Questions about Wine explorer.exe desktop work

Joel Holdsworth joel at
Fri Jun 10 23:07:25 CDT 2016

Dear All,

I've been watching AJ's work on improving wine when running in desktop
mode with respect to the task bar and start menu. I was wondering what
the motivation for this work was? but it's a cool feature whatever the

I'm also interested in the work the ReactOS guys have been doing on
reactos and shell32.

To my understanding, in the last couple of years, the reactos team have
expended quite some effort to faithfully replicate the behavior of
shell32+explorer as seen in XP and Server 2003. This diagram shows how
all the undocumented shell32 COM objects fit together:

I was interested to see if reactos explorer.exe could run in wine, and
it fails because it doesn't have the undocumented shell32 StartMenu or
TaskBar COM objects.

Look at AJ's patches it looks like Wine's start menu and task bar are
being done in an ad-hoc way in explorer.exe; not trying to replicate
shell32 COM objects.

According to this document:
, it seems that reactos forked shell32 in 2007. And from browsing the
code, it seems a lot of it is now written in C++.

It would be cool if the reactos could be moved off their fork back onto
wine's version, but it seems like their shell32 might be ahead of wine's
in some places.

I wanted to ask suggest/ask if it would be a good idea to import or
base-off-of the ROS shell32 code, convert it to C and use that for the
new desktop code? It seems to me that the architecture would more
closely match windows, so the ROS and Microsoft explorer.exe would then
run on Wine. Also this would move us towards having the ROS and Wine
explorer.exe and shell32 merged - and the ROS guys seem to care quite a
lot about that stuff, so it would be good to unite the two project's

Best Regards
Joel Holdsworth

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