best was to pick some random
>> user who's almost happy, fix the last few bugs that
>> are keeping his apps from working, and then once
>> he's happy, move on to the next such user.
> The problem seems to be identifying these people. The model assumes that you
> can tell which piece of software almost works, and that you know the almost
> happy users. In reality, you only seem to hear from the pretty unhappy users
> and the occasional really happy user. Susan Cragin is about the only user I
> can think of off the top of my head who's almost happy and could be made
> completely happy by fixing all of the remaining bugs in DNS.

You could also pick some games as well. A lot of the Oberon Media
casual games work (probably around 50-60%), but there are bugs in the
launch page that means you don't get a seamless experience. The Game
Socks versions of the games have a seamless experience with the splash
loader (not sure about purchasing games there, though).

Other popular games and games platforms like WoW and Steam will also
help your gamer users.

CodeWeavers are doing this to some extent - now branching out to fix
other applications. There was a big push a while back to get Photoshop

AppDB or something similar is useful for determining the most popular
applications that people are using. This does not cover the users,
though -- a user may be happy with one app, but unhappy with another
because that one is obscure/unpopular (think in-house applications).

> Also, reality has us deal with the fact that new applications are added while
> we're working on the old ones, and looking at the graphs, we're only going to
> make a significant number of users happy when we're about 98% done fixing the
> bugs. I realize that it's a bit hard to model "rate of new applications with
> new bugs being added", but that's what happens in real life.

Not just new applications, but upgrades as well. iTunes is a
constantly shifting landmark, from what I understand. IE6, 7 and 8 use
more of the Windows API. Photoshop only works with earlier versions.
There have been updates to fix Office 2007 SP1 issues.

Some of the major pain points I can see in the future for getting Wine
to run applications are:
  1.  applications that use the newer Windows Vista and 7 APIs -- this
is ok if the application is also designed to run on XP or earlier, but
applications will start targetting XP and later or Vista and later.
  2.  applications that use .NET, WinForms and/or WPF -- these should
be ok on Wine if the Microsoft and/or Mono runtimes can support these.
  3.  applications that start using more (unimplemented or partially
implemented) of the XP and earlier APIs.

So a happy user today could be an unhappy user tomorrow if they try
and upgrade one of their applications. But such is the nature of
playing continual catchup.

- Reece

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