Bringing Wine into Main

Douglass Clem crashsystems at
Tue Dec 16 16:11:41 GMT 2008

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I just noticed the discussion that was started about putting Wine into main,
so I figured I'd jump in with my two cents.

I agree that there would be some great advantages to having Wine officially
supported, and that it would be great to make Wine usage easier for new
users. However, I'm not so sure that having it installed by default would be
the best approach. As Mr. Ritchie states, 10% of Ubuntu users have Wine
installed. I myself have it installed on one of my systems. However, I'd not
want it installed on any of my other systems.

Perhaps the method we use for Flash installation would work well for Wine.
When a new user visits a website that utilizes Flash, they are notified that
they need new software to run the content, and are offered to automatically
have it installed. Perhaps when the new user clicks on the .EXE file, they
could be notified with a window that explains the differences between
software installation on Windows and Ubuntu, introduces them to Wine, and
gives them the option to automatically install Wine and use it to run the
.EXE they clicked. In addition, perhaps it would be possible to integrate a
feature that pulls info about that Windows program from, and
tells them the probability of the program working well. I'm not sure if this
last bit would be possible or not, but it would be a nice addition.

I think the approach I just outlined would be the best compromise, allowing
new users to easily run Windows software, while not mandating that all users
have Wine installed.

Douglass Clem
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