Why you probably won't see me on WINE

In Mark Shuttleworth's own words:
We need to make a success of our own platform on our own terms. If Linux is just another way to run Windows apps, we can't win.

/. link

I was trying to say similar(Hebrew-2004) things(Hebrew-2008) in the past but Shuttleworth did it better. Translation of my words to a user trying to run ICQ, Winamp and MSN Messenger on WINE:
.. You may not like the alternatives(The native Linux apps) but when you use Windows programs on Linux you use an alternative windows API to execute them and it's not only buggy and heavy on resources but eventually it will provide a really crappy user experience and you are expected to be "disappointed of Linux" real soon. I think you should consider trying the existing (Native) alternative applications in Linux. IMO you'll find them more usable than using WINE and sometimes even better than the Windows apps you were used to.

You can say the same thing about Mono but it might be an exception because currently both MS and Novel are behind it (until some s!@# will hit the fan.. I guess).

Anyway, here are two nice sites to add to your bookmark:


NotQuiteALinuxHater said...

Webcam support. Pidgin sucks at it. While it probably wouldn't be better for MSN Messenger in WINE, I don't blame anybody for trying it.

I like Linux too, but right now it simply needs WINE for the people (read: companies) who are either too lazy or too entrenched (read: bribed) to port their apps to be native Linux apps. That is the purpose, and draw, of WINE.

Unknown said...

i second that :-)

all thou i can understand people that MUST have wine installed for some MUST have application they used to.

eventually, i guess, people that have gnu/linux distro installed with wine support will move to a more integrated - linux only application usage. (i hope)

me for example, i "must" have adobe flash player and not just the open source swflib when browsing the net. hope that is not for long ;-)

David Gerard said...

It's not clear how using Wine is "heavy on resources" - do you have numbers or an explanation for this? Wine is a compatibility layer, not an emulator - Windows apps run at approximately native speed. Indeed, Firefox for Windows on Wine runs faster than Firefox native for Linux ... (because the Windows build uses profiling in the compiler.)

shlomil said...

David, In the world you're living in ... where Windows apps run on WINE in aprox native speed - I guess there is no problem at all. Now lets try to go back to reality:

Windows apps on WINE ARE SLOW. I don't need benchmarks - I know it from my personal experience. 3D graphics and games suck on WINE. IE6 and flash blinks on my IBM laptop. IE7,IE8 don't work at all. Program startup is very slow! GUI response is slow! Some programs will not work at all! and some require advance configuration to work.

You just can't seriously expect normal users (non-hackers/non-unix-experts) to use WINE.

shlomil said...

Oh , and about FireFox:

The reason FF on WINE runs faster is that there are two separate implementations (at least in the code macro level) for FF and the Windows port is just much more optimized and endorsed by the Mozilla foundation. This is entirely Mozilla's fault for taking care only for the Win users and neglecting all others. You just can't compare two different implementations.

Shachar Shemesh said...

We've had this discussion before, so I'll just record my own stance on this issue. I'll just start by saying you are absolutely right - we will probably not see YOU using Wine.

In fact, I don't use Wine, and I used to be a Wine hacker.

Wine is not for the people who moved to Linux. Wine is for those who want to, but are held back by Windows only must haves.

And lest you say "use open source alternatives", please allow me to remind you that most of those proprietary must haves are not even COTS. They are custom made programs made specifically for the business that uses them, and if the business wishes to move them to Linux, it will, likely, have to redevelop them from scratch.

So what would you prefer? A world where there is Wine, and where these businesses have an option of making gradual transition, or a world where Wine doesn't exist, and migrating to Linux is an "all or nothing" affair?


shlomil said...

I believe that a massive commercial apps migration will come along with the rising usage of Linux on Home Desktops (this process had already began). The strategy should be producing better FOSS and less compatibility layers, which are not working properly anyway and probably never will. The current FUBAR Hebrew support in Wine 1.0 is just one symptom.

If you make better software, users will come. The niche commercial products will follow. The "migration" should be done not on the users side (and on their expense) but the commercial side.

Firefox made it and did it very well without compatibility to IE.
So now I have some sites which I cannot access. There are "compatibility layers" like grease monkey and ieTab (is that the right name?) but these are not solutions. The migration should be done by site owners.