Interview with WINE’s Alexandre Julliard

WINE is definetely not an emulator. Neither a runtime. Wine is an implementation of the Windows 3.x and Win32 APIs on top of X and Unix featuring a Windows compatibility layer. Wine provides both a development toolkit (Winelib) for porting Windows sources to Unix and a program loader, allowing unmodified Windows 3.1/95/NT binaries to run under Intel Unixes (some screenshots here). Wine does not require Microsoft Windows, as it is a completely alternative implementation consisting of 100% open source Microsoft-free code, but it can optionally use native system DLLs if they are available. WINE's project leader and CodeWeavers' software engineer (a company which sells a modified WINE version), Alexandre Julliard, answers a series of questions to OSNews regarding the project and its future.

GNU-Darwin Goes Beta

One step install. OSX.1 users can now install the GNU-Darwin base distribution automatically with one command (as root). Darwin-only users will have to take a few extra steps to fetch wget or curl to their computers. The beta sources are the first addition to the new BSD-style source tree. The team hopes to eventually mirror the Apple's Darwin source code there, but in BSD src tree format. In other news, they also have a new Fortran distribution for Darwin and OSX.1 users."

ExtremeTech’s WindowsXP Special

With the release of WindowsXP, the well-known technical web site have published three articles: "Price, Performance, Pitfalls": Which edition? How fast? How compatible? Answers from the Labs. "The First Few Weeks": Much to like, but room for improvement. "It's Finally Here": A collection of news, reviews and XPlanations from around Ziff Davis. We should also not forget the very interesting --technically-- article they featured some months ago, regarding kernel enhancements to be found in WindowsXP's kernel.

Extended Attributes and ACLs for Linux’s ext2/3

Access Control Lists (ACL) is a way to support fine-grained per-user or per-group permissions for files and directories. POSIX-like Access Control Lists are now part of many commercial UNIX systems but with these patches available, the same level of flexibility is available for Linux. Extended Attributes are arbitrary name/value pairs that are associated with files or directories. They can be used to store system objects (e.g. capabilities of executables, Access Control Lists) and user objects (e.g. the character set or mime type of a file). The patches support specific kernel versions and only the ext2 and ext3 filesystems. Filesystems like SGI's XFS under Linux support extended attributes (meta-data) natively. Other operating systems that have similar meta-data support built-in to their filesystems are Windows2K/XP, BeOS and AtheOS.

PC Magazine: “Choosing Linux”

PC Magazine offers a six-way shootout between Red Hat, SuSE, Debian (Potato), Caldera, Mandrake, and Turbo Linux. Red Hat takes top honors in the final reckoning (which can be viewed by downloading a PDF on the last page of the report.) From the article: "Widespread industry acceptance and ease of use make Red Hat's distro a solid choice for general use, but don't rule out other distributions until you've studied them and know which excel at specific tasks."

What’s Holding Linux Back?

"With all of this going for it, how come Linux has not exploded even more than it has? How come it has not penetrated corporations to a larger degree? How come users have been so resistant to it on the desktop / client level? There are any number of possible reasons, and to be honest, I'm not expert enough to be able to nail them all down with absolute certainty. But I, like so many of you, am a huge supporter of the platform and a rabid enthusiast who spends countless hours tweaking and tinkering with various distributions. It is a synergy of sorts. I learn about the complexities while working to customize the system, and as an old DOS guy from way back, it is actually pretty fun." AnandTech's Paul Sullivan is analyzing the Linux situation in his latest editorial.

Interview with Guillaume Maillard of the BlueOS Team

A few days ago we hosted an interview with the OpenBeOS team leader but I received a number of emails asking us for more information regarding the other effort to 'save' BeOS, BlueOS. BlueOS uses Linux kernel 2.4.12 as its basis, and Xfree. For now, they are building a BeOS look-alike Interface Kit and the app_server on top of XFree, so it is not just a simple window manager, but a whole new API and environment. In future versions, the BlueOS team will completely bypass XFree and have a stand alone BeOS compatible app_server which will only use some of the XFree's system calls to be able to use its 2D/3D drivers. But let's read what the French coder Guillaume Mailard has to say about the project. Guillaume also sent us a screenshot which shows the custom BeOS-alike GUI the team have already coded the last few months, currently running under BeOS (and this is why they have shared that code with the OpenBeOS team) and it is currently ported to Linux.

AMD’s Hammer Architecture – Making Sense of it All

"Judging a book by its cover alone would mean that AMD's Hammer architecture would be used in the first 64-bit x86 microprocessors. We already know that Intel has taken a route away from x86 for their 64-bit solution, Itanium which uses a new instruction set architecture (ISA) called EPIC. The point of this article is to not only examine the pros and cons of AMD's extension of the 32-bit x86 ISA but also the rest of the story when it comes to Hammer since there is a lot more to this architecture than a few more registers and greater memory addressability." Anandtech explains it all for you.

Gates Confirms Windows Longhorn and Blackcomb

"Down at the bottom of Bill Gates' keynote to the Professional Developers Conference yesterday lies confirmation that the wheels have come off the Windows rollout wagon." TheRegister reports. Windows Longhorn is scheduled for release in 2003, while Blackcomb, which will be the real .NET OS, is scheduled for sometime due to 2005. WindowsXP is not far away though, as the official retail release is due tomorrow.

Loki’s Draeker: Why Run Windows Games on Linux?

"Competitor Scott Draeker isn't impressed with TransGaming Technologies' plan to use its version of Wine to get Windows games to work on Linux. Not so fast, says Draeker, whose Loki Entertainment has been the flagship company of that "traditional" approach. Draeker has doubts about games running on Wine working as well as games actually made to run on Linux. Although Loki filed for bankruptcy back in August, the company has continued to release games, including Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns in late August and Postal Plus 'coming soon.'" Read the rest of the article on NewsForge.

What’s the Future of Linux?

The Gartner Group, the well known consulting and analyst firm, is analyzing Linux progress and future. Interesting read, as it offers explanations behind IBM's $1 billion investement on Linux among other information. Our Take: We don't know what the future holds, but there is a new Linux kernel just released (2.4.13) while SuSE is to start shipping its new, SuSE Linux 7.3 distribution in the United States and North America today.

KDE 3 to Have C Bindings

"Richard Dale recently announced that he has committed C bindings for the KDE3/Qt3 libraries to KDE's CVS. Richard generated the C bindings automatically using a hacked kdoc, with relatively little manual intervention. According to him, "The bindings wrap about 800 classes 13,000 methods, with 200k of C/C++ generated." The same hacked kdoc can also generate Objective C and Java bindings, and Richard hopes to be able to consolidate generation of these various KDE bindings (Java/Objective C/C) with this one tool." Get the rest of the news at .DOT KDE.