Subject: Re: DesktopLinuxConsortium
To: Ram Chandar <>
From: Richard Rauch <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 02/16/2003 23:23:49

(Please keep my email address in the header of replies, as I read this
list via the archives rather than subscribe to it.  Thanks.)

WINE is an emulator.  It emulates an OS.  I call that an emulator.  I
am aware that these days it is popular to say it's not one, just as
some will insist that NetBSD doesn't have "LINUX emulation".  But,
that's splitting hairs.  (^&  If we were to spend a great deal of
time talking, in-depth, about just the WINE emulator, then it would
seem appropriate to make a point of using whatever terminology that
the authors prefer for their tool.  In a broader context of many
similar tools, it helps to use a single terminology for what is
really a single concept.

As for the "box", I am not talking about the GUI appearance.  Though
I agree that it is an irritating and stupid default for WINE to assume
that you don't have a window manager and want the emulated OS to
get in the way of all of your regular X windows.

I'm talking about the fact that you don't *run* the programs.
You *run* the emulator, which in turn sets up an environment where
*it* runs the programs.

I'm not conversant with the details of how it works, but when you
do a "ps" while running WINE, you see "wine" and "wineserver",
while you are running (say) solitaire.exe.  Nowhere in
ps/top will you see "solitaire" or "solitaire.exe".

(This "put it in a box to run it" is another reason why, even if
I wanted to divide the category of "emulators" into more specialized
categories, I'd still put WINE in with other emulators.  It runs
the application in a contained environment with fairly opaque
barriers between it and the surrounding system.)

In contrast to PEACE, as I recall, where you would just type
"solitaire.exe" to run the program (provided that it was in your
search path) and you would see "solitaire.exe" in top/ps output.

This "feels" a lot nicer to me.  It also has the practical
advantage that if I want to kill an errant program running
under emulation, I can find its pid in top/ps and send a
UNIX signal to it.  I don't need to start killing off random
"wine" processes until I find the right one, or worry that
killing the "emulation" process may prevent it from doing
"OS cleanup" stuff (I don't know if there are any issues
that a running WINE leaves open if you "kill -9" it...).

So...I'd rather see PEACE than WINE as an emulation approach.
And if both worked at all, even if WINE was a faster emulator,
I'd use PEACE.

I'll take the "WINE application list" comment off-list, since it
seems completely off-topic (the above discussion is just barely
credibly on-topic; (^&).

  "I probably don't know what I'm talking about."