Wine project status

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Bob Amstadt

Sep 29, 1993, 4:18:10 PM9/29/93
Because the Wine project mailing list now has over 700 addresses in it,
I thought it might be less stressful on the Net to send this out through
news. Here is the latest status from the Wine project:

The Wine project is an attempt to write something with similar
functionality to the WABI that was developed by Sun. The basic goal
is to be able to take a MS-Windows binary and run it under X-Windows.
Currently Wine is supported by two operating systems: Linux and NetBSD.
Other operating systems may be supported in the future. The finished
product will essentialy consist of two parts:

a) A program loader, which will load the Windows binary into
the virtual memory of the user process, provide a means for adjusting
the ldt of the processor so that the 16-bit segments that are
typically used with Windows binaries will work correctly, and provide
a means for calling the Windows binary in the first place, allowing
the Windows binary to call back to the 32-bit mode program, and
finally allow the 32-bit mode program to call back again to the
Windows binary (i.e. Windows callbacks). In each case, the arguments
being passed will have to be pulled from the appropriate stack and
loaded on to the other stack (there will be a 16 bit and a 32 bit
stack). Finally some application specfic DLL libraries will have to
be loaded, and dynamic linking will have to be performed.

b) The second part of the finished product is an emulation
library, which takes calls to Windows functions, and somehow
translates these into calls to X11 in one fashion or another, so that
equivalent functionality is achieved.

It should be pointed out that the Windows binary will be
running directly - there will be no need for machine level emulation
of the instructions. Sun has reported better performance with their
version of WABI than is actually achieved under MS-Windows -
theoretically the same result is possible under Wine.

The project got started as a result of discussions on
comp.os.linux in early June of 1993. A mail channel was set up for
discussions, and this directory was created. At the moment, all of
the files that are uploaded are in the private directory in a hidden
directory. The reason for this is that the program is really only of
use to developers right now. Once something is ready for public
consumption, it will be uploaded to a publicly visible directory.
The final product will almost certainly be under the GNU Public License
(or GPL for short).


If you are interested in contributing to this project,
join the linux activists' WABI channel. If you have never joined
a channel before, send mail to
It will reply with a help message. New releases are approximately
every Tuesday. All releases are announced to the WABI channel.
Also, I will do my best to answer any question mailed to me.
My address is "".

If you don't have time to donate, how about money or equipment?
This project has exploded into one of great general interest. We
have attracted the attention of many individuals and several
prominent organizations. Although I have turned down monetary
contributions in the past, I will now accept them to pay contributors
for their time. Equipment is also needed. Most notable disk
space is a big problem. If you would like to make a contribution,
please contact me by email.


Thanks to the following people for their generous
contributions of time to this project.

Martin Ayotte
Andrew Bulhak
John Brezak
John Burton
Miguel de Icaza
Alexandre Julliard
Scott A. Laird
Peter MacDonald
David Metcalfe
Yngvi Sigurjonsson
Linus Torvalds
Eric Youngdale


Status Report - September 28, 1993

Thanks to the work of John Brezak, NetBSD is now capable
of running Wine. NetBSD-current has John's patches for running
Wine. It looks like the Linux kernel modifications are
complete. Linux 0.99.13 now runs Wine "out of the box".
Other versions of Unix may soon support Wine as well.

Windows Solitaire is barely playable. Special thanks go to
Alexandre Julliard, Eric Youngdale, David Metcalfe and Peter MacDonald
for their work on this project. If you live near one of these people,
buy them a beer.

A large number of the drawing functions are complete. Work
on control windows is now picking up steam. When all of the controls
have been implemented, dialog boxes will be implemented.

A new version of GDB capable of debugging Wine is in the works.
This should help us locate the bugs that still elude us.

Please forgive the infrequent status announcements, but work is slow.
All contributors are donating their time without compensation. I
would estimate that at the current rate that we are six months to
a year from a first general release.
Bob Amstadt

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