today's git broke winetricks gecko :-(

Ben Klein shacklein at
Mon Nov 16 17:30:04 CST 2009

2009/11/17 Jacek Caban <jacek at>:
> I can see three types of Wine users:
> - regular users
> They use Wine packages that should guarantee presence of Gecko (as Wine
> dependency or in Wine package, depends on packagers preferences). The
> current situation will probably force packagers to do the right thing <g>
> - Wine developers
> I'm surprised how many developers are affected by this change. It means that
> developers were not aware of the right way to install Gecko (probably
> because winetricks is too good :-) ). I'm sure it will change now.
> - Users who compile Wine themselves
> Well... the information about proper Gecko installation is easy to find and
> it's pointed on every wineprefix creation. They should survive as long as
> they read what's .
> Given that, I think this change will force changes that will allow us to
> forget about the problem soon.

You're missing a type of user that has been quite vocal on this thread:
- Users who have no need for Gecko
These are "regular users" who don't use applications or games that
require MSHTML/Gecko/IE6/whatever. They don't view .chm files either,
and most of them don't run the test suite. This group has been
completely forgotten in the decision to force Gecko.

OK, so you can hit "Cancel" to stop the download. This is *not*
satisfactory. As it is at the moment, Gecko sits half-way between an
opt-in and an opt-out system. It should be made one or the other -
either force it to be installed (by all package maintainers) on first
install and then have it optionally removed *without* causing a stupid
pop-up box saying it's missing, or have a button in winecfg or similar
that downloads it if it is missing.

As the maintainer of WineHQ's Debian packages, I have produced a new
wine-gecko-1.0 package for use with 1.1.33, something that I was
considering for a long time. However, I refuse to force the Wine
package to depend on it because this wine-gecko-1.0 package doubles
the required download (7.8MB wine-gecko-1.0, 7.8MB wine 1.1.33
package). I realise that this will not be required to download on
every upgrade, but I also can't predict when wine-gecko releases are

Currently, the wine-gecko-1.0 package I have produced depends on Wine.
I may need to rethink this to cater for user groups 2 and 3 above.

Furthermore, I have not yet packaged earlier versions of wine-gecko
for use with earlier versions of Wine, but I believe I have had the
foresight to think of this potential situation. This is in direct
contrast to the obviously low about of thought that went into the
change to how Wine downloads Gecko.

2009/11/17 Jacek Caban <jacek at>:
>> You can't *force* the creation of packages which would likely fail to
>> meet the requirements for inclusion into Debian's main archive. Even if
>> I didn't think the package's build system is a problem, the ftpmasters
>> likely would.
> Then I can't see better solution for Debian users than downloading Gecko on
> wineprefix creation. It's not perfect, but we don't have much choice.

It shouldn't even be an option. What's wrong with adding an opt-in
button to "winecfg"?

The rigidity of proponents of the "new way" is disheartening. The
feeling coming across is "this way is better for everyone because we
say it is". If this was something like, e.g., my decision to not
separate OpenGL from the core Wine package, it wouldn't be a real
problem (OpenGL support is used by the majority of Wine users, and
takes up very little space in the binary distrobution), but it's not.
Gecko is purely optional (although not recommended, "winetricks ie6"
does get some apps working where Gecko doesn't), and quite large.

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