Wine, it always tastes sweet!

Another release of Wine today! So what's new in this one? Other than the usual masses of bug fixes ( and there always are at least 50 ), there is some exciting news on the horizon. The beginning of DirectX 10 implementation! The Wine project is a really great open source project and really is going to be a major help in getting people to use Linux. There are always arguments for and against Wine, so let me do a little summary:

Why people hate Wine:

  1. It discourages the development of Linux native apps
  2. It gives people a reason to want Win32 apps
  3. It opens up security risks
I feel that none of these are really valid. Firstly, i feel that if anything Wine encourages creation of Linux apps. In the sense that if it works on Wine, it's a Linux app. So although it might discourage the development of exclusively Linux apps ( which is still debatable ), it will certainly increase the development of apps that work on Linux. This creates a larger useful Linux app base, and everyone is happy. This also makes it easier for people to migrate from Windows to Linux, since they don't have to change the apps they use for Linux replacements if they exist. It's not that Linux apps are inferior, it's just that people are used to certain things, remove those things and they will bring out the pitch forks and hunt you down. For an example look at the anger toward KDE 4's plasma, a great technology that is "different". Secondly, there are reasons people want Win32 apps. Like it or not, Photoshop, Visual Studio, 3D Studio Max and several other commercial applications are the main hurdle preventing businesses from using Linux. I mean what company wouldn't want free software? But from my experience, most professional artists will NOT work with blender or gimp. I don't understand it since i happily use both for any art work i need done in a personal and professional capacity, but the artists i have worked with refuse. On top of this, you have the gaming community. I know at least 20 current or former colleagues who would switch to Linux if the could play <insert modern game name here> on Linux natively. If FarCry 2 or Crysis worked out of the box on a Linux system a lot more gamers would be interested ( especially considering that most of them know how insecure Windows can be and use Firefox as their main browser ). I can't comment all that much on the security risks issue, but i honestly don't see how it could. An app running under Wine has just as much permission to run as a native Linux app, so how can it be less secure? In fact, giving it some thought, a Wine app might has a seperate registry and file tree that it operates in, so there might be even less of a security issue than in a native Linux app ( since deleting the .wine folder is probably less of a loss that deleting the .kde or .gnome folder for example ). Overall i feel that Wine is a great project, one that i should probably be developing on! After my Android app. And my desktop shell. And my windowmanager. And my kde development. You get the point.

1 comment:

  1. I love Wine:D

    It's another nail in Microsoft's battered coffin. If a certain program doesn't run in Linux, Wine's the answer.