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Wine Traffic #230 For 9 Jul 2004

By Brian Vincent

Table Of Contents


This is the 230th issue of the Wine Weekly News publication. Its main goal is to experience a slow harddrive failure. It also serves to inform you of what's going on around Wine. Wine is an open source implementation of the Windows API on top of X and Unix. Think of it as a Windows compatibility layer. Wine does not require Microsoft Windows, as it is a completely alternative implementation consisting of 100% Microsoft-free code, but it can optionally use native system DLLs if they are available. You can find more info at

Mailing List Stats For This Week

We looked at 125 posts in 3730K.

There were 43 different contributors. 25 posted more than once. 16 posted last week too.

The top posters of the week were:

1. Mono Ditching Wine

1 Jul 2004 - 3 Jul 2004 (12 posts) Archive Link: "Re: [Mono-winforms-list] Fw: [Mono-list] System.Windows.Forms plans."

Topics: Integration

People: Miguel de IcazaSteven EdwardsPaul DavisMike HearnMicrosoftPeter BartokMono

We've talked a few times about Mono using Wine for it's System.Windows.Forms implementation. For the timeline of events, see issues #162, #171, #213 and #214. Last week Miguel de Icaza announced on the Mono development list plans to abandon using Wine on the backend:

A couple of weeks ago, we decided to rewrite our System.Windows.Forms implementation. Today's implementation suffered from various problems:

So a couple of weeks ago we decided to take a step back and redesign it, as you remember one of the reasons for using Wine is that it would allow third-party components to P/Invoke and to hook up to WndProc, this is sadly required for most third-party commercial controls and for advanced applications like WebMatrix to run.

Our new implementation takes a different approach, it will be completely managed and will not use Wine, this should help the portability to new operating systems, and should help on the debugging side of things, and should help with the large set of Wine/GDI+ interactions that we have.

To support WndProc, this new version uses the most commony used WndProc events internally so applications that depend on this works, and we will have an optional plugin that would use WineLib to host advanced functionality.

This is a rewrite from scratch to support the new design, and we hope to have something in the next couple of weeks that will go into the Mono CVS repository.

The core is being worked on by Peter Bartok, and once the core is ready familiar faces: Jackson, Jordi and Ravindra will join the effort to implement the missing functionality, and we hope that interested developers will join this effort.

The announcement was made on a Mono mailing list that Steven Edwards just happened to notice. He wrote back and cc:'ed wine-devel wondering if there was something that could just be fixed with Wine, " Rather than spending a whole lot of time rewritting things wouldnt it be better to help the Wine project get stable and move to the 1.0 goal? There is a roadmap and TODO on Winehq of things that are needed for 1.0. "

More reasons were listed about problems Wine caused. Most developers seemed surprised the concerns hadn't been voiced earlier. Probably the topic that touched off the most debate concerned the stability of Wine's interfaces. Paul Davis voiced his opinion:

PDB might not be able to fuss, but I will. I recently asked about a way to figure out which version of Wine is in use at run-time because of the recent changes to wine_init()'s prototype. Alexandre appeared quite adamant that he was against introducing any such mechanism.

Wine has a bit of a problem with the Mono project and our much smaller FST project to support VST win32/x86 plugins on linux. It has previously been a self-contained project that did not provide libraries, and whose internal API was not accessed by anyone or anything outside of Wine itself. It now is being used by (at least) 2 projects as a *library*, and it can either accept that role - which implies providing (at least) runtime version info - or reject it, which would be a great shame.

Mike Hearn then summarized many aspects of the discussion in a long post:

To be frank, I think we could declare Wine interface stable *today*. Versioning APIs is not exactly rocket science, yes it implies compromises but it's quite clear that Wine 1.0 is years away. These people want to use it today. We have all kinds of goals for 0.9 and 1.0 mixed in together and we seem to have decided pretty much arbitrarily that they should all occur at once, but I don't see the logic behind that.

I really feel that yes we should support Wine as a library, and that means making the APIs we export stable ASAP. I especially think we should stop the nonsense where we use GNU symbol versions in libwine marked "1.0" while not actually keeping them stable.

OK, so having had that rant, I also think that not using Wine to implement System.Windows.Forms is crazy too (hmm, there's a theme here, guess I'm feeling contrary today). The only reason to implement SWF is to run .NET apps built for Windows, it's a sucky toolkit compared to GTK# and isn't going to be used for writing apps on Linux that's for sure.

Therefore perfect compatibility is crucial. SWF is a very leaky API, there are the obvious ones like WndProc and Control.Handle but it almost certainly leaks in other ways: for instance, the order in which events are fired, that sort of thing. This *matters*, I've seen many apps crash and burn in mysterious ways due to tiny differences in the order notifications were sent to it and other subtleties.

Now, I think some of Peters arguments are valid and some aren't. Let's take a look at them:

Wine is too hard to use as a library. It does complicated things with registers and threads, and requires wierd bootstrap code.

Wine isn't portable enough.

Wines APIs are unstable.

People find it too hard to setup.

GDI+/Wine interactions are too slow.

All our problems will go away if we implement S.W.F in C#

I really think we should make another attempt to work together on this one - last time Paul raised the issue of wine_init changing its prototype (which caused them pain), Alexandre actually reverted the change. Too late in some respects, the damage was already done, but I think it's wrong to say we aren't interested in working with you. The last time Mono even had a presence on this list, it was asking how to open Wine as a library and example code was written for you. None of the other concerns were ever raised here, as far as I remember.

Well, you seem to have made up your mind, but I just have this horrible sinking feeling that one day WineHQ is going to have to do our own implementation of S.W.F in order to be able to run apps of the complexity people demand. Half baked solutions along the lines of "sorry using Control.Handle/the registry/whatever isn't portable" won't cut it when this is the last app blocking a migration to free software but they can't/won't rewrite it.

Paul mentioned versioning wasn't as important as just notification that things are changing. He was frustrated it was more of a communication issue than a technical one. From there the thread pretty much died.

2. Microsoft Installer Work

5 Jul 2004 (4 posts) Archive Link: "MSI in Wine"

Topics: Status Updates

People: Gearoid DonnellanMike McCormackAric StewartMicrosoft

Microsoft Installer (MSI) is becoming a bit of a problem. It's an area that needs development, but there hasn't been anyone available until recently to do the work. There has been a workaround and Gearoid Donnellan discovered it on his own, " I am very shocked that this actually works and you probably know already but If you down load and extract the Windows Installer redistributable in the wine directory you can then install MSI's using "wine msiexec /i <msiname>". Tried it with winzip.msi and it worked perfectly. Don't know if that will hold through with others though "

Well, it just so happens that Mike McCormack and Aric Stewart have been spending a lot of time on this lately. The first patches began hitting the mailing list about two weeks ago. Mike outlined some of the work:

Aric and I have been working on a replacement for MSI.DLL that would eliminate the need to download the Windows installer distributable to install .msi files.

We have made quite a bit of progress on this in the last couple of months, but the work is not yet complete. After I finish flushing out the work we've done, it should be possible to install some simple .msi files without any Windows DLLs at all.

We are still missing an implementation of msiexec, but it is a fairly trivial wrapper around msi.dll, so should not be too hard to implement.

The native msi dlls (ie. the MS redistributables) have worked in Wine for more than two years :) They contain a few annoying bugs which are hard to workaround...

MSI is needed for some rather popular new applications to run.

3. Wine on FreeBSD

9 Jun 2004 - 22 Jun 2004 (15 posts) Archive Link: "Wine on FreeBSD current"

Topics: Ports

People: Jonathan FosburghGerald PfeiferJohn BirrellAlexandre Julliard

Remember last week how I alluded to a problem with Wine and FreeBSD? That thread began about a month ago and it started when John Birrell wondered how well Wine worked on FreeBSD-CURRENT (5.2.1) compared to -STABLE (4.10). Jonathan Fosburgh described the current (pun intended) situation, " There is a threading problem right now (search the bug reports) on -CURRENT when using libpthread. Using libc_r is sort of working, at least as of a few weeks ago. I saw some discussion on one of the FreeBSD mailing lists discussing a different way of linking against a thread library that might make things work better. Basically, it involves not using -lpthread during the link stage but instead compiling against -pthread. Check through the freebsd-current and freebsd-ports mailing list archives, I believe the discussion was in one of those."

Gerald Pfeifer, the FreeBSD packager, then brought up the fact that -STABLE doesn't work either:

Right now, Wine doesn't work at all on FreeBSD -STABLE:

and before that I used to see deadlocks upon startup of non-trivial applications (such as Forte Agent, both 16bit and 32bit flavors).

I believe there are also signficant threadings issues on -CURRENT, so overall Wine is hardly, if at all, usable on any version of FreeBSD I have access to, even though I'm still working to keep it at least compilable on FreeBSD 4.9 and 5.2/5.3.

John then looked into the problem and reported what he found:

>From what I can see, there are two problems with the Wine build from CVS on FreeBSD -current that seem to be related to the use of BSD make. In the dlls 'setupapi' and 'version' directories there are source files called install.c. These confuse the build during a "make install". BSD make tries to compile and link a program called "install". Renaming the source files to something other than install.c (such as winstall.c) allows the build to succeed.

At run time, the error:

is caused by Wine attempting to mmap memory outside the user process address space. I see mmap addr around 0xd8100000 (mostly 0xd81eccd8) whereas the user address space limit on FreeBSD current is 0xbfc00000 (at least on my system).

This failure is well before any thread library issues are encountered.

I ran a test of mmap on FreeBSD current to see what address space I was able to mmap. Using objdump to identify the pages that the test program was linked to load in, the test program was able to mmap MAP_ANON, MAP_FIXED, MAP_NOCORE all memory from 0x0 to 0xbfc00000, except the pages at which the test program was mapped at.

I'll look further into how Wine is mmap'ing memory on FreeBSD.

Gerald then wondered where the change needed to be made - Wine or FreeBSD. John further explained:

>From what I can see, the FreeBSD mmap address allocation behaviour that I see isn't documented. From the documentation, I would have expected the Wine code to work - it doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

I think the FreeBSD kernel code needs to change. If this is to happen, it will only be in the FreeBSD5 tree. It is too late in the FreeBSD4 branch to make that sort of change since it's not really a bug fix.

To get Wine to work on FreeBSD4, there needs to be a way of making the reservation code optional. A simple mmap test in configure which snaffles memory above 0x80000000 and then tries to mmap some more memory without specifying a fixed address would detect if mmap is behaving in a way that would allow the Wine reservation code to function.

For FreeBSD5, which will become the stable branch sometime soon, I think the kernel code needs to change. I have a FreeBSD src commit bit, but I'm not a vm person, so I can only prototype a change and submit it for review. I'm not sure if the other developers will regard this change favourably, though. They may take the attitude that if Wine can be made to work with the FreeBSD kernel code as is, then Wine should be coded accordingly.

If the Wine code was restructured to make the reservation code optional, that would cover both FreeBSD4 and FreeBSD5. Then, if the FreeBSD mmap algorithm was to change in the future, the build could start using the reservation code at that time.

Alexandre didn't want that fix for FreeBSD4, " Well, there's a reason for that reservation code, and it's that some Windows apps require it; so unless you find some other way to ensure that FreeBSD never allocates anything above 0x80000000, the reservation code can't really be made optional."

So.. that was the status last month and no one has mailed the list to report any updates since then. If you're on FreeBSD 4.9 things will break if you upgrade to 4.10. If you're on 5.2 things are broke.

4. OpenSSL vs. NSS

9 Jul 2004 (4 posts) Archive Link: "RFC: OpenSSL vs NSS"

Topics: Licensing, Integration

People: Steven EdwardsMike HearnReactOS

Steven Edwards wondered about a potential licensing conflict that might affect ReactOS, which is licensed under the GPL:

I believe we have a licensing issue with the crypto implementation in Wine and would like feedback relating to this. I know that some of the OpenSSL developers monitor this list so please provide feedback.

The first question is in regards to the following:

Clause 3 of OpenSSL license:

This stipulation seems to introduce a incompatibility with the GPL. For normal Wine this is not a big deal but if someone wants to make a Winelib application that is GPL or if I want to take Wines Wininet and Adavapi32 code in to ReactOS this presents a problem. Am I correct in reading it this way?

If I am correct and it is incompatible with with GPL then would any of the Wine developers object to changing out crypto implementation to use NSS from Mozilla? I have spoken with the developers of Network Security Services for Mozilla and it has recently been tri-licensed MPL/LGPL/GPL on CVS tip.

>From the what I understand this lib provides everything we need so all it really means is that our soft dependency on OpenSSL in now a soft dependency on Mozilla. If we want to use the webbrowser module in Wine then a Mozilla dependency will be there already so we might as well use the security implementation while we are at it.

The discussion hadn't even realyl got started by the time this week's issue was published, but Mike Hearn did mention another alternative, " GNUTLS would probably be better. We don't currently depend on native Mozilla/GRE. Currently our usage of Moz is restricted to using a precompiled Windows binary activex control produced by somebody else. "

5. Pango vs. ICU

30 Jun 2004 - 3 Jul 2004 (7 posts) Archive Link: "Pango for BiDi"

Topics: Internationalization

People: Shachar ShemeshMike Hearn

Mike Hearn wanted to know if GNOME's Pango library could be used for BiDi support rather than ICU. There are some messy details with ICU that make it rather hard to use. Shachar Shemesh didn't think Pango offered enough features:

Pango uses fribidi for it's bidi. As fribidi doesn't do shaping, I'm not sure where pango's shaping comes from. It may be an add-on.

In any case, I'm hoping that if/when fribidi starts to support UTF-16, pango will follow. Last time I looked at it, we were too far off from needing what pango had to offer. Getting a bidi edit control (sigh) is much higher on my todo (for which I have no time :-( )

The really sad thing here is that ICU really has everything we need. It's just that it's too simple for people to compile wine without it, that is the problem.

Mike agreed that the shaping might be an add-on, " Pango shapers are plugin modules written specifically for Pango, iirc." >From there the discussion delved into packaging issues. ICU support can be built into binary packages since it's statically linked. Shachar pointed out that it's still a problem with Debian, " For a package to be included in Debian, for example, it needs to be reconstructible by doing "apt-get source wine; apt-get build-dep wine", and then simply CDing into the proper directory and running the build script. If there is no half-way modern ICU version in Debian, Ove can't really build wine with BiDi. Maybe we can get our supplied packages to be BiDi enabled, but so long as we use ICU, and ICU has this horrible linking policy, we can't really get it wide-spread. Since I want it widespread, fribidi is where I'm headed. "

The conversation then continued on IRC, and Shachar summarized that discussion:

Just to sum up the IRC discussion with Mike:

  1. I use ICU because it's the best we have at the moment. That doesn't revoke my right to hate it. Until I have an alternative (or someone else steps forward to do BiDi on Wine), that's what we are using.
  2. Eat the strawberries.
  3. Never tell amusing stories around geeks. They will either guess the punchline or find logic errors in the story.







Sharon And Joy

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