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Wine Traffic #5 For 22 Aug 1999

By Eric Pouech

Table Of Contents


This is the fifth release of the Wine's Kernel Cousin publication. This is the first "official" issue after some experimental ones. It's main goal is to distribute widely what's going on around Wine (the UN*X windows emulator).

Alexandre Julliard, Wine's project leader, is joining CodeWeavers for a full time job on Wine development.


A page regarding Open Source projects on Windows is now available at

Juan Manuel Vioque pointed to an interesting Byte article on solutions to port programs between Windows and Unix (both ways) where Wine is mentionned:

1. Elfdlls are coming

 Archive Link: "Elfdlls are coming"

People: Ulrich WeigandBertho Stultiens

Bertho Stultiens sent out for comment a first and incomplete version of his elfdll tool.

Ulrich Weigand made the following comments:
  1. Multiple DLL implementations in one elfdll
    I'm not sure the current solution (exactly one NE plus exactly one PE module) is ideal. First of all, it is not strictly correct that the 16-bit buddy of the PE module is identical with the NE module: in Windows95, MapHModuleLS( GetModuleHandleA( "VERSION" ) and GetModuleHandle16( "VER" ) yield two different module handles, and GetModuleName16() returns "VERSION" for the first and "VER" for the second ...

    So I'd suggest that it might be better to allow an arbitrary number of either NE or PE headers to be within one elfdll; the elfdll could e.g. export a data structure containing pointers to all those headers. The loader would know to automatically load all these modules as soon as any of them is requested ...
  2. Makefiles and build process
    There's a lot of information that needs to be passed to dllglue, which leads to an IMO rather complex even for simple elfdlls...
    Ulrich proposed to extend to content of the .spec file to get the import files and even the resources not to garbage too much the Makefile.
  3. Relay debugging
    Ulrich disliked the newly introduced relay debugging (because of its size), but also because it will introduce lots of changes, and incremental changes is always better.
Bertho answered:
  1. Bertho really doesn't want to implement several PEs inside one elfdll (for issues related to symbol relocalisation).
  2. Bertho agreed on the idea of not garbaging the Makefile, but pointed out that since the (current) .spec file (for the output section) will be spread across the directories containing the DLLs sources, the search algorithm at build time will be more complicated. Bertho also agreed to have a global list of symbol to ignore at elfdll build time (like for libc ones), but still wants to keep the ability to override those on a per DLL basis.
  3. Bertho explained it was an old and quick implementation and he will look into integrating the existing one.

2. DIB sections

 Archive Link: "DIB sections"

People: Dan LangloisUlrich WeigandHuw Davies

Dan Langlois reported some problem regarding DIB sections:
My app creates a DIBsection, then uses a combination of GDI calls and bit manipulation on that DIBsection. I discovered the bug while examing a call to Rectangle from within my app. Rectangle is called to clear the image to a white background. My app then draws some images on this image using bit manipulating code. The resulting image I see on my screen is missing the white background.
His interpretation is that the "segfault" handler wasn't called for the Rectangle() function call.

Ulrich Weigand gave the explanations:

Yes, this is a bug. The idea behind the synchronization is: Of course, the second step requires that every GDI API routine that modifies the Pixmap does call the UpdateDIBSection routine before and after the operation on the Pixmap. (Before, to copy any modifications that happened to the DIB in the meantime back to the Pixmap before using it, and after, to inform the synchronization layer that the Pixmap has changed, so that it will get copied back to the DIB the first time this is accessed afterwards ...)

[ Note that it is essential that in both directions, a 'lazy' update is performed: if you do a bunch of direct accesses to the DIB and then an access via GDI, the copy happens only once. Similarly, if you do a bunch of GDI accesses and then a direct update, the image will also be copied only once ... It gets problematic if you mix GDI and direct accesses; then it can get very slow rather quickly :-/ ]

When I initially implemented this mechanism, I put the UpdateDIBSection only into the BitBlt-like routines, because in the example programs I was testing at the time, these were the only routines used on the DIB (the apps typically would draw into the DIB directly and then BitBlt it onto the screen ...).

But of course, the other routines also need to do it; I've just never gotten around to fix it ... So, your solution isn't really a hack, but the Right Thing ;-)

Based on this, Dan then proposed a patch for this.

Huw Davies proposed as a more long term situation to
write a memory DC driver to cope with DIBSections (and other things). Hmm I wonder if libggi2d can help us much here - I really don't want to write a 1/4/8/16/24/32 bpp graphics driver from scratch...

Editor's note: for more information on GGI, check out their web site

Ulrich Weigand reported some
he's done on the subject (and what Windows does):

GDI gets called, determines the driver servicing the DC in question, and forwards the request (appropriately transformed). The driver is then supposed to handle the request by itself if it can, or else forward it again to DIBENG.DLL. Here, all the difficult stuff is implemented in software...

It's interesting that there is no real difference made between operating on DIBs and operating on the screen hardware at this level: BitBlt and the other routines implemented by the driver and/or DIBENG simply move bytes around, and the destination may happen to be the frame buffer or some memory image of a DIB ...

Ulrich disliked Huw's GGI proposal:
I'm not sure that we should mix GGI and X accesses. (E.g. output directly to the display should look the same as output to a DIB which is BitBlt'ed to the display afterwards ...)

While a GGI driver as such would be interesting, in should IMHO completely replace the X11 driver, both regarding display and DIB access. In this case, there would be no reason to remove the current X11 DIB support: this is even now local to the X11 driver, and the GGI driver is free to implement its support for DIBs completely independent of the X11 driver ...

Thus, you would be able to choose whether to run using the X11 or the GGI driver; if you need fast DIB section access, you might switch to GGI, if you don't have GGI, the X11 driver still works as before.

Regarding native GDI, maybe it might even be possible to adapt the interface of the Wine display drivers to conform to the DISPLAY interface? This way, selecting one of several display drivers could be done simply using LoadLibrary, without need for special constructs; plus we might be able to run native GDI ...

Huw disagreed on some points regarding windows implementation:

Ulrich's answered on the first point,
I think that the driver can set a flag in the GDIINFO structure whether it can cope with DIBs; if this flag is set, it gets also called for DIBs ... (Not completely sure about this, I'll check the DDK docs.)

3. Multimedia reorganisation

 Archive Link: "Multimedia reorganisation"

People: Ulrich WeigandEric PouechMarcus Meissner

Some discussion araised around reorganizing the multimedia DLLs.

The final layout shall be:

Ulrich Weigand and Eric Pouech discussed on the case of OpenDriver (and the like) functions. Windows provides the 16 bit driver functions in USER and the 32 bit in WINMM. Ulrich was willing to put all the code for the driver functions in WINMM and have USER transfer the calls to WINMM. After some mails, it turns out it would be better to stick with Windows implementation as Ulrich says:
Well, it would appear to be like this: the 32-bit OpenDriver in WINMM first calls LoadLibraryA to try to load the driver as 32-bit module. If this fails, it thunks down to a routine in MMSYSTEM, which in turn calls the 16-bit OpenDriver from USER. If that succeeds, the 16-bit module handle of the driver is returned up to WINMM ...

So, the real implementation of loading 16-bit drivers does remain in USER, unfortunately. Now what we can do depends on what we want to achieve: if we want to support running native WINMM with built-in USER, we'll have to leave the implementation in USER :-/

This is of course ugly due to the shared data structures. Win95 appears to maintain two sets of data structures, one within USER keeping track of the 16-bit drivers, and one within WINMM that keeps track of all drivers. (Not sure about the details ...)

Eric commented:
It really sounds like that MS did the following:

Anyway, it seems that MMSYSTEM and WINMM in Windows only use 16 bit drivers (so only the drivers functions from USER), but never reference the 32 bit driver functions from WINMM. Go figure why!

Marcus Meissner also discussed with Eric Pouech on ways to unify the access to system drivers (like OSS) between DirectSound and the wave forms functions of MMSYSTEM/WINMM. Marcus proposed to have the wave forms function call DirectSound ones (this would also enable to have a virtual mixer). Eric quite not agreed (regarding notification) and said
I'm not convinced of the faisability of implementing either waveXXX on top of DirectX or the other way around... so, I guess I'll leave it as it is, and wait for someone to have some time to investigate it further

4. Registry rewrite

 Archive Link: "Registry rewrite"

People: Juergend SchmiedMarcus MeissnerAlexandre JulliardPatrik Stridvall

Juergend Schmied opened a discussion on some new optimizations/features to be added to Wine's registry:

As Marcus Meissner reminded, Alexandre didn't like the binary version of saved registry:
I think that having a registry that you can fix with vi is a big advantage. If the only reason for making it binary is that it is easier to load/save, it's not enough IMO.

Patrik Stridvall, to reduce time spent rewriting the entire registry at each time, pointed out that the registry was a type of file system, and proposed a closer mapping between registry and OS file systems (up to have a new registryfs).

Jürgend expressed some drawbacks regarding access rights (and mount points), the HCR join from HLM and HCU in NT 5, which are not so common in file systems.

Alexandre Julliard proposed to:

A detailed discussion between Jürgend and Patrik followed regarding the use of '\' as key







Sharon And Joy

Kernel Traffic is grateful to be developed on a computer donated by Professor Greg Benson and Professor Allan Cruse in the Department of Computer Science at the University of San Francisco. This is the same department that invented FlashMob Computing. Kernel Traffic is hosted by the generous folks at All pages on this site are copyright their original authors, and distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2.0.