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Wine Software Linux

No Wine for Dell Ubuntu Users, Says Shuttleworth 328

yuna49 writes "News from last week, but still worth noting: Mark Shuttleworth told eWeek in a May 3rd interview that Dell will not include open-source software such as Wine with the PCs it plans to bundle with Ubuntu Linux. Says Shuttleworth: 'I do not want to position Ubuntu and Linux as a cheap alternative to Windows ... While Linux is an alternative to Windows, it is not cheap Windows. Linux has its own strengths, and users should want it because of those strengths and not because it's a cheap copy of Windows ... Often we see proprietary software companies just completely fail to understand not only the motivations of the Linux community, but also the processes. It's very practical, there's a way to get things done, and it's different. The VMware guys have really engaged with us completely and worked to the agenda set by the Linux community, which is not an ideological agenda but a practical one.' Does that mean Wine won't even be listed in the package manager?"
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No Wine for Dell Ubuntu Users, Says Shuttleworth

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:26AM (#19081721)
    Linux has its own strengths, and users should want it because of those strengths and not because it's a cheap copy of Windows

    And one of those strengths is that you can still install WINE after you buy the computer despite the decisions made by a large company or single individual.
  • by uncledrax ( 112438 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:27AM (#19081729) Homepage
    Um.. so it's not included? Big deal..

    apt-get install wine


    What's the problem?
  • Way to go, Mark (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KingSkippus ( 799657 ) * on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:29AM (#19081755) Homepage Journal

    Every time I read something about Mark Shuttleworth, I become just a little bit more of a fan.

    While I have nothing against WINE—indeed, I use it myself for several things—I have to agree that it's just not right for distribution by a company like Dell. There's an art to getting it set up and configured, and while it's good, there are still a lot of applications that either don't work at all or don't quite work right in it.

    This is a massive problem, and could seriously backfire on Ubuntu. If people buy a Dell machine with Ubuntu and WINE installed thinking that it will run Windows software, when something doesn't work right (and there will be things that don't work right), the average consumers will get mad at the wrong people: Ubuntu and WINE, not Microsoft. The focus will be on how Ubuntu sucks at running Windows software, not on how Ubuntu rocks at running Linux software.

    I see here a golden opportunity for desktop Linux to make major inroads with the public and take a significant step towards advancing free open source software. I also see here a golden opportunity to destroy the reputation of desktop Linux as a viable alternative to Windows and give people the impression that free open source software really sucks. Don't you think for a second that Microsoft is going to be trying their damned best to see that Linux on Dell machines gives people a bad taste for open source software.

    I have to give Mark Shuttleworth a pat on the back for seeing the big picture, for sacrificing trying to please everyone for the sake of making sure that this is done right, and that the software that people get is great, not just "it works good enough with a few hours of tweaking."

  • by jimstapleton ( 999106 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:35AM (#19081807) Journal
    That's an option with any OS though.

    I've yet to see a company ship windows with Corel Photopaint, many don't ship with Nero, or McAffee Enterprise. Often the do ship with Adobe Acrobat, but never with Foxit...

    And I uninstall acrobat, and then install the rest.

    That's the whole point of having a computer, and it can be done with any OS, as long as the software is available.

    Now occasionally a new version of one will break the compatability with another, but I've seen that in OSS software, and while yes, I could fix it in OSS software, I don't (and most people) don't have that kind of time to waste for every application they use, and will end up doing the same thing I would with non OSS software - finding versions that do work.
  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by otacon ( 445694 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:37AM (#19081835)
    No, he probably didn't want to include WINE because it will make Ubuntu bad because WINE is too hard for most novice users or a beginner to get working properly...if you make promises that it can run windows software to people, then you have to be able to be able to deliver on that.
  • Re:Way to go, Mark (Score:5, Insightful)

    by liquidpele ( 663430 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:38AM (#19081839) Journal
    exactly. This is a wise decision based off of psychology.
    You can't let the consumer think they are getting something (ability to run windows software on linux) and then take that away (doesn't really work). They will be 6 times angrier than if they never had those features/expectations to begin with.
  • Clearly, the "problem" is that we, the Linux community, should be trying to "convert" the n00bs out there who don't know what apt-get is. Having WINE preinstalled would help them get over the fact that they're not running Windows, yet everything is fine, and they can do pretty much everything today they that they could when they were running Windows yesterday.

    But the problem is, WINE doesn't always work like it supposed to. Sometimes it requires tweaking. In my opinion, I would rather a "n00b" learn about a native Linux application that can do what they want it to than fiddle with WINE just to get their Windows application to work.
  • Re:Well (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Silver Sloth ( 770927 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:47AM (#19081983)
    Er... but you're a techie. For the other 99.9% of PC purchasers who want their machine to 'just work' what is, or is not installed by default is quite important. After all, the reason Windows is the most popular OS is because Windows is the most popular OS.
  • But the problem is, WINE doesn't always work like it supposed to. Sometimes it requires tweaking.

    I think you're wrong. About the "sometimes". Take it out and the sentence is good.
  • by metalzelot ( 1050906 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:00AM (#19082165)
    Acutally the 'sometimes' is correct. I'm able to run windows-only applications (including games) without tweaking wine for it. Of course there are things where you have to tweak wine a bit, but fortunately many applications work "out of the box". But despite of that I think its better for linux newbies to get common to native linux applications. Because most of the time they are better anyway :)
  • by itlurksbeneath ( 952654 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:02AM (#19082201) Journal
    Nothing really. It's a PR type statement by Mark that Linux is good enough to stand on it's own and if you give it a shot you shouldn't need Wine.
  • by Brunellus ( 875635 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:02AM (#19082203) Homepage

    WINE isn't even in a default Ubuntu install. With or without Dell, Ubuntu does not ship with WINE. It never has. I hope it never does.

    One gripe I have with the community is that we tend to oversell WINE. Even though the WINE team have made a lot of progress lately, I still find WINE to be an imperfect solution, at best. Knowledgeable users know this. But the community insists on preaching WINE to every Windows convert. This is counterproductive.

    Rabid WINE advocacy builds unreasonably high expectations of 100% compatibility. This is not yet possible, and it is debatable whether this will ever be possible. New users don't appreciate the difficulty in the project, though. All they know is that NIFTY.EXE won't run. They resent the fact that they've been given "Broken Windows," rather than a "real OS."

    This is not to say that I'm against the WINE project at all. Quite the contrary: the compatibility layer gives the Linux community an extra tool. But I cringe every time I see people treating WINE as some sort of panacea, rather than using it correctly as a tool of last resort.

  • Re:Well (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fruey ( 563914 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:11AM (#19082325) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, like Windows "just works".

    • A lot of people expect Office to be included with Windows. It isn't.
    • A lot of people expect Outlook to be included with Windows. It isn't (but it is free).
    • A lot of people expect all their hardware to work first time. It doesn't. Even if you get an OEM bundle, sometimes just the order you actually start to use stuff / plug it in can cause glitches. A noob could hose a USB pendrive by just unplugging it during a big write, for example.

    I don't think Linux is any different from Windows in that regard, especially given that this is an OEM offering, not a DIY install. Funnily enough, in a curious world, if Dell support "get" Linux, they may be able to better support it - compared to Windows - over time. If they have a standardised distro, then being able to read logs from clients (via email, VNC, whatever) may be more useful than the crap that Windows gives you in guise of error messages & debug information. They could recommend alternative free software, rather than having to continue supporting old apps "because they came with the machine and I don't want to upgrade", etc etc.

    Shame the linux kernel took "printer on fire []" out though, huh?

  • Perfect decision (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FullCircle ( 643323 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:11AM (#19082343)
    I completely agree with their decision. If you want Windows, buy Windows.

    Linux needs to stand on its own merits. Running Linux to use your Windows apps would make Dell and Linux look bad by giving a bad user experience.

    Wine as a Windows replacement is hard to set up, largely incompatible and the wrong solution for more than one or two applications.

    Let Linux have a fair chance on the desktop without false expectations of running Windows applications. If that's not enough, then Linux isn't ready for mass market adoption.
  • OS/2 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thetagger ( 1057066 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:12AM (#19082359)
    Good. Windows compatibility is one of the things that killed OS/2.
  • by Robber Baron ( 112304 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:15AM (#19082413) Homepage
    In fact if it's all the same to you guys, I'd prefer it if Dell DIDN'T bundle their computers with all that useless bloatware that they currently do (not that WINE is useless or bloatware)! It's almost at the point where it's better to wipe the damn thing clean immediately and then re-install the OS from scratch!
  • by Ephemeriis ( 315124 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:32AM (#19082707)
    And that, I think, is the whole point. Rather than advertise Linux as some kind of discount version of Windows, advertise Linux as an alternative. Apple doesn't ship Parallels with new Macs. Folks understand that if they buy a Mac there is going to be some learning involved. People buy a Mac because it is NOT Windows. And for the programs that people absolutely have to run in Windows, they can grab Parallels, tweak it a bit to get things up and running, and then run those few programs through it.
  • by beswicks ( 584636 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:35AM (#19082747)
    I've been running Ubuntu for some time now, I have even "spread the word" my installing it on a few poor students laptops when there windows installation has died and I couldn't be bothered to find the windows drivers for the laptops hardware. Most of the people I have installed Ubuntu for are happy with it right out of the box, once i've added Medibuntu so that it can play DVD's ofc.

    However I personally like to play a few Windows games like Half-Life 2, World of Warcraft and Counter Strike and in order to do so i've had to "apt-get install wine". So I don't see how dell not including wine on the machines is a big deal, as it doesn't make there distribution any different from "plain" Ubuntu.

    Dell are quite right not to install wine out of the box, as a user who can not "apt-get install wine" or if they have there own partial Dellbuntu mirror, adding the real Ubuntu software sources to apt, will have pretty limited luck getting it working anyway.

    What I would find interesting is dell including a way to play copy protected dvd's out of the box, as to be that seems to be the one real problem with a default Ubuntu installation that people are likely to notice.
  • by Narcissus ( 310552 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:35AM (#19082759) Homepage

    If a package isn't included in Ubuntu, your only option is either to compile it from source (good luck with that if you aren't technical) or using something like an autopackage. Neither Windows nor MacOS X practice this kind of software censorship.

    That line intrigued me. This is an honest question: nothing else. Can you explain to me, please, how 'source or autopackage' for Ubuntu (specifically) is different to 'source or installer' for Windows, say? I mean, Windows installers don't magically appear... the developer has to create it, so how is 'requiring' an installer different to 'requiring' an autopackage package (or whatever it's called)?

    Hopefully you understand the question... Following on from that: a Windows installer isn't required as you could just put a built executable in a ZIP file and run it like that. But can you not do that in Ubuntu, too (so long as the app is built for Ubuntu)?

    I mean, as far as I can see, there are a number of options for Windows: download source, provide a ZIP of the built code or provide an installer, which the developer has to create: it's not magically there. For Ubuntu, you could provide source, a ZIP of the built code or an autopackage (which again is not magic: the developer needs to make it). So how is it that Ubuntu is 'censoring' while Windows is not? The way I see it, Ubuntu is ENABLING by providing a way to install many pre-selected packages while Windows does not. For the situations where a package has not been selected for this 'enablement' (which is the case for all packages in Windows), how is the Ubuntu process any worse than the Windows one?

  • by Locklin ( 1074657 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:37AM (#19082785) Homepage
    Not only is wine easily installable in Ubuntu through synaptic, or apt-get install wine, but to my knowledge, wine is not in the default install of ubuntu or debian regardless of where you get it. Wine is a special purpose application that takes considerable installer space and should generally only be used by people who understand the limitations of it.

    The last thing we want is a thousand new "reviews" online by people who bought dells and are complaining that thier photoshop crashes, and the installer for WOW locks up their computer.

    Linux is a distinct operating system with its own software, new users shouldnt be made to expect to be able to install the exact same software as windows/mac.
  • by prelelat ( 201821 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:38AM (#19082797)
    you do know it takes like 4 clicks to install wine right? It has a package manager that is hard to beat, infact its nicer than installing things on windows sometimes. Go to applications->add/remove->look for wine check it off->click apply. If thats harder than in windows I'll shoot myself in the foot. Granted thats if the repository is there.

    Chances are that a user that knows about wine will know how to go through that process and set it up. Why would you setup a system with wine so that you would have users wondering why their applications are starting to install but not finishing, crashing, or just don't work after the install. If you know how to use wine thats great, if you don't know you probably should hold off on it. I'm not trying to be pompus but it can be hard to get some applications to work on it, its not the easiest tool to use(hence if you can't install it you should double think about it) and its not to the point where it works perfectly.

    If I was selling a system, I wouldn't want to add something that would make it not look as good. Some people will say that not having it will make it look bad because office, some games and such won't work. I think you would be better off to go with cedega with games because theres a big database of games that work with it, its more user friendly. I wouldn't be suprised if at some point Dell doesn't cut a deal where they sell subscriptions to cedega.

    check out the synaptic package manager []
  • by sgholt ( 973993 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:38AM (#19082809)
    I think you and many of the other posters have missed Shuttleworth's point.
    He doesn't want linux to be a platform to run windows software. Wine is a great application, but windows software with a few exceptions is never going to run as well as it would on the Windows OS.
    That can only hinder linux adoption by those still tied to windows applications.
    The key to linux adoption has not changed...we need software companies to make software for linux.

    Shuttleworth has put a lot of money into advertising and promotion of linux...he is doing what needs to be done. The more linux users there are, the more interest software companies will take. Wine is a temporary fix to the bigger will always just be a temporary fix. These things take time but I think his comments do show a good understanding of the real problems.
  • by zukinux ( 1094199 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:39AM (#19082811) Homepage Journal
    No wine for Dell users is actually a good Open-Source move so people wouldn't think they moved to Linux just as a replacement.
    I have a dream! I have a dream, that one day, Linux users will be more then 50% of the people who use computers
    I have a dream that people will not use Linux as a user-friendly OS, but actually use it's command-line, and learn how to use it to improve their performance.
    I have a dream, that every new Windows user that had moved to Linux, would not connect to X as ROOT, and actually use the multi-user management like Linux was designed (unix-based).

    I have many dreams though, with your help, it's possible. I know I do try to get more people to install Linux and use it correctly.
    Spread the dreams!
  • by bberens ( 965711 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:42AM (#19082891)
    Imagine average joe user calling Dell because [insert Windows app] doesn't work in wine. Dell doesn't want that.
  • by mhall119 ( 1035984 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:52AM (#19083103) Homepage Journal
    Um, WTF? If Windows doesn't include software I want, I download it and install in. For linux, it's probably in the distro's repository, so downloading and installing it is even easier. If it's not, then I'm back to where I am on Windows, download it and install it.

    Now I doubt Ubuntu will setup a different repository for Dell installs, so Wine will likely be only an apt-get away. The announcement is just saying that Wine will not be in the default installation, for the logical reasons given.

    But lets say you're right, and Ubuntu doesn't offer it for Dell installs, you just download [] it and install it yourself, it'll even handle downloading and installing any dependencies for you.

    So the absolute worst case scenario here is that installing software in Ubuntu is as easy as installing software on Windows, but chances are it will be much much easier. Basically everything about your post was FUD, and not even intentional FUD, but ignorant FUD. From someone who claims to be a Linux developer (and a Wine developer too?), I can't fathom how you could not know this.
  • by q2k ( 67077 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:02AM (#19083295) Homepage
    The reason to buy a Dell with Ubuntu pre-installed is not Windows related at all. It's all about hardware. A Dell desktop or notebook PC with Ubuntu pre-installed should work out of the box. The stuff we fight with any Linux distro, wireless drivers (although that's gotten much better with Feisty), suspend / hibernate not working, etc should not be an issue with the Dells.

    My wife's XP box is 6+ years old, so I'm expecting it to die soon. She doesn't do anything on it that requires Windows, so her next computer will have Ubuntu on it. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one of the Dells. The market for these (at least initially) is not newbies looking for their first Linux box, it's people that are already at least a little Linux savvy that want a new box with minimum hassle involved.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:05AM (#19083373)

    If a package isn't included in Ubuntu, your only option is either to compile it from source (good luck with that if you aren't technical) or using something like an autopackage. Neither Windows nor MacOS X practice this kind of software censorship.

    Wow, I'd 've never imagined a linux distribution to censor me. Good thing I never learned "./configure; make; make install". I suppose we should start sending free copies of this OS to dictators across the world as a new means of opressing the masses. The whole "regular users can't install wine from source" argument is pointless, because most regular users can't install things like drivers on windows either (if you've ever done any admin work, you're painfully reminded of this on a regular basis).

    This was very visible to me, because when an enthusiastic user requested an Ubuntu package of the autopackage runtime (first time installs are awkward without that), it got shot down because an Ubuntu developer didn't think it was useful. A bunch of users did, but he didn't, so tough cookies.

    Well, it's their distro... They get to decide what they devote their time to. I'm sorry, this just reads like the person most upset about this is you. Someone didn't like your way of working, said "not in my distro" and now you're upset about it. He probably has his reasons, which were most likely omitted from your post.

    I'm pretty pissed off, because not only was I an autopackage developer but also a Wine developer, and now it's happening again. Once more, both users who want a program and the developers who write it are being screwed over due to the opinions of one guy combined with a bad system.

    Well, they are selling it, and if they don't want to support it, it's their choice. If the customer wants it, he'll have to install it himself, even if it means he'll have do the "./configure;make;make install"-dance and wonder why he needs all those -dev packages. Hell, I'd like Dell to send me a copy of Oracle and their collection of finest FPS games pre-installed on the same machine, but they won't. This is obviously the plotting and scheming of a future dictator trying to censor my software usage as a free citizen of whatever country I live in.

    I can't help but wonder how many people are actually going to buy a Dell Linux PC, and I'm actually very interested in the demographic. I can hardly imagine Joe Sixpack to buy a linux PC, since linux won't run most of his games, or itunes, or whatever. I don't think there will be too many nerdy kids buying dell pcs, since most of them build their own boxes (at least when I was younger). So what's left? Linux admins who don't want to tinker with hardware at home? They should know the "./configure;make;make install" dance. Some guy who guesses he'll save on the license for windows and just pirate one, installing it later? Someone who ordered it by mistake and will eventually install windows?

    So maybe I am a little blunt about this, but the outrage of someone shipping linux with their desktops and not shipping some piece of software with it that won't affect the functionality of the operating system itself is imho insignificant.

  • by ajs318 ( 655362 ) <sd_resp2@earthsho[ ] ['d.c' in gap]> on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:32AM (#19083871)
    I have to agree with Mark on this one.

    WINE isn't always easy to configure. I tried it once, didn't get very far, thought "sod it" and looked to native Linux applications instead. And I have to say, they've improved with every version I've tried. (In all probability, so has WINE, so you may have a better experience than I did).

    The thing is ..... teaching a cat to bark will ultimately be a disappointing exercise. If your heart is dead set on something that barks, go and buy a dog. If you go for a cat, appreciate it for its felinity. Embrace the fact that it's not a dog, and enjoy how it can do things dogs can't do. It's really quite rare for anyone actually to need a cat with the ability to bark; most of the time you could get by with not barking, or borrow a real dog.

    Also, what we tend to think of as "native Linux applications" can usually be persuaded to compile and run under Windows precisely because they are Open Source. (Windows applications probably could be got to compile and run under Linux -- if we only had the Source Code. But you don't very often see an Open Source project that started development on Windows and got ported to Mac and Linux -- usually, they start out being developed on Linux or BSD and get ported to Windows. I think that speaks volumes about the mentality of Windows developers.) Firefox/Thunderbird,, Gaim and Audacity probably would meet the requirements of 90% of Dell's customers, and of course are potentially available on both platforms. But Microsoft won't be happy at the thought of something taking marketshare from Outlook and Office; and I'm not sure the various advert-pushing IM networks are entirely thrilled about Gaim.
  • by 1u3hr ( 530656 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @12:08PM (#19084565)
    Bad journalism: how about "Dell will not include open-source software such as Wine..." which on its face implies that no open source software will be included; which was so absurd I knew it must be wrong. Of course, it's not "open source" that's being excluded, but "emulation" software (yeah, I know what WINE means, eWeek's headline was "No Emulation Software for Dell Systems" so take it up with them).
  • by samantha ( 68231 ) * on Friday May 11, 2007 @12:10PM (#19084607) Homepage
    No, that is not his point. Someone leaned on Dell about Wine or Dell leaned and Shuttleworth is finding an argument to roll over. It is flimsy as hell. Free software is about freedom not about some control freak deciding what you get. Wine is not Windows in the least. It is a way to ease the transition for a lot of folks that depend on some Windows apps and games to be productive or entertained. It has a perfectly legitimate and useful place particular with the ascendancy of the virtual machine. Another possible vector leading to this development is VMWare or someone is doing some leaning on. Of course they cannot stop you from running Wine. But this is a pointless snub of a highly viable and respected OS community.
  • by sgholt ( 973993 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @12:46PM (#19085385)
    Come on now...try thinking 10 years from you really think linux users will be using wine? I really doubt it...linux is on a long road one that does not end tomorrow. It needs to stand on its own and not rely on the ability to run non-native software. You and many others are blinded by what they need right now...but in the bigger picture it can not remain that way.
  • by edwdig ( 47888 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @01:16PM (#19086123)
    Figuring out how to install Wine is far easier than getting it configured properly to run your apps.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2007 @01:16PM (#19086125)
    I have been using Linux exclusively at home for the past 8 years and have found that it's often easier to just find a native Linux program to do most tasks than it is to do with Wine. If some Windows application exists for which there is no Linux alternative I find a real Windows installation to be more practical. I am happier using VM Ware to run my company's (for me free) software than I could ever be struggling with Wine. I do not mean to knock Wine because it does have a lot of good uses, but when trying to help other [new] users with linux, the last thing I want for them to see are their favourate Windows programs running like crap and crashing more than they would under "real Windows". That type of experience can only cause new users to believe that "linux sucks" and drive them away from it. For this very reason I think it's best to not have Wine installed by default. Linux isn't Windows and it's best to keep it that way. If someone really wants Wine bad enough and knows what they are doing, then there would surely be nothing to stop them from installing it.
  • by tppublic ( 899574 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @01:57PM (#19087029)
    One key comment that Mark makes in the interview is that he is for free software. By this I assume he means obtaining software development services for free (as opposed to support).

    Logical Fallacy #1: Straw Man. You are substituting a different definition, without knowing the real position

    What does a desire for free software really mean then? From a developer's standpoint, one implication is that a software developer's services have little value. Or perhaps it means the specific software under discussion has little value.

    Logical Fallacy #2: False Dilemma. Because you start to draw conclusions immediately after these two statements, you give this as an either-or proposition, when both of your suggestions may be false. It is possible that free software is software where the freedom to customize the software trumps all other possibilties. It is also possible that the increased value produced by the free software greatly exceeds the development expense for the software. This may lead to an economic situation where an organization doesn't need to recover the development expense, and the network effect can be used to have others help to defer the expense.

    Clearly software has value, particularly in new areas.

    Just because a word processor has existed for a while does not mean it doesn't deliver value. It may be commoditized in its *price* and therefore be capable of delivering value at a low *cost*, but you are misinterpreting the concept of value.

    So what exactly does he mean? We're in the software development business which requires defining things a bit more precisely kinda like in mathematics or law.

    But humorously, you're debating economics, which is a heck of a lot less defined than mathematics or law.

    The individual provider of software development services is saying I am a software developer and I am giving away value for free.

    Logical Fallacy #3: False Equality Value = benefit - cost - risk. You are equating the lack of cost (a developer giving away their services) with giving away value for free. Without considering the other parts of the value equation (such as personal benefits received from the development, like when a developer "scratches their own itch"), you are not creating a well-formed association between value and cost.

    But how can that mode of working produce this top system on par with systems in which the developers are giving their all day in and day out?

    Logical Fallacy #4: Confusing Cause and Effect, Appeal to Consequences of a Common Belief, Appeal to a common practice. Generally, you have submitted no evidence that free systems cannot produce results that are on par or better than their commercial counterparts. While the software that surrounds Linux can be challenging at times, the core operating system is widely used in embedded and server environments, thus providing a counter-example to your claim.


    Logical Fallacy #5: Red Herring. Development of standards - even ad-hoc ones - is different than software development. While it may impact the total value of free software, it does not undermine the basic economics that lead to free software.

    We can go on and on with this kind of analysis

    Please don't...

    ...but at the end I feel the conclusion from his goal is that (a) either software of inferior sustainable value is produced, (b) there has been too much value assigned to that particular line of software development in the marketplace, or (c) there is such massive altruism in the developer community to give so much software development value away for free.

    Logical Fallacy #5: False Dilemma. At least you have three choices this time... but the point still stands that the issue is far more complicated than you make it out to be, and value can be achieved in ways that are not considered in your analysis.

  • by naich ( 781425 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @02:14PM (#19087295) Homepage

    sudo apt-get install wine

    seriously - whats so hard about that ?
    Sadly, I think it's the opening the console and typing it it part for most average computer users.

    Because it's far easier to tell them to

    1. Click on the bottom-left hand "K" icon
    2. Go to add/remove programs
    3. Put in your password at the prompt and hit OK
    4. Click on the "Office" icon
    5. Find "Wine Windows Emulator" in the list and check the box
    6. Click on "Apply changes"

    Ah yes, the Windows way of doing it. 6 lines of instructions rather than 1. I think Mark Shuttleworth might have a point.

  • Great Idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrCrassic ( 994046 ) <<deprecated> <at> <>> on Friday May 11, 2007 @02:18PM (#19087385) Journal

    Honestly, I think that the decision to not include WINE in the Dell-packaged Ubuntu install is a great idea. As many pointed out already, WINE is really a crapshoot application (at least in my experience). Some applications will work wonderfully (like Internet Explorer or Winamp), while others will not work at all (Microsoft Office, Photoshop, etc). I'm sure that if the application were more mature and had support for most applications, then it would be valuable to include it (and charge for it as well).

    Plus, it's not like the option to install it disappears when you get a Linuxed Dell. There are still repos and other outlets that will make the software available, so it's really just up to the user as to whether he wants to try it or not. Then again, in a couple of months or years time when more people unfamiliar to the Linux platform start purchasing these laptops, there is a very small possibility that they would have an interest in using it as supposed to, say, VMWare (free).

    On top of THAT, Ubuntu doesn't even install WINE by default so this is a non-issue to begin with.

  • Finally... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aztektum ( 170569 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @03:36PM (#19088755)
    I have been saying this about Wine for a couple years now. That and Cedega. Not to diminish the ability of the people who write this stuff, but it seems like a time sink project to me.

    The average person is going to say "Well I need Office on Windows." Some Linux zealot will say "Just install WINE!" The average person will blink twice and go "Or I could save myself some fucking time and use Windows."

    Even if they did switch they STILL use MS Office, which some zealots I know (casually thankfully) seem ok with, but yet bash MS.

    Also, consider this. You install Linux but intend on using Windows apps. Ideally you have a Linux native app. However you just bought a Windows native one, which tells that company there is no market for Linux native apps. How does it that further "the cause?"

    Why not write software that fills the gaps that keep people on Linux. That's what will make MS shit themselves.
  • by Dan Ost ( 415913 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @04:03PM (#19089203)
    That someone will come and make an even better tool which does run in Linux, thus making wine unnecessary.

    I'm trying to decide if that's a presumptuous statement or merely an optimistic one. In either case, it might be true that eventually a better app will be written that runs in Linux, but that doesn't solve my problem right now. If the tool for the job is a Windows app and I'm running Linux, having Wine can make my life easier. Therefore, Wine has value since it helps me solve my problem right now.

    The goal is that all the good tools are cross-platform, or at least work on linux

    Wouldn't Wine help achieve this goal?
    I guess I still don't understand your position.
  • by turbidostato ( 878842 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:12PM (#19093149)
    "If what you say is correct, then fine, my objections are gone."

    And even if he is wrong, you objections doesn't substantiate, because they are based on a false premise.

    Where did you took the idea that if something is not on the official repos of a distribution you have no other options but compile or using an autopackage??? Do you thing there's anything stoping the people after Wine to build their own Ubuntu-compatible repositories so you can install their packages from Synaptic just as any other?

    Surely you don't see this approach so much (while, for instance you *do* have Oracle -no less, repositories for Debian) but that's not because any limitation but for the fact that it is not sooo difficult to compile from sources (barely anything more than ./configure && make && make install), so there's no pressing need and there isn't a clear target for a repo (I don't want to build half a dozen repos, but there's no single one that offers a hughe competitive advantage by itself).

    "It makes no sense to saying "XYZ won't be shipped with Dell machines" when in distro-parlance to "ship" means to make available in a repository"

    Ahhh, the wonders of marketing! On one hand 90% of marketing speech doesn't make any sense; this is already so buried in our brains that we even pay attention to the utter stupidities the typical TV commercial spouts. If a friend of yours suddently started to say half the stupidities you see in five minutes of TV you'd think he became crazy and you'd call a doctor. On the other hand you can see the statement was not only "wine won't be shipped on Dells" but "wine won't be shipped on Dells *AND* we love VMWare (a somehow competing product) sooo much". That's a market statement (based on Suttleworth having stocks on VMWare, or Michael Dell, or both, or a secret partnership, or whatever), not a technical one.

"my terminal is a lethal teaspoon." -- Patricia O Tuama