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Bug#407063: wine in desktop task?

On Mon, Jan 15, 2007 at 11:18:07PM -0500, Joey Hess wrote:
> Robert Millan wrote:
> > How about adding wine to desktop task?
> Why? We seem to have a perfectly usable desktop without wine,

That's quite true for most of our "office desktops".  Unfortunately (and so
much I hate having to say this) it is not the case for the "gaming desktop"
sector in which we haven't penetrated yet.  Sure, we do have good games
(vegastrike, stratagus, wesnoth..), but:

  - They're roughly 10 years behind to meet the standards of artistic quality
  (graphics and sound, but also game logic) that most propietary games have.
  - They're not the *same* games our target user is used to.   Replacing MSIE
  with Firefox gives you another functional product that most people would be
  happy with, but games are in lots of ways artistic works much like music or
  movies.  And users get attached to artistic works in a way that makes them
  impossible to replace completely.

That doesn't mean I don't believe in free games.  Just that it's too early for
them to win, the same way it's too early for Creative Commons music to win but
I expect some day that will happen.

Most games are programmed around the soon-to-die win32 API that wine provides.
Note that in supporting this API by default, we don't risk making it a de-facto
standard for cross-platform support, because the 64bit transition is surely
going to kill it anyway.  It'll be different when we have to choose wether (and
how much) supporting win64, as we'll have to weight the benefits against the
risk of aiding the enemy.

I believe we'll have a great opportunity to penetrate in the "gaming desktop"
sector during the 64bit transition.  Microsoft is in a difficult position since
their OS has almost zero drivers for the new platform, and they have trouble
even porting their own OS application components.  Unfortunately, according to
the predictions (see http://catb.org/~esr/writings/world-domination/world-domination-201.html),
this transition ends in late 2008, which means etch is our last release before
it happens.

> and if you
> want to install some windows software, you can apt-get install wine as
> part of the process of installing it.

That's good enough for a power user.  But think of Joe user who just got Debian
preinstalled on his laptop because he wanted to save $100 in license fees.  He
has no idea what wine is, but if he can just "click on setup.exe" and it works,
he will never need to know about wine.

Think of it in comparison with OpenOffice and Firefox (which we already
preinstall).  Joe knows he wants OpenOffice and Firefox, so he can try to figure
out how to install them.  That will be easier than figuring out why "my program
won't run".

Robert Millan

My spam trap is honeypot@aybabtu.com.  Note: this address is only intended for
spam harvesters.  Writing to it will get you added to my black list.

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