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Curious about coverage

Curious about coverage

Posted Oct 6, 2005 5:27 UTC (Thu) by felixfix (subscriber, #242)
Parent article: Wine to Reach A Major Milestone

Not being a Windows programmer or even user, I am curious how well Wine works from a Microsoft internals programmers perspective. I have heard that the Microsoft API is quite, err, flexible, in changing from time to time, that it is harder to maintain compatibility between Windows releases than among the various different flavors of UNIX. Perhaps some Microsoft developers have taken looks at offbeat corner cases and either snickered or applauded. Would anyone in the know care to comment?

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Curious about coverage

Posted Oct 6, 2005 19:34 UTC (Thu) by sbergman27 (guest, #10767) [Link]

This is not what I hear from the Wine developers. The Wine developers have said that although it is sometimes reported that the win32 API being a moving target makes it hard for Wine, that's not really true. Applications developers still want their stuff to run on, say, Windows 98. Undocumented, poorly documented, and buggy API calls seem to be a bigger problem. Wine has to reproduce even the API bugs faithfully.

Wine's main problem, last I looked, was its incompleteness. Many API functios being simply stubs which do nothing but print "FIXME".

To be honest, when I encounter a situation in which I am forced into the position of trying to run a app for a client under Wine, I don't go into it with much hope.

On the other hand, I have seen wine do some amazing things. Back in 1999 or so, I got the original "Unreal" running under Wine. It took a solid weekend of work, but when I was finished it worked absolutely perfectly, with 3DFX Voodoo Glide accelleration at 800x600, perfectly synchronized sound, and perfect stability. I played the whole game through twice without a single crash. I even compared my frame rates with someone with similar hardware and won.

The problem is, you can then turn around and run something really simple and it will crash even before the main window comes up.

I must say I have never seen a project that progressed with such agonizing slowness as the Wine project. Not a criticism of its developers. They've simply taken on a *big* job.

Curious about coverage

Posted Oct 6, 2005 19:48 UTC (Thu) by felixfix (subscriber, #242) [Link]

I am more curious about coverage in general than how far it lags behind the moving target. I am especially curious about Microsoft internals developers who have looked at its coverage of corner cases out of curiousity. I know if I were in Redmond working on the OS, or working on an app which I knew had special code in the OS, I would be quite curious about how well WINE handled it, how much of the secret internal goofiness was reverse engineered.

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