Wine Traffic #2 For 6 Dec 1999
Table Of Contents
This is the twentieth release of the Wine's kernel cousin
publication. It's main goal is to distribute widely what's
going on around Wine (the Un*x windows emulator).
Mailing List Stats For This Week
We looked at 221 posts in 661K.
There were 41 different contributors.
33 posted more than once.
21 posted last week too.
The top posters of the week were:
- 29 posts in 88K by Ulrich Weigand <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- 26 posts in 89K by Patrik Stridvall <email@example.com>
- 23 posts in 61K by Alexandre Julliard <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- 14 posts in 76K by Gavriel State <email@example.com>
- 11 posts in 31K by Eric Pouech <Eric.Pouech@wanadoo.fr>
- Full Stats
Wine's debugger evolution
Archive Link: "Wine's debugger evolution"
Ulrich Weigand, Alexandre Julliard, , Eric Pouech
Eric Pouech fired up a discussion on Wine's internal debugger
evolution with providing an RFC on this subject. The main point
(already suggested by Alexandre Julliard) was to use no longer the
current way of entering the debugger (based on signals) but to rather
use the generic Windows debugging API for this matter. The reasons for
this were mainly to:
This shall also be the occasion to fix some known bugs and remove some
limitations in Wine's internal debugger.
The details of it were discussed between Ulrich Weigand and Alexandre
Julliard. The outcome is as follows; the new debugger shall have the
- maintain a single debugging API instead of two
- ease the port of the debugger to different OS:es
- stress and test the Windows debugging API
Ulrich Weigand also described Windows' way to fire up the debugger on
an exception (even if the application is not currently debugged). This
mechanism is used, for example, by Dr Watson:
|Wine-dbg is currently bound to Wine
||Wine-dbg will be a separate process
|The same tty is used for all processes
||One debugger instance will get it's own window (xterm) and
handle a single process
|Only -debug command line option (and crash in program)
allows to debug an application
||The attach/detach command will be supported (allowing
one to debug a Wine program on the fly)
|Wine's internal debugger is fired up on exceptions
||When an exception occurs in a non debugged process, Wine
will fire up a debugger (the choice of the debugger can be configured
in the registry). Native Windows debugger could be used (see below for
Basic items for crafting the new debugger are currently being done:
It works by checking the
registry key, or the [AeDebug] section in the system.ini file if the
other is not present. (B.t.w. it checks 'Windows NT' even under Win9x.)
If there is a subkey "Debugger", this is supposed to contain a command line
which is used for starting the debugger. The debugger is started either
automatically, or after querying the user whether to start the debugger;
this is determined by the setting of the "Auto" subkey.
The command line retrieved from the "Debugger" key can contain two
wsprintf() format directives for integers; the first is filled with
the process ID of the faulting process, and the second is filled with
the handle to an (inheritable) manual-reset event that is created here.
Then, the UnhandledExceptionFilter routine calls CreateProcess() with
the command line, inheriting the handles, and waits until the event is
signalled before returning.
Apparently, the debugger is supposed to read the process ID from
the command line, attach to the process, and debug it.
We'll keep you posted on the evolution of the new debugger
In another thread, Ulrich Weigand gave the status of current supported
debugging formats in Wine's internal debugger:
- Alexandre Julliard is currently working on missing
(Get|Set)ThreadContext APIs which are working but still need some
polish to be committed.
- Ulrich Weigand already sent some fixes to help new debugger
integration (process creation flags, USER/USER32 use in process startup).
So, the best way to let Wine's debugger load Windows native debug
Native Win32 executables typically contain one (or more) of the
following types of debugging information:
- internal COFF debug info (symbols and linenumbers)
- internal CodeView debug info (types, symbols, and linenumbers)
- external (in .DBG file) COFF debug info
- external (in .DBG file) CodeView debug info
- pointer to .PDB file(s)
The COFF format is the best-understood; it's well documented and
hasn't changed for a long time (AFAIK). Wine will properly support
both internal and external (.DBG) COFF debug info. The down-side is
that it doesn't support type information...
The CodeView format is more problematical. First of all, for some
reason Wine doesn't currently process internal CodeView debug info;
this could be easily fixed, however. A bigger problem is that
somewhere (I think between VC 4 and VC 5) the format of the type and
symbol info changed drastically, caused by increasing internal
pointers to type info from 2 to 4 bytes (apparently 64K types were no
longer enough :-/). While the new format is also documented, it hasn't
been added to Wine, and hence Wine doesn't understand CodeView info as
produced by recent compilers.
The most problematical is the .PDB file info. The core format of a
.PDB file appears to be nowhere documented. While there is Wine code
to read .PDB files, this is not perfect; and furthermore, the PDB file
changed in the past, and the new .PDB format is not
understood by Wine at all.
Ulrich also indicated he had been working on a patch to
Currently, your best bet would be to generate COFF info. This can be
done using (I think) a /debugtype:coff switch to the linker. Consult
the VC docs for the exact syntax...
If you need type info, however, this won't help. You might be able to
get VC to generate an old-style .PDB (or external old-style CodeView
info); however I'm not sure whether this works. There used to be a
/Z7 option to generate old-style CodeView info. If this still works,
you could use this and then strip off the debug info to a .DBG file
using (I think) the 'rebase' utility.
support the 32-bit CodeView type indexes and the VC 5 .PDB format,
but didn't get around to release it (also, I'm missing test cases of .PDB
files produced by various compilers ...)
Archive Link: "Wine's license"
Alexandre Julliard, Gavriel State, CodeWeavers,
Alexandre Julliard proposed an evolution to the Wine license:
Gavriel State from Corel gave also some indications on how this issue
regarding the license and R. Stallman started:
To provide you with some distraction from the dry technical subjects,
I thought we might have a license flamewar ;-)
Seriously, the issue has been raised that there may be some
restrictions in the Wine license that make it incompatible with other
open source licenses like the GPL, and possibly even with the Open
Source definition. I think this is unfortunate, and I would like to
try to correct this.
Richard Stallman has been kind enough to study the Wine license and
send me his opinion on the matter, which I quote here (with his
copyright notice); and (3) agree to indemnify and hold all
prior authors, copyright holders and licensors of the work harmless
from and against all damages arising from use of the work.
This is incompatible with the GPL, because it is a requirement that
doesn't appear in the GPL.
Trying to make users indemnify you seems a bit extreme, too. That
goes far beyond simply trying to avoid liability, and I have a bad
feeling about it.
It also probably is legally invalid in a license based on copyright.
The GPL has other clauses which try to avoid liability, and I believe
they do the best that can be done in a license based on copyright law.
Your statement is much stronger. That makes it incompatible with the
GPL; I think that can also make it legally invalid.
that contain any party of the original work, and (c) all source
files of the derivative work that are necessary to compile, link
and run the derivative work without unresolved external calls and
with the same functionality of the original work (``Necessary
Sources'') carry a prominent notice explaining the nature and date
of the modification and/or creation.
This clause seems to require that modified versions support the
precise functionality of the standard release--although it does not
say so explicitly. That would be a very strict restriction. It is
much more restrictive than the GPL; in fact, I think it does not
qualify as free software with this restriction.
I think Richard is right that these are problematic issues, and not
only with respect to the GPL, but for any use of our code in a free
software project. Since the intent of our license is to allow such
use, I would like to propose two options to address this problem:
- Remove the offending wordings in the license.
I think the clause (3) in the first paragraph can be entirely
removed since the warranty statement already contains the important
parts of it.
The clause (c) is a bit more obscure, but I don't think it really
adds anything; clauses (a) and (b) are enough to ensure that the
proper credits and history will be maintained in the source code
(which by the way isn't what we are doing at the moment, the
history is in a separate file ;-)
- Switch to another license that has the same goals as ours, but
that has been written by lawyers instead of hackers, in order to
avoid future problems of the same kind.
IMO possible candidates include the X11 and the FreeBSD license.
[please let's not talk about switching to the LGPL; we had this
debate already, and we are not going to reach a consensus on it]
Since any kind of change to the license requires the agreement of all
the developers, I'd like to hear your opinion on this matter.
Disclaimer: my present employer CodeWeavers has nothing to do with
the present proposal, which is entirely my own initiative (even though
they will of course also benefit from a resolution of this issue,
particularly WRT the Twine product).
If I'm not mistaken, this is all related to discussions I had with
Richard at LinuxWorld, where I gave him his first ever demo of WINE.
He'd actually never heard of it before, and was surprised and
There were lots of talks regarding legal issues (done by non legal
people) and directions to be taken. As a global conclusion, it seems
There were also some discussion about adding some Wine specific header
to all source files (containing some license and warranty issues), but
no conclusions have been drawn on that matter; the copyright issues
have also triggered quite a few posts (who owns a file when multiple
developers commit patches and the like).
So, if you tick at least one from the three items below,
- most people would prefer switch to an existing license rather
than creating a new one
- X11 license seems to be the one to drag the more interest
- from a process point of view, it shall be asked to all the
Wine's developers (current and old) what's their position
- if in a "fair" amount of time, no one disagrees, then the
switch to the new license will be effective
- if someone disagrees, then his/her code shall be removed from
the source tree (this can happen before or after previous item)
then please speak out your mind on the license subject before it's too
- I'm a Wine developer
- I've been a Wine developer
- I plan to be a Wine developer
Improving Wine's loader
Archive Link: "Improving Wine's loader"
Gavriel State, Ulrich Weigand, , Patrik Stridval
Gavriel State proposed to look at some possible enhancement to Wine's
PE loader.Gavriel wished to map PE sections using mmap with a load on
read, instead of actually loading them at module initialization. This
lazy behavior could speed up the loading of modules (and delay the
actual loading of some sections until they are needed), and also share
the pages across several processes, thus reducing overall memory
consumption. Doing so, Gav' run into some problems:
I've been looking through the comments in loader/pe_image.c about the
fact that linux's mmap isn't suitable for dealing with loading pe
sections, due to the fact that the pe sections are aligned on 512 byte
boundaries in the PE file, but that linux can't deal with an mmap
where the offset parameter isn't file-system block aligned.
Ulrich Weigand shed some light on Windows behavior on the topic of
mapping instead of loading process image:
It also seems that latest development tools tend to align PE sections
on 4k boundaries, which shall alleviate some mmap() issues. Patrik
Stridval provided some links for tools doing so (some are provided by
Microsoft), and Ulrich Weigand quickly hacked such a tool.
As a conclusion, work is underway to first try to mmap() the PE
sections, and if this fail, to fall back to the current mode of
actually loading the section. Gav', on preliminary achievement,
reported a 5 second gain while loading notepad on his laptop.
If we do indeed have to apply relocation, because the intended virtual
base address is not available, we an completely forget about mmap()
anyway, as applying the relocation offsets would dirty (nearly) each
page immediately. We could then just as well read the file as we do
Windows copes with this by performing the relocation *in the page
fault handler*; each time a page is paged in, the relocations are
applied by kernel code, and this is not
counted as dirtying of the
page, so when the page is no longer needed, it is simply thrown
away. (The next time it is accessed, it is read in from the PE file
again, and the relocs are applied again
One option would be to at least delaying reading a executable page
(and applying the appropriate relocs) until the page is first
accessed. This should be relatively simple to do in Wine; we'd just
need to mark the range no-access initially and install a page fault
handler that would read in pages as required. As those pages would
then be considered dirty by the OS and written to swap when memory is
needed (instead of simply being thrown away), I'm somewhat dubious
whether this would really bring much of an advantage, however...
Sharon And Joy