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Common Wine Myths

January 21, 2009

This article was contributed by Austin English

Wine is one of the best known, but least understood open source projects. It is a mystic application that everyone knows about, many use, but few truly understand. Reading forum posts, blog entries and tutorials about Wine show that Wine is surrounded by many myths and half truths. In this article, we will attempt to clear up some of the misconceptions about the project.

Myth: Wine doesn't run any program well: There are currently 1863 applications with a Platinum rating (applications which install and run flawlessly on an out-of-the-box Wine installation) in Wine's Application Database (AppDB). Additional applications are receiving a Platinum rating at a rapid rate. Popular Windows applications such as Adobe Photoshop CS3, World of Warcraft and Microsoft Office 2007 all run under Wine.

Myth: Wine requires native Direct3D support: Wine implements the Direct3D libraries already. Direct3D 9 and earlier has been implemented for the most part. There are of course implementation bugs, but those are being worked on. The Direct3D runtime is a slow work in progress, and so may be missing some features. Direct3D 10 is unimplemented, but the core infrastructure is in place and future implementation is in the planning stages. Native Direct3D should not be used in Wine, except for the DirectX runtime library (d3dx9_*.dll), to work around missing features in Wine.

Myth: Wine requires native Internet Explorer 6: Wine comes with its own version of Internet Explorer based on Mozilla's Gecko layout engine for applications that use IE for rendering. See the Wine Gecko project for details. There is a ton of work being put into this area of Wine since it covers such a large area of code. As a result, many applications depending on Internet Explorer rendering may not run well. For those applications, using native Internet Explorer serves as a workaround. This is neither required nor recommended because Internet Explorer's license does not allow people without a Windows license to use it.

Myth: Wine is only for Linux: Wine should run on any POSIX system that has kernel threading. However, since most Wine developers are using some version of Linux, these other operating systems don't enjoy the same level of support or compatibility. Wine currently builds and runs applications on Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, Solaris and OpenSolaris. Work is also being done to get Wine to work on NetBSD and OpenBSD, the effort is progressing well.

Myth: Wine is only 32-bit capable: This is partially true, but the situation is changing. Wine has the capability of running 64 bit applications, (see this December, 2008 thread), but it is not yet enabled by default. A ton of work is being put into making the internals of Wine 64 bit compatible. Checking the Wine commit log, one can see frequent additions of patches aimed at 64 bit Wine. Running 64-bit Wine currently requires the use of a special GCC compiler from SVN to compile, so it's mostly for developers at this point. It is worth pointing out though that about two thirds of the internal Wine conformance tests already pass.

This is, of course, different from running Wine as a 32-bit application on 64-bit hardware. Doing so works fine as long as your operating system has the 32-bit compatibility libraries installed. Wine is commonly used for playing games on 64-bit Linux distributions. In fact, most packagers already build 32-bit binaries for 64-bit operating systems.

Myth: Wine stole code from Microsoft! It's illegal to use! Wine is a clean room implementation of the Microsoft Windows API. Wine developers have never used leaked Windows source code or disassembled its output. The implementation is made and tested using a suite of conformance tests, ensuring that Wine has the same behavior as Windows. The conformance tests are built daily and tested on various versions of Windows and Wine. Results can be seen on the Wine Test Runs page.

Wine is a very complex piece of software that has come a long way in the past 15 years of development. Releasing its first stable version (1.0) this past year is a testament to the complexity and size of this program that took thousands of hours of development to implement what Microsoft did with many times the resources. While Wine does not yet have perfect compatibility with all Microsoft Windows applications, the Wine team is working hard to change this. Wine is a very mature, fast-moving and complex piece of software. There's no better time than now to try Wine. Binaries and source code are available here.

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System Applications

Audio Projects

ALSA 1.0.19 released

Version 1.0.19 of ALSA has been announced. "I released ALSA 1.0.19 packages (except alsa-oss and alsa-python - no changes)." See the change log for more information.

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PulseAudio 0.9.14 released

Version 0.9.14 of PulseAudio, a cross-platform sound server, has been announced. This release includes some new capabilities and many bug fixes, see the Change Log for more information.

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Database Software

buzhug 1.4 announced

Version 1.4 of buzhug has been announced. "buzhug is a fast, pure-Python database engine, with a syntax based on list comprehensions for queries instead of SQL The new version 1.4 adds the boolean type for fields, and the capacity to define a default value for each field on base creation".

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Firebird 2.1.2 RC1 released

Version 2.1.2 RC1 of the Firebird DBMS has been announced. "This is the first release candidate of the Firebird version 2.1.2 patch release. It is a BETA whose purpose is for FIELD TESTING. It is recommended that you test it before deploying it into production."

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MySQL 6.0.9 alpha released

Version 6.0.9 alpha of the MySQL DBMS has been announced. "A new algorithm that uses both index access to the joined table and a join buffer has been implemented. It's called Batched Key Access (BKA) Join algorithm. The algorithm supports inner join, outer join and semi-join operations, including nested outer joins and nested semi-joins. Block Nested Loops Join algorithm previously used only for inner joins has been amended and now can be employed for outer join and semi-join operations, including nested nested outer joins and nested semi-joins."

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PostgreSQL Weekly News

The January 18, 2009 edition of the PostgreSQL Weekly News is online with the latest PostgreSQL DBMS articles and resources.

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SQLite Release 3.6.10 announced

Version 3.6.10 of the SQLite DBMS has been announced. "Changes associated with this release include the following: * Fix a cache coherency problem that could lead to database corruption."

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Sqlkit 0.8.5 released

Version 0.8.5 of Sqlkit, software that provides Mask and Table widgets for editing database data, has been announced. "In this release localization has been added. I'd be very pleased if someone would like to contribute localization file for any language (but italian)."

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Interoperability

Samba 3.0.34 maintenance release announced

Maintenance release 3.0.34 of Samba has been announced. "This is the latest bug fix release for Samba 3.0 and is the version recommended for all production Samba servers running this release series."

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Web Site Development

Apache Jackrabbit 1.5.2 released

Version 1.5.2 of Apache Jackrabbit is out with security and bug fixes. "Apache Jackrabbit is a fully conforming implementation of the Content Repository for Java Technology API (JCR). A content repository is a hierarchical content store with support for structured and unstructured content, full text search, versioning, transactions, observation, and more."

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Apache-SSL 1.3.41/1.60 released

Version 1.3.41/1.60 of Apache-SSL has been announced. "For some reason I switched on renegotiation, which broke things. For now, switched back off."

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Miscellaneous

OpenSIPS: 1.4.4 released (SourceForge)

Version 1.4.4 of OpenSIPS has been announced. "OpenSIPS is an GPL implementation of a multi-functionality SIP Server that targets to deliver a high-level technical solution (performance, security and quality) to be used in professional SIP server platforms. After another month from 1.4.3 release, OpenSIPS improves itself with a new minor release, 1.4.4. Thanks to hard testing and fixing of a several people, new issues (critical and minor) were fixed on the OpenSIPS 1.4 branch. It is highly recommended to upgrade to this release, as it provides important stability improvements".

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Desktop Applications

Data Visualization

PLplot 5.9.2 has been released

Development release version 5.9.2 of PLplot has been announced. "PLplot is a cross-platform, scientific graphics plotting library."

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rrdtool 1.3.6 released

Version 1.3.6 of rrdtool, a data visualization tool for displaying time series data, has been announced. In addition to bug fixes, this release adds: "many small updates to the POD documents. improved win32 source. OSX compilation fixes".

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Desktop Environments

GNOME 2.24.3 released

Version 2.24.3 of the GNOME desktop has been announced. "This is the third update to GNOME 2.24. It contains many fixes for important bugs that directly affect our users, documentation updates and also a large number of updated translations. Many thanks to all the contributors who worked hard on delivering those changes in time."

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GNOME Software Announcements

The following new GNOME software has been announced this week: You can find more new GNOME software releases at gnomefiles.org.

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KDE Commit-Digest (KDE.News)

The January 11, 2009 edition of the KDE Commit-Digest has been announced. The content summary says: "More parts of the Oxygen-based "Air" visual identity enters KDE SVN in time for the KDE 4.2 release, including KDM background images. Better integration of the new "NetworkManager" Plasma applet with KWallet. Initial work on a new "Welcome" Plasmoid. Support for more units added to the "Conversion" runner in Plasma, including "pressure", "currency", and "energy"..."

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KDE Software Announcements

The following new KDE software has been announced this week: You can find more new KDE software releases at kde-apps.org.

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Xfce 4.6 Beta 3 released

Version 4.6 Beta 3 of Xfce, a light weight desktop environment, has been announced. "Just like with the previous BETA, this release comes with a lot of bugfixes but is not expected to be 100% stable. This is why we want to encourage you to test this release to it's limits and tell us what breaks."

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Xorg Software Announcements

The following new Xorg software has been announced this week: More information can be found on the X.Org Foundation wiki.

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Games

FreeCol: 0.8.0 released (SourceForge)

Version 0.8.0 of FreeCol has been announced. "FreeCol is an open version of Colonization. It is a Civilization-like game in which the player has to conquer the new world. Version 0.8.0 of FreeCol, a turnbased strategy game, has now been released. The largest change introduced by this release is the ability to define gameplay mechanics using XML-files. You can easily change the rules you don't like or create a different game similar to FreeCol."

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Interoperability

Wine 1.1.13 announced

Version 1.1.13 of Wine has been announced. Changes include: "Freedesktop.org-compliant startup notifications. Many fixes for 64-bit application support. Improved graphics support in Internet Explorer. Various Richedit improvements. Better certificate manager dialog. Various bug fixes."

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Music Applications

lv2dynparam1-2 announced

Version 1-2 of lv2dynparam has been announced. "lv2dynparam is LV2 extension for dynamic parameters. The extension consists of a header describing the extension interface and libraries, one for plugins and one for hosts, to expose functionality in more usable, from programmer point of view, interface. Changes since version 1: * host library: API is refactored, the new API is NOT compatible with the version 1 API * host library: support for dynparam automation * host library: support for dynparam parameter save/restore".

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Minicomputer 1.3 released

Version 1.3 of Minicomputer has been announced. "This version features better envelope generators with exponential behaviour and compiles now with newer versions of GCC. Minicomputer is a standalone Linux softwaresynthesizer for creating experimental electronic sounds as its often used in but not limited to Industrial music, IDM, EBM, Glitch, sound design and minimal electronic."

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nekobee 0.1.7 released

Version 0.1.7 of nekobee, a Roland TB-303 Bassline synthesizer clone, has been announced. "Yes, it finally happened, I got off by backside and fixed the accent to work properly."

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QJackMMC: a new Qt0based JACK application

The initial release of QJackMMC has been announced. "In brief, QJackMMC is a Qt based program that can connect to a device or program that emits Midi Machine Code (MMC) and allow it to drive JACK transport, which in turn can control other programs. JackCtlMMC is a slightly simpler command-line version of QJackMMC. You might need such a tool if you have hard-disk recorders (HDRs) or other external MIDI compliant devices that are capable of sending out MMC to keep other devices in sync. You might have a multi-track recorder and you want to be able to start, stop, or fast-forward JACK-based programs such as Rosegarden, Hydrogen, and Ardour."

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zynjacku 3 announced

Version 3 of zynjacku has been announced, a number of new capabilities have been added. "zynjacku is JACK based, GTK (2.x) host for LV2 synths. It has one JACK MIDI input port (routed to all hosted synths) and one (two for stereo synths) JACK audio output port per plugin. Such design provides multi-timbral sound by running several synth plugins."

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Office Suites

KOffice 2.0 Beta 5 released (KDE.News)

KDE.News has announced the release of KOffice 2.0 Beta 5. "Moving towards the 2.0 release with almost monthly beta releases, the KOffice team has once more honoured its promise to bring out beta releases of KOffice until the time is right for a release candidate. So today we bring you this beta with many, many improvements across the board. Incremental as it is, this beta is an important step towards a final release."

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Video Applications

h264enc: 8.7.0 released (SourceForge)

Version 8.7.0 of h264enc has been announced. The software is an: "Advanced shell script for encoding DVDs or video files to the H.264 format using the encoding utility MEncoder from MPlayer. Supports all the useful options an end-user would need to make a successful encode. The script is a CLI front end to MEncoder." This release adds a new capability and bug fixes.

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Miscellaneous

PyAMF 0.4 released

Version 0.4 of PyAMF has been announced, it includes numerous bug fixes. "PyAMF is a lightweight library that allows Flash and Python applications to communicate via Adobe's ActionScript Message Format."

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Languages and Tools

C

GCC 4.3.3 Status Report

The January 17, 2009 edition of the GCC 4.3.3 Status Report has been published. "The GCC 4.3 branch is now frozen in preparation for a release candidate for the GCC 4.3.3 release. When the branch is unfrozen again I will send a message stating so. All checkins to the branch require approval by a release manager now."

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Caml

Caml Weekly News

The January 20, 2009 edition of the Caml Weekly News is out with new articles about the Caml language.

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JSP

pyjamas 0.4p1 released

Version 0.4p1 of pyjamas has been announced. "This is a minor patch release of pyjamas 0.4p1, the Python-to-Javascript compiler and Python Web UI Widgets Toolkit. What is Pyjamas for? Pyjamas allows a developer to create U.I applications in python as if the Web Browser was a Desktop Widget Set toolkit platform (like pygtk2, pywxWidgets and pyqt4, only much simpler, and more powerful)."

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Python

The History of Python

Greg Stein and Guido van Rossum have written an online document entitled The History of Python. "Later blog entries will dive into the gory details of Python's history. However, before I do that, I would like to elaborate on the philosophical guidelines that helped me make decisions while designing and implementing Python. First of all, Python was originally conceived as a one-person “skunkworks” project – there was no official budget, and I wanted results quickly, in part so that I could convince management to support the project (in which I was fairly successful). This led to a number of timesaving rules..."

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Evoque Templating v0.4 for Python 3.0

Version 0.4 of Evoque Templating is out with Python 3.0 support and other improvements. "Evoque Templating -- the generic full-featured text template engine with state-of-the-art features such as: exclusively unicode, dynamic overlays, format-extensible automatic quoting, in-process sandbox, caching, small (992 SLOC), simple, fast, etc."

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pycairo release 1.8.2 is now available

Version 1.8.2 of pycairo, the Python bindings for the cairo 2D graphics library, has been announced. "Pycairo 1.8.0 resulted in crashes for some applications using threads. So upgrading to 1.8.2 is recommended for threaded applications."

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XML

JCAM Engine: version 1.6.3.1 (SourceForge)

Version 1.6.3.1 of JCAM Engine has been announced. "JCAM Engine with XML Editor / Validator: XML Processor & Template Editor. Java implement of OASIS CAM Standard of XML validation & assembly + visual Eclipse editor. Includes XSLT tools for ingesting XSD Schema, creating HTML docs, XSD subset, XML test case examples + dictionary(uses Saxon XSLT) A new version of the editor has been released, which now includes the correct Java Run-time Environment, to allow it to work. this does increase download time, but significantly reduces installation problems."

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XSLTdoc: Bugfix Release 1.2.1

Version 1.2.1 of XSLTdoc, a Javadoc-like tool for all versions of XSLT, has been announced. Changes include: "Changed output format from XML to XHTML. Changed output encoding to UTF-8. Fixed a bug where xd:detail was not printed. xml:xd inline tag supports an href attribute which allows to include external XML markup. Enabled the Forum on sourceforge. "

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Miscellaneous

SWIG: 1.3.37 released (SourceForge)

Version 1.3.37 of SWIG has been announced. "SWIG is a software development tool that reads C/C++ header files and generates wrapper code to make C/C++ code accessible from other languages including Perl, Python, Tcl, Ruby, PHP, Java, Ocaml, Lua, C#, Modula-3, R, Octave and Scheme & Lisp variants. Apart from the usual round of bug fixes and minor new features there are a couple of big new features in this release."

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