A brief summary of Wineconf 2009

In bullet point form.

  • We’re serious about a 1.2 release in the next few months.  As Alexandre said, “it’s time”.
  • 64 bit support will be the major new release goal.
  • For most people, having no regressions and working with way more apps than 1.0.1 did will be the actual feature they care about.
  • Users will need to make a new Wine installation to migrate from 32-bit to 64/32-bit capable.  It is left to me to figure out and code a humane way to present this.  This is also a convenient time to make their Wine folder case insensitive.
  • We’re giving up on separate Pulse/ALSA/OSS/Jack sound driver layers and instead doing the smart thing: passing everything to OpenAL.  Maarten Lankhorst will handle most of it.
  • Packagers like me will have to work out CJK font support for our respective distros.  Wine will need manual links to whatever font is actually provided by the distro when it’s in a CJK locale.
  • We need some help from Freedesktop.org for solving bug 10841.  Essentially we need a standard way of saying “hey reset the resolution when I’m done, even if I crash.” I was “volunteered” for the task of approaching the respective projects.
  • We need user help finishing up the Tahoma replacement font.  It’s still missing some glyphs for certain languages and some users report it as “ugly”.
  • VMware is an ally of Wine.  They use our test suite on Thinapp, and even contribute test fixes and new tests back to us.  Tests are just as good as “real” code.
  • We need more users to run git update and winetest daily (with their screens unlocked).
  • Alexander announced a new patch tracking system to prevent patches from getting lost in the nether (and for devs to know when a rejection occurs)
  • By far the largest concentration of wine developers is in the netherlands.  It has something to do with being below sea level, which means global warming is an ally of Wine as well.
  • Francois Gouget has promised to teach me every nuance to Winelib so that I can document it properly.
  • I need to update about 10 different wiki pages to give them more modern instructions, such as how to get a good backtrace (eg on Ubuntu you install wine1.2-dbg).  A recurring theme to this conference seemed to be that if it’s written in English and concerns the Wine project, it’s probably my responsibility at this point.
  • Owen is going to setup planet.winehq.org, since he’s done it before for another project.  There you’ll see my blog and a few others.  I might actually update more than once a month too!
  • Andre Hentschel is working on a Wine port to ARM.  I’ll see if I can get him a first generation Pandora (I had the misfortune of preordering two about a year ago, and they may actually arrive sometime next month).
  • Jeremy White wants help recognizing people who should come to wineconf.
  • I need to make a proper message box to indicate that Wine is loading immediately after a user opens an application (currently there can be about 5 seconds of nothing, resulting in either frustration or opening the application multiple times).  Wine should be sending the signals it needs (with xdg message) already, we just need to have the desktop listen to them.
  • I need to make a “Press” page for the website, including an email address for press@winehq.org which will probably direct to me possibly several others.  I’m curious how other projects have handled this – is it a good idea to have multiple press contacts?
  • All documentation needs to be moved to the wiki.  From there it shouldn’t be too hard to setup a wiki->pdf->docbook/xml conversion script and have the documentation build automatically based on the latest wiki pages.  Then we can start shipping it with packages again (since offline documentation still matters somewhat).
  • I’m going to experiment setting up Redmine for the Wine project.  If I can get it running well on a separate server and have it fully import Bugzilla, the Wiki, and our Git repositories then we can switch to it and start using its nice management features.  Budgetdedicated will provide the server.
  • The winehq.org Donation link needs to go to a proper web page that actually says where the money goes and what we’ll do when we raise enough.  Currently it just dumps you off to paypal without explanation.  Amazingly, some people actually give money (enough to partially fund WineConf).  This task is also mine.

I need to finish preparing for the Ubuntu Developer Summit that starts in a few hours, so the bullet points will have to suffice for now.  I’ve got my work cut out for me it seems.


Steve DodierNovember 16th, 2009 at 12:16 am

Hi there and thanks for that summary of WineConf,

For the message box, why do you not use the application starting capability provided by WMs? ie. it’ll show the app’s name in the taskbar when it’s loading so users know it’s loading.

I forgot how this is done, but it’s a rather simple DBus API as far as I recall. And it’s standard and already in use, so there will be no need to change anything on DE-side.

Something else, did you actually manage to get this Wine executables icon thing done yet?

KazadeNovember 16th, 2009 at 2:35 am

Hi Scott, thanks for the write up :)

As I said, I can help you with the Redmine stuff. Also (re bug 10841) I dunno if you have seen this thread I started on xorg-devel: http://lists.x.org/archives/xorg-devel/2009-May/000953.html also here’s another message from another thread: http://www.mail-archive.com/xorg@lists.freedesktop.org/msg09161.html

Vadim P.November 16th, 2009 at 7:00 am

Um… -does- OpenAL support PulseAudio?

(alsa plugin in pa is not support. It just broke horribly on me in karmic and I’m still trying to find a solution. All apps that don’t support pa have really, really fcked sound now).

Aigars MahinovsNovember 16th, 2009 at 10:00 am

I just looked and found that OpenAL does support PulseAudio and it also supports audio capture, so it does look like a good choice, especially if it will make Wine code simpler and reduce the bike-shedding about it.

Aigars MahinovsNovember 16th, 2009 at 10:02 am

P.S. Looking forward to 64bit capability a LOT. Now that new computers come with 4+Gb of RAM as standard, using that memory in Wine apps becomes a very important issue. (Especially if there are weird bugs/misfeatures that crash applications as soon as their RAM allocation gets over 3 Gb)

jackflapNovember 16th, 2009 at 10:17 am

+1 to Steve Dodier’s suggestion above.

It’s actually a real usability improvement to be able to see that the app is loading, and that the icon you’ve just clicked hasn’t done nothing whatsoever.

Rubén RomeroNovember 16th, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Hi Scott,

I am an Ubuntu member and Wine funboy (I just cam’t live without aps like spotify or proper management of those apps such as wine-doors.)

How long time would this take you think? Would it basically be answering questions from the press about wine (could be done in a wiki by *all* press contacts) and/or making press releases?

I always have some time and you could add me to your list of possible press contacts for the wine project. over the years I have followed the project (since ’98) and it has saved my life a couple of times. So it’s due time for me to give back something.

David GerardNovember 18th, 2009 at 2:29 am

Wikimedia uses a press address which goes to OTRS, a ticketing system. This is terrible, but is less worse than all other ticketing systems. It’s probably a bit heavyweight for Wine …

Suggestion: make press@wikimedia.org a mailing list with press handlers on it, which anyone can post to but only press handlers can join. People can grab an incoming email by answering to the list “I’ve got this one” and ccing their answer. The main problem then is dealing with buckets of spam.

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