Strategy for fixing Bug #1

Wes Morgan cap10morgan at
Wed Dec 27 17:12:14 UTC 2006

On 12/27/06, ubuntu-devel-discuss-request at

> On 12/27/06, Wes Morgan <cap10morgan at> wrote:
> > With out-of-the-box Wine and Codex support,
> > it would be well-poised to become [...] dominant on the desktop
> (Just a nitpick, its "codecs"; a codex is a book
> (  CODEC is a shortened version of
> COmpressor-DECompressor or such (

Actually, the essay I'm referencing uses the term "Codex" to refer to this
hypothetical CD full of licensed proprietary codecs. That's what I'm
referring to.

There was some talk somewhere (I forget where, unfortunately) that in
> a future version of Ubuntu that Totem could offer to d/l the
> appropriate package with an explanation of why its not included by
> default.  This would probably go a long way towards resolving that
> issue.

I don't think skirting the legal issues (hopefully) by passing the buck to
the end user (not a solution pre-install OEMs are likely to approve of) gets
us very far here. I agree we should make this easy, but we should also make
it legal and easy so that we have a complete package for OEMs to pre-install
on their boxes.

As far as Wine goes, I've been watching it steadily improve in the
> last year or so, though I don't think its quite ready to be included
> by default in Ubuntu; what would really help would be if companies
> that test against multiple Windows versions (e.g. 98, 2K, XP) would
> add Wine to the list.  It would be quite an achievement to see Wine
> listed alongside a Windows version on a software box :)

That would be great, but it's the old chicken and egg problem again, isn't
it? :)

There is now a precedent for such things BTW; for Christmas I was
> given the Leisure Suit Larry Collection
> (
> )
> which says "Runs on Windows (R) XP" (the LSL games are old DOS ones
> that would run far too fast on a modern computer) so put the disk in
> Ubuntu to see what on it and I was VERY pleasantly surprised to find
> that the way they got it working in XP was by including DOSBox! (the
> CD even had a copy of the DOSBox source code on it to comply with the
> GPL! =D)
> When the '64-bit revolution' comes, will Wine end up being the API of
> choice to get old 32-bit apps working right, even in Windows, just
> like DOSBox seems to be for DOS apps?
> Getting back to your idea of including Wine as a default-installed
> Ubuntu program, what sorts of apps would you want to make sure work
> with it?  Off the top of my head, I suspect the main reason for using
> Wine in Linux would be for games... so WoW? ;)  It would indeed be a
> nice 'selling' point to be able to say that a person can run a long
> list of current 'Windows' games "out of the box" in Ubuntu.  That
> feeds back to my original point about getting companies to test
> against Wine...

Yes, games will be pretty important, but it should also be able to install
and run all of the custom-developed business logic apps out there that are
tried and true and that people don't want to / can't port to Linux. Many of
these are built on the Office platform using Access and/or Excel. We should
be able to run these things out of the box, and there won't be anyone doing
the testing for us (nor will we really be able to). Tricky.


"Small acts of humanity amid the chaos of inhumanity provide hope. But small
acts are insufficient."

- Paul Rusesabagina, Rwandan and former hotel manager whose actions inspired
the movie Hotel Rwanda
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