[Wine][Off-list]Navigating to the upper floor of the /Home directory using Wine.

Joachim von Thadden thadden at web.de
Tue May 24 04:18:04 CDT 2005


I Cc this posting to the list, because it might be interesting for
others to. It is something about the ideas behind WineTools that could
be interesting for the developers also:

Am Fr, Mai 20, 2005 at 03:03:00 +0200 schrieb Holly Bostick:
> I also appreciate the info on WineTools, which, from all that I hear, is
> a lovely program. I'm looking forward to trying it at some point, but
> atm I'm "in the middle of" (quoted because I've just started) a massive
> project testing a huge number of apps (mostly games) under both Cedega
> and several versions of Wine. Since you, among others, consider 20041019
> the last stable Wine, and we both know that it's a wild guess as to what
> Wine version any user who appears on the wine-user's list may in fact
> have installed, it seems prudent to install the apps I'm testing under
> all Wine versions from 20041019 through current. What I'm trying to
> create is some kind of master list--mostly for myself, but I'm happy to
> post it as a web page for the public that may want to run some of these
> as well, as well as (of course) providing any results to the appdb-- as
> to which of the applications/games I normally want to install run under
> what version of what variant of Wine, and what, if any, configuration
> needs to be done to enable said application or game. I am just *soooo*
> tired of switching distros or reinstalling and being back at Square One
> in terms of getting my personal "bog-standard" apps running.
> This project is so immense that it's already management hell without
> adding a new variable (WineTools) to it, but if I can ever actually
> accomplish it, I'd be happy to see how the use of WineTools makes things
> easier or more difficult for me.

Let me say it this way: I already had that "management hell" with
WineTools and the 100 programs I actually added. So I made some
assumptions out of my experiences:

- there is a Wine version that works good
- you may have to "extend" this version from the beginning with native
  dlls to enable as many programs as possible to run, but by that
  breaking the possibility to use Wine without a valid Windows license
  - I personally can stay with that as I have four of them comming with
    every PC and Laptop I bought and did not sell later on
- the next versions may or may not work as good, but out of the next
  6-12 versions (6-12 months) there will be a version as good
- there is a config possible with basic settings that match most
  software that is currently able to run with Wine
- if you can, you can get most software running on individual settings
  by either
  - changing the windows version simulated
  - changing some very few DllOverrides like Common Controls, Twain,
- with the next good version you might need to change the basic config
  and the individual settings, so you will have much work with that!!!

As a result of of these assumptions I decided to follow these rules:
- stay with the good version
- use DCOM98 and IE6 by default until these part are definitely
  completed in Wine
- test month by month the next versions with the software you rely most
  on or you identify to be very important for your project
  - with WineTools this is
    - IE6
    - MediaPlayer
    - Office 2000 and Office Viewers
    - Photoshop
    - Illustrator
    - VirtulaDub (video)
    - X-Lite (audio)
    - Lauge
    - ikMap (last two using parts of IE6)
- if the test fails on one of the products and you can not get a
  solution via changing settings or finding hints in the web you will
  stay with your version
- if you find a good new version you have to make more comprehensive
  tests and have much work to do!!!

Note that after using wine-20031212 for almost nine months I found out
that wine-20040914 was the next version stable enough to use with the
software I need.

> For example, WineTools installs DCOM98 by default, right? This is great,
> because I have at least one game (Pretty Good Solitaire) which I know
> from experience needs DCOM installed and oleaut32 set to native before
> it will run (after which it runs almost perfectly)-- but then that
> spoils my other results, because DCOM is already installed, so I won't
> know which apps/games *don't* need it.

So just stay with it (what I do), because I did not find a software
until now that was harmed by that. *And* you can disable or enable it
in the config on a individual basis. But to inhibit multiple testing I
enabled it by default! So this is easy.

> I'm very happy to take this opportunity to speak to you, though, as I am
> interested in WineTools. I wonder if you have plans to attach WineTools
> to the Wine package (which sounds like it would be a great thing to have

Wine and WineTools will ever be separated as they are very different
products. But most distributions begin to integrate WineTools in their

> happen), and how or if the existence and increasing popularity of
> WineTools affects the Wine documentation... which, no matter what the

As this is not related I think there will be no boost. More than that it
could be that documentation is fading more because of WineTools as it
makes many things for you so you do not have to rely on the
documentation. I hope we will not have this sideeffect. But for sure
that is a problem for me: I need the documentation to make WineTools
work as it does ;-)

> devs say, needs *something*-- witness this whole thread. Even if Robert
> knew of or read the documentation-- which I don't think he has-- how
> would the current docs help him (especially since he probably doesn't
> even know where to find them)?

This is a different question: There are many, many, many users trying to
switch to Linux without changing their programs and without having any
deeper knowledge about Linux at all. This is nothing we have to laugh
about or look down on them, this is something we have to cope with as a
problem to solve! I get many mails from users trying to use WineTools
without having any idea about a command line ("is this that DOS
thing?"). So I wrote WineTools mainly for these users to be able to use
their programs without having to read a documentation. The docu is nice
if you are able to understand it. But there are so many assumptions
about your knowledge in it ("what the hell is a device file?") that I
am in deep doubt whether it is good or bad for linux if someone without
background tries to dig his way through it(**). Yes, it's definitely good
to learn something more about a complex system. But there are so many
users out there that just want to use their system. And yes, I like to
have them switch to linux;-) For them is WineTools.

(**) There was a very tendentious article in the online part of the
leading german political week magazine "Der Spiegel" about linux and
someone trying to run it on a machine with a onboard soft modem.
Everyone with knowledge about linux would say: "Just keep your fingers
off the modem if you don't know enough about linux", but this article
described the myriads of configuration attempts and weeks that the user
spent to solve his problem, failing in the end! This is what
many new comers frustrate on linux. And this is how linux is percepted
often: To be complicated and for experts only.

As of WineTools I have the problem to make it usable as easy as possible
failing at the point where users have to install xdialog and gettext.
That leads to the point where I include parts of these packages in
WineTools which is something like a big "no-no" for an administrator.
Until now the most questions come because of gettext!

> Winecfg is coming... someday (June?)... but what are we supposed to do

Yes, but with Winecfg you have to know what you are configuring. If we
are talking about a nice meal, then Winecfg is the cooking equipment.
WineTools is the restaurant: You can not get everything there, but it is
ready waiting for you, even if you do not know how to make fire!

> until then (and this of course assumes that winecfg works perfectly out
> of the starting gate)? WineTools seems like a great answer to that
> question, but if the docs don't reflect its existence, or how the use

Well if you click "download" on winehq you can find it as the second
entry right beyond the Wine binary packages. If you do not read until
there I think your video recorder is still blinking with 00:00 ;-)

And I think most users find it: After releasing the new 212 version I
had 8000 downloads in four days.

> and configuration of Wine changes due to WineTools, users are left out
> in the cold again unless you personally spend all your time on the list
> helping them out. Which just doesn't seem right ;-) .

This is a good question: Is the docu of WineTools complete or even
comprehensive enough? No, but I thing I will add a FAQ (including this
mail here) to answer some of the questions. And if you are able to
understand the config, than you can just read and interpret it

> I'm sorry to ramble on like this. I just feel that the project needs

Don't excuse, your questions are good and needed and I can understand
them very well! That's why I Cc them to the list.

> some kind of help but I don't quite see what (other than a dedicated
> user documentation team and a lot of publicity). I hope that expressing
> my formless concept to someone who is helping in a 'semi-affiliated'
> way, as you are, might offer a new perspective.

	Joachim von Thadden
"Never touch a running system! Never run a touching system?
          Never run a touchy system!!!"

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