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Re: Killer apps/"selling" points of FC and GNU/Linux



On Tue, 16 Nov 2004 12:13:35 -0300, Avi Alkalay wrote:
> Have you ever asked why RH removed Wine from the distro ?

The ~1 month release cycle probably had something to do with it, not much
point shipping software that's immediately out of date. That rate of
change is going to slow down in future as it's known to be harmful.

> Well, it is better to let some Red Hatter to respond that, but I can
> tell that IBM will never propose some migration solution based on Wine
> because it is an open implementation of a proprietary thing. In other
> words, it is proprietary, which means "legal issues". Windows APIs are
> a propriety of Microsoft.

I hope you're not speaking for IBM when you say that (usually best to make
it clear), because that paragraph makes no sense. GCJ is an
open implementation of Java, which is a "proprietary thing", yet the
legally conservative Red Hat ship that. AMD Athlon is an
implementation of the "proprietary" x86 architecture. There are no laws
against reimplementing a competitors technology, why do you these beige
boxes are sometimes still called IBM PCs?

Obviously if you steal actual code that's copyright infringement, but
there has never been accusations of that against the project. The other
thing is patent infringement. Whilst there are no patents against Wine
we're aware of they almost certainly exist, on the grounds that nearly
every interesting open source project probably violates some patents out
there so that's not an argument for not doing it.

By the way, you meant "property" in the last sentence. Nobody can own an
API under copyright law, it's merely a contract. You can own
implementations of it, but Wine is written by the people and owned by
nobody, like all open source software.

> Other minor Wine issues are:
> - Businesses look at it as an ad-hoc solution

No, they don't, please don't spread FUD. I may as well state here that I
work on Wine professionally and I can give you a long list of businesses
that are using it both for internal projects and for program ports. They
are nearly all household names. A few of them have gone public (eg Disney,
Macromedia, Advanced Wave Research and so on), most do not.

> - You can't be sure if all your apps will run there

No, you can't. Equally you can't be sure the kernel will support your
hardware, that OpenOffice will support your PowerPoint files, or that your
users will like the sparkly new desktop ITS just gave them. There are no
certainties in a desktop Linux migration. 

Wine does have a company made up of long time hackers backing it,
including the projects maintainer of 10+ years.

CodeWeavers can bring Wine up to scratch for the applications you need to
contract. A company of the people writing the code willing to meet your
needs is about the closest thing you can get to certainty with an open
source project.

thanks -mike


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