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Wine Software

"Lindows" Coming Soon? 392

nstbbuff sent in a link to a story running at ZD about Lindows, a recently funded startup founded by MP3.com's old CEO that plans to sell a WINE oriented Linux dist for $99. As usual I'm skeptical about these sorts of things, but provided code is released back, I'm down with it. Meanwhile Transgaming is doing their thing, but with game-specific stuff. Their flagship release is The Sims, but theoretically many DirectX games should run under Windows. I'm still skeptical -- I mean, how many closed WINE forks does the world need?
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"Lindows" Coming Soon?

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  • The Sims, but theoretically many DirectX games should run under Windows.

    Yah yah, you meant Lindows.
    • LimpDows? (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by Alien54 ( 180860 )
      Yah yah, you meant Lindows.

      So long as it doesn't mutate into "Limpdows"

      or something else equally lame, or some other half cooked development effort.

      Let's not follow the MS pattern too closely here (as in 'never buy version 1.0 of anything')

  • by deanj ( 519759 )
    There's a Wall Street Journal article about it too. I'd have to say, I'm a bit suspicious about this too. The http://www.lindows.com/ website seems pretty bare.
  • the line... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Q2Serpent ( 216415 ) on Wednesday October 24, 2001 @11:20AM (#2472682)

    theoretically many DirectX games should run under Windows


    just about sums it all up. :)

    -Serp
  • Is age a good thing? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by n-baxley ( 103975 )
    From the article: Lindows hopes a broader software base will help boost the Linux operating system, a 10-year-old clone of Unix.

    I'm torn about how to read this. Are they trying to say that Linux is outdated? Or are they trying to say that it is well established? Or am I overreading and they are just saying Linux is 10 years old?
    • Being from mp3.com, he's probably trying to point out Linux's age to potential investors and skeptics out there. In a day when three-year-old companies with one-year-old products go belly up daily, basing your product on one that's been around for a decade probably makes good business sense.
      • Linux is much more than 'a ten-year-old product.'

        It's also:
        -A network fileserver which can do RAID entirely in software (my in-house fs is doing an IDE and a SCSI RAID 5.. you need that kind of reliability when you're making movies!);
        -Able to take advantage of almost any configuration of hardware, from an 80386 with 4MB RAM and a 40 MB HD to an multiprocessor Itanium with gigs of RAM and teras of HD, to distributed supercomputing a la Beowulf (To contrast: WinXP Home can only use a 300Mc+ single processor Intel32/AMD architecture; Pro can use up to eight SMP processors of the Intel32/AMD variety;Mac OS X needs a G3 or better; both need at least 256 MB RAM and more than a gig of HD to be run properly.)
        -The most configurable Internet servers possible;
        -Great workstations for almost any apps you can think of;
        -The most evolutionary software product out there.

        That last feature is The Big Deal(tm). Linux is a kernel which has been evolving since release 0.0.1. It's gradually expanded to every kind of processor possible, developing the ability to work with a wicked lot of hardware, growing to PCMCIA utilization; video acceleration support; USB & 1394 access; and ust about any filesystem of significance can be at least read by Linux.

        Now.. I haven't had the chance or the excuse to use WINE yet, but I hope it works (so I don't need a Windows partition on my new laptop.. a vaio.. (drool)... (cleaning off my chin... sorry)) because I want to be able to use an old, pre-DMCA (can we say no Macrovision problems? I knew we could!) PCMCIA card which could both capture video without processor overhead at 1/2 resolution (it accepts PAL, SECAM, and NTSC input) and act as a TV tuner anywhere in the world. I haven't seen any info on it working under Linux, so I must use the mabnufacturer-provided software and perform acts of RevEnge on it (since the pricks at Nogatech have refused to give me any useful data on the card.... jerks)

        If this 'Lindows' distribution works, it would be a boon for all us open-source types, because one more barrier to entry would be lowered and the bar of stability under Linux (or *BSD, for that matter) is miles above that of even this new bastard XP. (I'd place money they've got some GPL code in there. I can just smell it.)
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't Windows programs need to be installed on a Windows partition before it can be run under Linux? If that's the case, what's the point of having an entire distro just for running Windows apps when you can run them natively in Windows?
    • As wine improves, more and more applications can be installed with it. The main problem is that Install Shield is advancing faster than wine is, but I've installed Lotus Notes entirely in linux before. (It's a work thing, unfortunately, and if I can get out of windows by running Lotus Notes in Linux, I'm all for it.)

      -Serp
    • by cloudmaster ( 10662 ) on Wednesday October 24, 2001 @11:28AM (#2472752) Homepage Journal
      You're wrong. :) Many (most?) need some sembelance of a registry, and some work better with dlls from a windows install, but you can get by with most to all of the apps that work on wine without a FAT or NTFS (which partition format did you mean?) filesystem or a win 3.x/9x/me/nt/xp/2K (which windows did you mean?) install. The dlls don't know what OS they're living under, and the "registry" was emulated by a flat text file the last time I tried wine out - which was admittedly a while back.
      • by Xpilot ( 117961 )
        Ok, thanks for clearing that up. I'm still unsure of how a Windows app is installed on a Linux partition, without actually having Windows. Does WINE allow the installer (some Windows installers can be *quite* obnoxious) to run and copy stuff into directories on the Linux system? I've never actually tried WINE before, and I don't know how it works.
        • Does WINE allow the installer (some Windows installers can be *quite* obnoxious) to run and copy stuff into directories on the Linux system? I've never actually tried WINE before, and I don't know how it works.

          Yes, but they don't always work :) Wine allows you to specify a path (like /usr/windows, for example) which it will use as the C: drive, and Windows apps running under WINE see it as a normal drive. They don't care what sort of filesystem it actually is, as long as WINE provides the correct Win32 calls to read/write the filesystem. So you end up having stuff like /usr/windows/system32.
        • Basically it sets up a false Windows directory which includes all of the things a windows application might be looking for. Most applications seem to be okay with this set up but it entirely depends on the application though. For example I couldn't get Microsoft Word to install on a pure linux system, but I've heard that people can run it fine off another partition that is running windows. The only advantage to that setup is that you don't have to reboot to run windows apps. So if you were a developer who worked moslty under linux but occasionally had to write docs in Word, you could work relatively seemlessly.
        • Most programs use APIs to open files and let the OS do the work. So the filesystem is irrelevent. The only programs that HAVE to be aware of the filesystem are filesystem utilities, like scandisk.

          In response to:
          Ok, thanks for clearing that up. I'm still unsure of how a Windows app is installed on a Linux partition, without actually having Windows. Does WINE allow the installer (some Windows installers can be *quite* obnoxious) to run and copy stuff into directories on the Linux system? I've never actually tried WINE before, and I don't know how it works.
  • by frleong ( 241095 ) on Wednesday October 24, 2001 @11:23AM (#2472717)
    be just another OS/2. The WinOS/2 subsystem was so good that it killed OS/2. What's the fun of running Windows apps in Linux? Higher stability? But Win2K/XP is already quite good for this purpose and it comes preinstalled anyway. I think that if you really plan to use Linux, stay away from Windows apps and stick with native ones. Besides, we have VMWare for it and it almost guarantees 100% compatibility.
    • I think they're going for the business market. I.e. they'll certifiy certain business apps to work with it and license it to companies at a rate less than M$ would charge. IF (and its a mighty big if) they can pull a distro off that runs a pretty good chunck of mainstream biz apps then they may be on to something. I wouldn't expect a mad rush over to them, but they might be able to carve a nice, niche biz out of it.
    • What's the fun of running Windows apps in Linux? Higher stability? a

      Maybe a few people will want to make their own damn choices and not necessarily want to be forced to automatically sign on Internet secure sites using Microsoft passport, and browse the Microsoft Network, and put their money in the Microsoft bank, and buy the latest Microsoft choice of music and movies from the Microsoft DVD store, drink "Bill's Choice" softdrink, wear Microsoft cloths, buy a car from the Microsoft New Cars site (after Ford is brought under their control, uh, a strategic partnership formed with Ford) and buy their mortgate from the Microsoft Savings & Loan and ship packages with Microsoft Parcel Service and get their Microsoft friendly news from the Microsoft National Broadcasting Company (MSNBC) over the Microsoft Cable Service, etc.
    • by fm6 ( 162816 )
      No, OS/2 died because nobody was shipping machines with it pre-installed -- not even IBM. (We all know how MS did its best to bring that about.) If OS/2 had ever been widely available, the Windows subsystem would have provided a migration path from Windows to OS/2. It would not have worked the other way! "Oh, here's a handy app that was designed for Windows, but runs on OS/2. That means I have to give up OS/2!" Say what?

      It may not be "fun" to run Windows apps under Linux, but few of us run Windows apps for fun anyway. We run them because they're a requirement of our jobs.

      VMWare is expensive, requires a sophisticated user, and has a big footprint. Makes sense for developers (having a complete VM is handy even if you're not working cross-platform!) and for some server apps. Can't see it for a basic desktop environment.

      • by GC ( 19160 )
        OS/2 had such a clunky GUI that made it useless, you cannot run OS/2 on a machine with 800x600 resolution, which unfortunately, at the time that OS/2 was released was the resolution that most monitors bought by corporate entities in my country could safely use under Health and Safety laws...

        That's part of the reason I still like twm...

    • The WinOS/2 subsystem was so good that it killed OS/2.

      WinOS2 did not kill OS/2. WinOS2, by letting people do things they need to do while simulataneously letting them keep OS/2, kept users in the market for OS/2 apps. At least it did for a while, until Win32 apps became common.

      Apps running under emulation do not compete with native apps. The user doesn't run emulated apps unless they have no other choice. And if they really have no choice and there isn't an emulator that can run the app, then they switch platforms. And that's when the original platform really gets hurt.

  • ... Next to the salad fork?
  • vmware (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by wishus ( 174405 )
    How about vmware [vmware.com]? It works now!
    • Vmware enables you to use windows inside linux and then run your windows apps inside windows. So you still need an installed and working windows. It is just a way to avoid dual booting. The drawbacks are that you still need windows and that it requires a lot of ram and processing power.

      On the other hand, wine works without the windows OS and runs the software alone. That is a much more difficult task than the first solution because wine has to "understand" all kinds of software calls to the OS. That is why the bigger and more complex apps do not run with wine.
    • Vmware costs about as much as a low-end PC. You still need a Windows license. You still have the hassle of dealing with Windows installation and Windows administration. You still have all the privacy and virus problems that come with Windows. And vmware has quite a bit of overhead.
    • VMware does not support DirectX.
    • i saw this comment, and i though, "well, what about plex86 [plex86.org]? " it was striving to be a free (LGPL) replacement for vmware, and it was mentioned [slashdot.org] on slashdot [slashdot.org] a few [slashdot.org] times [slashdot.org], but it looks like the main developer was laid off [plex86.org] from MandrakeSoft, and the project is in limbo right now...
    • The main problem with using VMWare is that it can't do hardware 3d. So gaming in VMWare sucks quite hard.

      I use Linux as my desktop OS both at home and at work, and at both locations I have VMWare installed. Now at work, I use VMWare because sometimes I need to write code for IIS apps. Everything else (word processors, spreadsheets, email) I do natively from Linux.

      At home, I still use Linux for all of my email, wordprocessing, and etc, but I rarely ever start up VMWare. Simply because the only reason I could ever want to run Windows at home is to play a game, and frankly VMWare just can't hack it when it comes to DirectDraw. It's very slow. Don't even bother considering Direct3D or OpenGL, as it is completely unusable.

      So, until vmware gets a better 'host OS video driver' that will better support hardware accelerated video operations, I will continue to only use it only for novelties that I can't easily duplicate in Linux.
    • Win4Lin (Score:3, Interesting)

      by HiThere ( 15173 )
      A better comparison would be Win4Lin. This appears to be essentially a distribution with Windows access integrated. That is essentially what Win4Lin is, they just aren't including the Linux. This results in problems whenever your distribution upgrades.

      I think that this may have a reasonable chance of success. I wouldn't put it any higher, but reasonable.

      If I wanted to use this at work, it would need to support the Novell logon procedures, and MSOffice 2000 (perhaps I would be able to substitute KOffice or StarOffice, but there is not substitute for the Novell logon).

      If I wanted to use this at home ... well, the only reason that I can think of is for Windows games.

      If I wanted my wife to use this at home it would need to support the HP all-in-one OfficeJet products. Scanner as well as printer. And an old program from PassPort Designs called "Encore!" (a music editing program). Deneba Canvas would be a real plus. So would Pokemon (this is a real non-standard program, though... installing it on Win95 kills the current HP all-in-one drivers ... if Lindows could handle both of them my wife would beg me to convert her!)
  • Their flagship release is The Sims, but theoretically many DirectX games should run under Windows.

    You mean those DirectX games CAN run under Windows???

    Damn. i'm shocked.
  • theoretically... (Score:2, Redundant)

    by rograndom ( 112079 )

    theoretically many DirectX games should run under Windows

    Theoretically speaking, of course

  • by Wizard of OS ( 111213 ) on Wednesday October 24, 2001 @11:25AM (#2472732)
    I mean, how many closed WINE forks does the world need?

    The transgaming patches are NOT closed source, they are just not Free Software. You can download them (see the winex project on sourceforge) or get them from CVS, you just can't use them for anything commercial. And ... as soon as they have enough subscribers, they'll release it all under the Wine license. Okay, I must note here that I don't know the specifics about that one, but it's more Free than the currently used Alladin license.
    • I read the license. I like it. It gives me the following abilities which are the main things I want out of Software Libre:

      - The ability to view the source code and make changes to it.

      - The ability to distribute the modified source and binaries compiled from that source.

      - The ability to create a fork independent from the original authors (mostly for if they decide to close the source entirely or if they go under).

      The only thing you don't get is the ability to sell anything based off of their source -- they get exclusive rights to profit off the code base.

      So no, it is not Software Libre, but it has most of the benefits that I care about. I think it is a reasonable compromise.

    • The transgaming patches are NOT closed source, they are just not Free Software. You can download them (see the winex project on sourceforge) or get them from CVS, you just can't use them for anything commercial.

      if you define that which is not Open Source is closed source (as most Linux users do).

      The Open Source Definition defines (oddly enough) what Open Source means. The non commercial restriction violates these guidelines and means that Transgamings patches are not open source.

      WineX is `source code available' software (although thats not a well definied term), like Qmail, TinyDNS, Microsoft PocketPC, or Pine.

  • is that there are so many flavors of the same shit, people just disregard it. If Netcraft could determine every single type of Linux out there, I bet you *BSD would be in one of the top ranked nix environments...
  • The article says " plans to sell a preview edition of the software for $99 "

    Any word on what they're actually planning on selling it for? At least once purchased you can put it on multiple computers, but still... $99 is steep for a Linux. I'm also wondering if the $99 preview release is some sort of gimick to gain development funding (a Send Resume button at the top of Lindows.com [lindows.com] is not confidence inspiring.

    :q!

    • I'm wondering if that means they are actually angling this at business environments. I know that's the first thing I thought of. It doesn't make much sense to plunk down $99 for your home box, but it's a steal if you have a couple hundred corporate boxes sitting around. It seems like a great solution for the ancient dilemma of hating Windows but needing to provide Windows apps in a business environment. $99 for the whole company versus nearly $200 a box for a Windows license, with no requirement for re-training or document conversion, is going to be an easy argument to make to the CFO.
  • More brilliance from the guy who brought us MP3.com, your favorite source for spam and poor music. Just who want to make a new name for Linux....
  • by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Wednesday October 24, 2001 @11:33AM (#2472777) Homepage Journal
    Confused confused confused!

    You want Linux, cause its stable and wonderful. But we want to run DirectX. So lets emulate windows in linux. Now lets emulate DirectX in the emulated windows in linux.

    Simplify the equation, and you have "run windows with native DirectX".

    Wouldn't the "best" solution be to update the SDL to run DirectX natively in X on linux?

    This story makes it appear that the average Linux zealot is willing to take the time to emulate windows and DirectX for gaming, but not willing to just emulate directX natively....

    OK, I just read what I wrote and confused myself even worse...
    • Wine Is Not an Emulator. It does not emulate Windows, it is an alternate implementation of the Win32 API. The DirectX portion of Wine simply translates the Direct3D interface to Mesa library calls.

      So it does exactly what you describe; it runs Windows games natively on Linux.
      • Depends on your definition of "emulator." By your logic, UltraHLE ("Ultra High-Level Emulator," an N64 emulator), is not actually an emulator, as it merely translates calls to the N64 devkit API into Glide library calls - nearly identical to what WINE does.

        Or to take it even further, there is no such thing as emulator, as even the lowest-level emulator is just an alternate implementation that translates the [processor name] interface into [e.g. x86] library calls.
    • Wouldn't the "best" solution be to update the SDL to run DirectX natively in X on linux?

      You'd think, but it's a lot more than that. If understand this, you'd actually use your windows CD's and install the games which would then run via emulation under Wine and this Transgaming DirectX thing. So you need to emulate all the system calls that aren't DirectX, right? Whatever the installer uses, etc. The Wine guys (and gals??) had pretty much already done this over the past few years, so it probably makes a lot more sense to just start there. I've heard rumors that people have gotten DiabloII to run under the Wine version from Codeweavers out of the box, so I'm not sure what TransGaming value add is. I havne't paid much attention (I just run Loki stuff), but if someone has more info, please post.

  • by s.a.m ( 92412 )
    Pardon my ignorance, but isn't part of the thing from getting away from windows is paying the high price? You can probably upgrade to some version of windows for about $99 from a previous version. My college was giving away about 100 copies of win 95 about 1.5 years ago b/c they never used it.

    I understand that there are some costs w/ making the product...but if it's based off of WINE, then isn't that part of the GPL. And since their work would be derived from the WINE project, doesn't the GPL cover this? If this is the case shouldn't it "technically" be released under the GPL as well?

    I'm not exactly sure on this but wouldn't that just mean ppl can dl it? Unless of course they decide to hide the code for a long time till legal action is brought to them...then they'll say they're working on the fix...like we've seen before w/ the bttv drivers.

    I'm all for doing this...but at what cost does this not warrant actually doing this anymore? If you REALLY want to run windows in your linux/unix platform, then get VMware for about the same price, but what you get is a stable product which works very well and has a proven track record. I'm not trying to discount the work that these ppl are doing/going to do, but it would help if they look at these factors and not sit in the basement and think...Hey! This is a good idea, lets market it and sell it!

    A little bit of marketing and business classess would surely teach you better.
  • Wine isn't a bad approach, but it is still an implementation of the Windows API that sits on top of X. Would/could a DirectX for Linux be implemented any differently ?

    If not then we might see dissatisfaction to the point of R&D failure because real-time peformance may not be possible in such situations. The biggest issue being latency.

    Here is a good, though somewhat dated, article on the topic of Linux Latency. [oreillynet.com]
  • Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by scott1853 ( 194884 ) on Wednesday October 24, 2001 @11:41AM (#2472845)
    I know I'm going to get modded as troll or flamebait, and I'm sure this has been asked before, but...

    given the attitudes of the zealots that think Linux software is superior, and that open source is superior to everything closed, then why is this considered such a big deal, and even supported by the Linux community?

    Everybody talks about how much Windows and MS software sucks, but then they turn around and do their best to emulate it. I'm not just talking about WINE either, this topic extends into the GUIs. They all take things from Windows.

    Anonymous Cowards need not respond.
    • Well, Linux needs an in-road to the corporate desktop if it is really going to spread. If your corporation runs Microsoft Office (and *so* many do) how can you run Linux on the desktop? If Staroffice doesn't work 100% with the existing Word and Excel files a company uses every day, no one is going to use it because no one wants to pay their employees to regenerate all that work.
      • If Staroffice doesn't work 100% with the existing Word and Excel files a company uses every day, no one is going to use it because no one wants to pay their employees to regenerate all that work.

        And unfortunately, the new StarOffice Beta failed to properly open every single one of the first half-dozen files I threw at it, so I tossed it.

        I don't even have time to file bugs on it if they're going to lie about it being "beta" in an attempt to get the community to finish their code for them. It's (sadly) of the very poor quality I've come to expect from GNU software, especially from a compatibility point of view, and I think, a step *down* from the previous StarOffice, which at least opened *one* of those files correctly...
    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by turbine216 ( 458014 ) <turbine216@noSPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday October 24, 2001 @12:06PM (#2473045)
      you bring up a good point, one that definitely does not deserve to be flamed.

      Linux users (myself included) like Linux because it's stable, it's secure, and it runs Linux apps really well. I've NEVER crashed a linux workstation...never.

      Windows users (again, myself included) like Windows because it is so much easier to use than Linux (an easy-to-use GUI is just that, and people recognize it for what it is). Its apps are bloated, buggy, and riddled with security flaws, but when they work, they work REALLY REALLY WELL. That's simply a result of having 10 years worth of REAL development support, and a huge bank of developers.

      So it stands to reason that any Linux user with any sense would want to do one of two things: either (a) run some windows apps in Linux, or (b) develop similar or better apps for Linux. The problem with developing apps for linux lies in the severe lack of support for it. So if you don't have enough people or enough collective experience to really work on development, what's the next best thing? That's right...use the apps that have already been developed under windows, but use them in Linux. That way, only one emulator needs to be developed that will (hopefully) cover all of the windows apps.

      Any linux zealot who tells you that windows is useless is just that...a zealot. Linux is good for what it does, and Windows is also good for what it does. After all, this IS a capitalistic structure we're dealing with, so as always - YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. As much as we don't like it, every time someone spends money on a Windows distro, some of that money is channelled back into developing a better windows. Linux quite simply does not have that advantage; and as much as we would like it to, the Open Source/Free software development system just isn't as effective as the closed source/marketed software approach.

      Just my 2 cents...take it for what it's worth.
      • Good points.

        Question: what stuff do you use Linux for vs. Windows?
        • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by turbine216 ( 458014 )
          well, there are actually very few specific things, most of them the obvious ones:

          1 - MS Office XP beats the hell out of staroffice - i don't care who you ask, or what they say about office, the open source alternative just doesn't stack up.

          2 - Windows is better for games. Quite simply, if i want to run a Windows game at maximum performance, I'm going to run it under windows. Emulating windows or creating compatibility layers just doesn't perform the way real Windows does. This particular feature is probably the only reason that i HAVE to use windows.

          3 - Windows for Cakewalk/ProTools/other music editing/recording stuff. Linux just doesn't have it, simple as that. And even the apps that it does have tend to quibble with my sound cards. This is also evident in video editing apps...video capture and edit just doesn't make sense on a Linux box at present.

          4 - Linux for just about everything else. E-Mail, news, web surfing, web design, graphic design, PERL, and a few other tasks work remarkably well under Linux. I really like the streamlining that you find in a lot of Linux design apps...for instance, GIMP vs Photoshop is no contest when it comes to usability.

          So Linux definitely has the really basic tasks down, but when it comes to more involved software such as big, graphically-intense games and productivity software, Windows takes it.
          • Interesting. I've tried GIMP and wasn't very happy with the interface. I only spent a short amount of time with it though, and didn't give it a true evaluation.

            I'll have to try Linux again when I get over my cheapness and buy a non-winmodem that works in said OS.
          • by GC ( 19160 )
            2 - Windows is better for games. Quite simply, if i want to run a Windows game at maximum performance, I'm going to run it under windows. Emulating windows or creating compatibility layers just doesn't perform the way real Windows does. This particular feature is probably the only reason that i HAVE to use windows.


            I beat this argument by running a network. The X architecture is so good at this on a LAN that I can entertain my Linux fantasy while still beating everyone at Unreal Tournament.

            Would you believe... so far the best use of Windows for me is as a X-Server... It's not the best X-Server (Sometimes Exceed, sometimes a free version), but it satisfies my need for both environments.
      • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Chris Burke ( 6130 )
        Well, I still think that the perceived ease-of-use of the Windows GUI is just that -- perceived. Or perhaps more accurately learned. As usual, I point to the opinions of Mac users on the Win gui and vice versa. Oh, and it's also better in that category than Linux GUI's, but I don't care. :)

        Its apps are bloated, buggy, and riddled with security flaws, but when they work, they work REALLY REALLY WELL. That's simply a result of having 10 years worth of REAL development support, and a huge bank of developers.

        What is, the bugs and security flaws? Ah, but I jest. Though surely you were jesting about having REAL development support and a huge bank of developers? I think the list of contributors to Software Libre would amply satisfy any definition of "huge". At least in comparison to those employed by any one development house.
        Any linux zealot who tells you that windows is useless is just that...a zealot.

        Anyone who makes a blanket statement like that is a zealot, indeed. As always I say use what suits your purpose. If that is the newest games, or sound editing, or 3D Studio Max (as opposed to suitably sophisticated modeling software in general), use Windows. Since I need none of that, I can without zealotry say that Windows is useless. For me, obviously.

        I used to try to sell people on Linux, but I find that its best to just expose them to it, and let them gravitate toward what works for them. I've gotten more converts that way than I did before. :)

        After all, this IS a capitalistic structure we're dealing with, so as always - YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

        That's just not true -- particularly with regards to Software Libre. After all, you got an OS that never crashed your workstation for free. The truth is that "IF you get what you pay for, you can't really complain." Also, as a corrollary, "If you get LESS than what you pay for, you have every right to be pissed." This is why official support for Linux by corporations is a big deal. Then you have someone to bitch at who you can reasonably expect to take you at least seriously enough to fabricate a scapegoat.

        Linux quite simply does not have that advantage; and as much as we would like it to, the Open Source/Free software development system just isn't as effective as the closed source/marketed software approach.

        I would say that is dubious at best, demonstrably untrue at worst. There are two things that you must consider when judging the performance of the two models - prevelance and longetivity. Closed source is the dominant development model. The companies developing closed source software are multitudinous, and though many only produce one or two apps, that's still a lot of software in the codebase. Sift out the crap, and you'll end up with some pretty nice programs. Software Libre is growing very rapidly, but is still behind in this aspect to be sure. Second is longetivity. Software Libre projects are, for the most part, fairly new. When you compare Gimp to Photoshop, remember how old Photoshop is compared to Gimp. Or KDE to the Win95 shell. Or StarOffice to MS Office -- and also remember that StarOffice started as a closed-source app, as did Mozilla. It is impossible to measure such things as "code effectiveness" quantitatively, which is why I wouldn't say that Software Libre is without a doubt better. However, my qualitative analysis tells me that the days that you can find virtually any closed source apps that are better than any libre counterpart are numbered.
      • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by maxpublic ( 450413 )
        Once again someone else makes the mistake of spouting off tired old sayings like "you get what you pay for" as if that actually said something definitive about Linux. Problem is, Linux is *NOT* -

        (and just in case you're not paying attention)

        - LINUX IS NOT -

        (let's pound the point home, since the religious capitalists have such a hard time with the concept)

        - a business venture working within a capitalist environment. This means that *basic market rules re capitalism do not apply to Linux development*, any more than basic market rules under the rubric of capitalism can say anything whatsoever about charity efforts (other than how they impede good ol' capitalistic efforts to sell needed aid).

        The entire issue of money is a non-sequiter in Linux development. Payoff comes in terms that have nothing to do with a market economy, or any economic theory whatsoever. Trying to apply market economy fundamentals or the basics of capitalism to Linux is a fool's game.

        Not only is it a fool's game, but it's painfully, obviously so to anyone who spends more than a few minutes thinking about.

        Off-topic but still in relation to the previous post, I'd remind the poster that a good deal of the effort put into Linux comes from *non-capitalist* countries. In fact, you might even say a major part of the effort comes from *socialist* countries.

        (alert: No need to rant on the evils of socialism and bore us with your stupid, ignoramus attempts at humor, trolls. Whatever comments you thought to make, they aren't original and they aren't even mildly funny. Well, maybe to your fellow college buddy losers after a few beers, but not here. So, trolls, piss off and do the Beavis someplace else.)

        As a final note, any moron who starts spouting off on why the cathedral is inherently a better approach than the bazaar is just that...a moron. Or perhaps a microsoftie, or both. The moron can't *prove* that this is true, of course, but hey, when you're worshipping at the altar of capitalism or whacking off to a poster of Bill G. no proof is needed.

        Max
      • I've NEVER crashed a linux workstation...never.

        Then you've not really pushed it very hard, I'd say. Red Hat 7 crashed on me just recently in some of our lab testing (my first experience with RH7, which appears to be as close to a steaming pile as I've seen in a while - it definitely was not ready to ship when they shoveled it out the door, and it stacks up very poorly compared to the Caldera and Mandrake distros I had been using.) Look, I'm a Linux promoter (I've been using it since 0.96, and my company's new IP storage server is based on it), but Linux is NOT (out of the box) the be-all and end-all of stability that many people on /. pretend it is. Both BSD and Solaris can be considerably more stable when you beat on them hard (that means a serious server environment, not a script-kiddie desktop.)

        Linux is a decent server platform, no one disputes that. It's on the desktop though, that the excellent selection of Windows apps drives people to insist that their desktop platform be capable of running those apps. As a for-instance, there is NO substitute in the Linux/Unix world for Visio (although Kivio shows promise, but will take a Mozilla-like time to get there), Adobe Illustrator, or a serious MCAD/CAM package.

        The sad reality is that it's far easier to emulate unix in Windows than to emulate Windows in unix, so that's the appropriate, although less satisfying approach to those of us that would like to exorcise Windows. As a result, I'm not posting this from a Linux/BSD/Solaris box that can run Windows programs, but from a Win32 box that, with U/Win (or Cygwin, if you don't care if it works correctly) can run everything I need.

        Windows emulation is effectively impossible, as was discovered by Sun when they did their excellent (at the time) Wabi product. Such an approach dooms you to staying two years behind the new API breakages (esp. of hidden APIs) that come with each successive version of Windows.

        Linux quite simply does not have that advantage; and as much as we would like it to, the Open Source/Free software development system just isn't as effective as the closed source/marketed software approach.

        This is a very insightful comment, and the reason that MS continues to enlarge and solidify its control on the world's desktops. They will eventually get their act together on servers, too, but may have generated too much ill-will amongst their customers to succeed there over the long haul. This is especially tru since even the "Linux faithful" here on /. won't *buy* Linux distros, and scream bloody murder about the distros not providing free ISO images so they can continue to leech off the hard work these companies put into development.

        This is the ugly underbelly of the GPL, and one reason why we can either get smart and switch to a more realistic Open Source model (ala BSD), or admit defeat, recognizing that the FSF itself will ensure Microsoft's eventual victory...
    • Let us remember, microsoft did not invent the GUI or innovate with it.
      • I know. But for all the MS attacks coming from the Linux camps, I would expect some noticable differences between the GUIs instead of just the reversal of locations of the "Close" button, and the renaming of the start button.
  • This is bad. Here's what will happen:
    1. Home users buys Lindows.
    2. Home user installs loads of software on Lindows, including MS Office, games, etc.
    3. Half of this software will be buggy or slow.
    4. Home user now hates Linux in general, and tells all his friends what a rip-off it is.
    The Windows software market is not what Linux should be after. It's not possible to "do" Windows better than Windows. Linux needs to work on making people like it for being Linux.
    • First, I don't think this is targeting the home user - the idea is to cut down on licensing costs and home users don't usually care as much whether they can install a copy of their OS on more than one computer.

      Second, I disagree that Linux should not be after the Windows market. What Windows does is the same (albeit a subset) as what Linux does, essentially; just not as well. Linux has a long way to go to take over that market, but licensing plans like XP's are just the thing to make managers eager to find an alternative. That said, I doubt this is the alternative for your reason #3.


  • I mean, how many closed WINE forks does the world need?


    As many as the market can support, and as many as it takes to get a version of WINE that runs every windows app flawlessly.

    Personally, I think there's room in the market for at least two -- one optimized for 100% compatability business / productivity apps and one optimized for excellent games performance.


    Hopefully, any company making a WINE port will have the decency to release any propriatary code they write if & when they go under.

  • by MajorBurrito ( 443772 ) on Wednesday October 24, 2001 @11:51AM (#2472936)
    Now I can use all my Cygwin stuff in Linux!
  • ... so they can work on the same non-free fork.
  • Are those like dinner, salad, and dessert forks? If you were going to use utensils to drink wine, wouldn't wine spoons work better?
  • Okay, obviously this is not a product Microsoft will help thrive. Which leads me to that question.
    When I tried to install a whole slew of applications under Wine about 6 months ago, it proved to be :

    1 - A pain in the majority of cases : I assume the Lindows product will come with pre-chewed install scripts, so I don't worry about that

    2 - Impossible in a lot of cases : I guess Lindows will have to come with "approved to run xxx" stickers, or maybe with a list of supported applications. Again, not really a problem if they market it well.

    3 - Possible in many case, provided I used one or more native DLLs ripped from the real Windows from the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory. These were either DLLs that Wine didn't emulate, or DLLs that Wine didn't emulate correctly. Without those native DLLs, many important apps wouldn't have worked at all.

    So, without some Windows DLLs, the Lindows guys will have to cut their already reduced set of working apps : how are they going to get around this ? I can't think they'll manage to license the DLLs from M$. Will they do additional engineering work to complete/fix the DLL emulations in Wine ?

  • by kzinti ( 9651 ) on Wednesday October 24, 2001 @12:00PM (#2473001) Homepage Journal
    Wouldn't the more appropriate name be "winux"?

    --Jim
  • The answer. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Xerithane ( 13482 ) <xerithane@nerd[ ]m.org ['far' in gap]> on Wednesday October 24, 2001 @12:06PM (#2473047) Homepage Journal
    I mean, how many closed WINE forks does the world need?


    42
  • Rather than try to make Windows apps run on Linux, why not take all that development effort and time and make a systemmatic porting toolkit from Windows to Linux? Not only that, why not do what Apple did with gcc and write one hella fine IDE and give it away? If an x86 Unix-like OS can run MS apps, there will be absolutely no reason for developers to write native applications.
    • (...)I mean, how many closed WINE forks does the world need?
    Why don't they just thread instead of fork?

    Seriously, I know I have already said that forks are great and variety is essencial. But too many forks will lead us to nowhere! We need variety, but not that much.

    When there are few projects about a topic forks are wonderful, very welcome. But when it's starting to get messy, maybe we need to think if it's better to fork, or to thread, or even to merge!

    think about it

  • Face it, I want to play games. If it means I get Linux and can play Windows games, I'm happy.

    Is it pure? No.

    Do I or most consumers care? No.

    Will it sell like hotcakes, more than XP? Yes.

  • I mean, how many closed WINE forks does the world need?

    None. You can't drink Wine with a fork. Duh!

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