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Re: Killer apps/"selling" points of FC and GNU/Linux

On Tue, 16 Nov 2004 19:02:31 +0000, Mike Hearn <mike navi cx> wrote:
> > Well, it is better to let some Red Hatter to respond that, but I can
> > tell that IBM will never propose some migration solution based on Wine
> > because it is an open implementation of a proprietary thing. In other
> > words, it is proprietary, which means "legal issues". Windows APIs are
> > a propriety of Microsoft.
> I hope you're not speaking for IBM when you say that (usually best to make
> it clear), because that paragraph makes no sense. GCJ is an
> open implementation of Java, which is a "proprietary thing", yet the
> legally conservative Red Hat ship that. AMD Athlon is an
> implementation of the "proprietary" x86 architecture. There are no laws
> against reimplementing a competitors technology, why do you these beige
> boxes are sometimes still called IBM PCs?

Java is an open specification with a closed source JVM implementation.
Sun actually likes projects like Kaffe, and other opensource JVM
Same openness for Inte/AMD and IBM PC/Whitebox.

What I know is that lawyers advised IBM to not offer Wine solutions.
Its almost the same with OpenOffice.org (for other legal reasons), but
for this last one the value you get is soooo big that we are fighting
these lawyers. I'm not saying that Wine doesn't have that value. I use
it everyday and it works well. But IMHO, I'd like to not depend on it
in the near future.

> By the way, you meant "property" in the last sentence. Nobody can own an
> API under copyright law, it's merely a contract. You can own
> implementations of it, but Wine is written by the people and owned by
> nobody, like all open source software.

Well.... ask the lawyers about APIs ownership.... I really don't know.

> > Other minor Wine issues are:
> > - Businesses look at it as an ad-hoc solution
> No, they don't, please don't spread FUD. I may as well state here that I
> work on Wine professionally and I can give you a long list of businesses
> that are using it both for internal projects and for program ports. They
> are nearly all household names. A few of them have gone public (eg Disney,
> Macromedia, Advanced Wave Research and so on), most do not.

The so called FUD was not intentional. I apologise. I'm just telling
you the experiences I've had with customers.
Expading my point: companies are buying the idea that server-side
applications centralization and integration, with a web/portal
approach, is the right way to go, so a Wine-based solution feels like
temporary, and sometimes does not worth the effort and migration

> > - You can't be sure if all your apps will run there
> No, you can't. Equally you can't be sure the kernel will support your
> hardware, that OpenOffice will support your PowerPoint files, or that your
> users will like the sparkly new desktop ITS just gave them. There are no
> certainties in a desktop Linux migration.

Yes, it is a rocky path. But (real story follows:) imagine a company
that has 7000 VB apps spread all around. An IT services company can't
say "Lets test your apps on Wine, and then we'll know if it is good
for you, and give you a contract to sign for the migration service".
It is just too risky and too much (free) pre-sales work that nobody
can afford.

> Wine does have a company made up of long time hackers backing it,
> including the projects maintainer of 10+ years.

Great. This means that Wine has an excelent ecosystem and it is mature.
I hope lawyers can change their opinion about Wine, because it is a
great open source project.

> CodeWeavers can bring Wine up to scratch for the applications you need to
> contract. A company of the people writing the code willing to meet your
> needs is about the closest thing you can get to certainty with an open
> source project.

I agree. They can taylor for your size.

This is getting out of topic. If you want to continue the discussion,
lets do it in privet.


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