How to include a part of Wine ... why include wine at all?

Onno Benschop onno at
Wed Feb 13 23:27:18 UTC 2008

On 14/02/08 07:53, Daniel Hollocher wrote:
> I have a different but related question:  why is a wine package
> included in the Ubuntu repositories at all? 
> Its 5 months old, and the winehq website not only has a package built
> specifically for ubuntu gutsy/whatever, but they have their own
> repository that will allow your install of wine to be automatically
> updated. 
> I understand that much of ubuntu software is upgraded on a 6 month
> basis to ensure compatibility, but why include wine in that process
> when the wine devs are probably doing a better job?
> Dan
> PS - I'm very curious to the response, since I feel that similar
> criticisms can be leveled at other packages in the ubuntu repos.

You could make the above argument for all available software anywhere, ie:

    * Why ship a kernel when you can download it from
    * Why ship Firefox and Thunderbird when you can get them from
    * [.. etc..]

While it might look like I'm being flippant, I'm not. I'm serious. The
whole point of putting together a distribution is that the sum of the
parts is greater. That goes for wine as much as any other application /

The release schedule that Ubuntu uses is better than any distribution
I've seen anywhere, period.

Your understanding "that much of ubuntu software is upgraded on a 6
month basis to ensure compatibility" does not ring true to me. If you
understood it, that is, really understood it, then you would know that
wine isn't an island. It relates to all the software around it, the
kernel, the windowing system, the hardware abstraction code, etc.
"Ensuring Compatibility" isn't just wine, its the whole lot.

Now long-time Ubuntu users know that this process isn't 100%, that is,
unexpected things still happen, incompatibilities still creep in and
bugs still get unearthed, but at least you're working within a known
problem scope, that is, the goal-posts move every six months, but they
don't move every minute, which is what you're proposing.

So, does that answer your question?

Onno Benschop

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