Two steps forward, one step back

31 March 2009
by Jeremy WhiteJeremy White

Okay, so we've got our sales tax stuff all squared away (or so I hope; I'll find out tomorrow during the audit). Now we're driving hard towards completing CrossOver 8.0. We've done a ton of work that is going into CrossOver 8; we've got Internet Explorer 7 running, and we're working on 8. We've got a huge number of fixes for Microsoft Office, notably Outlook. And most importantly, we've got Quicken 2009 working along nicely. That's critical, because Quicken 2006 goes out of support in 30 days here.

The challenge with Wine, though is that it seems like it's always two steps forward, one step back. In the process of fixing some issues with MS Office, we improved Wine's support for the MSI (Microsoft Installer) technology. Unfortunately, one of those 'improvements' also made it so that no Microsoft Office product would install. As you can imagine, that is putting a real damper on our ability to put together a test build.

Of course, this is not a unique challenge; Microsoft struggles with this compatibility themselves. The Windows API is a clear product of evolution, not intelligent design. It's origin in DOS and the many false starts and design changes it has had through the years pretty much guarantees that 'Windows compatibility' is very difficult to achieve. When I'm in my cups, I'm willing to make the faux mathematical argument that the Windows API is a logical impossibility; that it is by its nature self contradictory. I keep waiting for it to vanish in a puff of improbability 😊.

So we've been working through the years to combat this; Wine now has a great suite of regression tests. CrossOver has an application level set of tests. We continue to work on these and we hope to add some further application level tests to Wine soon.

But as I've been blogging, Aric and Hans have been working, and I'm told we have the problem patch reverted, and test builds are looking promising. Time for me to make sure we get our Quicken users the joy they need...

Cheers,
Jeremy

About CodeWeavers
Founded in 1996 as a general software consultancy, CodeWeavers focuses on the development of Wine – the core technology found in all of its CrossOver products. The company's goal is to bring expanded market opportunities for Windows software developers by making it easier, faster and more painless to port Windows software to Mac and Linux. CodeWeavers is recognized as a leader in open-source Windows porting technology, and maintains development offices in Minnesota, the United Kingdom and elsewhere around the world. The company is privately held.

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New Comment

Nasir Shaikh
Nasir Shaikh
Posted 2009-04-11 18:48
One of the most conspicuous omissions in wine's repertoire is the lack of any of the voice chat programs like Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk and MSN Messenger. Is there any plan to get some of these working in 2009? The fact that skype or Ekiga works natively in linux is almost the same as saying that odf is fine on Openoffice/kword/abiword so we do not need MS Office working in linux.
Jeremy White
Jeremy White
Posted 2009-04-21 14:57
I never like to squelch anyones desire for a given Windows program (although I find it silly when people want to run Cygwin so they can compile and run Wine 😊 ).

But your best bet for application specific information is the compatibility center:
 http://c4.codeweavers.com

Cheers,

Jeremy
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