REPOST: Re: Wine applicability (was: Python Popularity: Questions and Comments)

Laura Lewin LLewin at
Fri Dec 28 14:27:38 EST 2001

Just a quick note to say that O'Reilly doesn't make anyone use Word. 
You can use Word, Frame, or XML.  Alex started the Nutshell in Word so
we're sticking with it.  If it's too much of a problem, though, Alex,
we can change.  Let's talk off the list.
LLewin at

"Alex Martelli" <aleax at> wrote in message news:<a0hvvh0ja9 at>...
> "Cameron Laird" <claird at> wrote in message
> news:200112281405.IAA20884 at
>     ...
> > >I don't do much gaming, but I still have to use Windows (mostly in
>  win4lin
> > >under Linux) for a few needs (e.g., SOME durned webpages that I need
>  won't
> > >show correcty under any browser except Internet Explorer).  Not to
>  mention
> > >that think3 is a mostly-Windows shop, too.
> > >
> > >Linux is my preferred platform for most tasks, except that my
>  firewall/etc
> > >machine runs OpenBSD (sometimes security is more important than richness
> > >of features, support for strange hardware, and so on).
> > .
> > I'm a tiny surprised; I sincerely thought you
> > were most comfortable with Windows for COM and
> > ADO riches.
> I do love COM and COM-based technologies, and for the last few years
> I've had to immerse myself almost exclusively in Windows to develop
> some of the expertise for which I was (and am) gainfully employed.  But,
> out of all the operating systems and environments I've tried (including
> also Vax/VMS, IBM mainframe OS's such as VM/SP and MVS, Apollo Domain,
> and quite a few others) Unix-like ones have always been my personal
> preference for most tasks.  I used Linux at home in '92-'95, before
> the switch to Windows for "total immersion/gain expertise" purposes,
> and this year I've been able to switch back to Linux at home (and
> OpenBSD for the firewall/etc -- now THAT is stability, solidity, and
> security; upon reviewing most all available environments, OpenBSD
> struck me as heads and shoulders above the crowd -- but, behind the
> firewall, I find Linux preferable, given typical "consumer" needs such
> as Windows emulation, viewing Realmedia files, and so on).
> > Alex, do you have any sense of how well "SOME
> > durned webpages ..." look when viewed with IE
> > under Wine on Linux?  Are you saying that they
> > *are* acceptable through win4lin-plus-IE?
> I was unable to make Microsoft Word run perfectly under Wine, and
> that's my primary need -- Word with O'Reilly customized macros &c,
> as that's what I'm required to use for one of the books.  So, I
> did not try Wine extensively on other tasks.  I did try VMWare (a
> beta) and found it somewhat clunky, ponderous, and slow, although
> maybe that was its beta nature; anyway, I wasn't motivated to plunk
> down several hundred dollars for the final version to find out.
> Then I discovered, carefully hidden on a CD of my favorite Linux
> Distribution (Mandrake 8.1 powerpack), a demo/trial version of
> NeTraverse's Win4Lin.  Half an hour after starting to try it out
> I had purchased the full unlimited license online (after trying
> to do so, without success, directly at Mandrake Store, I just got
> to NeTraverse's site, and, there, it was a snap) -- 1/4 the price
> of VMWare and more usable for my purposes.  Lots of limitations
> that may be important to some: you only get to run Windows98 on
> top of Linux, and your Windows "machine" doesn't get to see any
> strange hardware you may have (in my case, a durned Winmodem by
> Conexant, really win-only; fortunately I was later able to have
> it exchanged with a Lucent-chipset one, which does run fine under
> Linux, it appears).  But those limitations were not important for
> my own specific purposes.  All webpages show up just fine under
> IE 5.5 (haven't bothered downloading 6, I'm told it plays havoc
> with CSS handling), Word runs, and so does Visual Studio when I
> need to compile/try out something in Windows version.  I have
> occasionally used Excel, Powerpoint, the OKbridge Windows clent,
> and a few minor things -- for each of those I'd have good Linux
> side alternatives too, but, since I had win4lin already, why
> bother.  I believe the only failure was when trying to examine
> some files with the Windows Media Player.  I do get occasional
> "crashes" (of the simulated Win98 environments), but roughly as
> often as a real Win98 crashes under similar usage, so I don't
> think that's win4lin's fault.
> Alex

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