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Corel

Corel's Michael Cowpland Talks 21

An anonymous reader sent us a link to a fairfax article where you can read an Interview with Corel's Michael Cowpland. Talks about Open Source, the Netwinder division's sale to HCC, WINE, and Corel's commitment to putting their Suite on Linux by Dec. 99.
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Corel's Michael Cowpland Talks

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  • Am I the only one who wonders about the future of this beast?? I mean, I used to be an OS/2 user, and Windows compatibility is one of the possible reasons that no native OS/2 apps were ever developed... I hope the same does not happen to Linux. In any case, I have been compiling every new release of WINE that comes out almost from the first day I started using Linux... And I must say, my problem with WINE is that, while it does look promising, I have yet to see a *SINGLE* Windows application of mine work with it... Every single one crashes and burns. I think WINE still has longer to go than is reasonable at this point before it becomes truly usable... Why don't they just give up on it? It might be better for the Linux community in the longrun, too.
  • For those of us who live in Ottawa who are subjected to watching Mikey Hormone fly by us on the Queensway in his white Lamborghini Diablo and watching his totally plastic wife (who gets more plastic by the month) drape less and less clothing on her frame at major civic events, Mike's prognostications are a little hollow.

    His track record ain't good.

    I like CorelDRAW and I REALLY want it for Linux, but I ain't holding my breath.

    He also promised a fully JAVA-compatible version of Wordperfect Suite 7.

    reformhead
  • Does the GPL (GNU Public Licence, system under which open source is licensed) need to be modified for the bulk of vendors to jump to open source business models?
    Nope, it's the [GNU] General Public Liscense -- a small point but still of more value than the lesser/library LGPL distinction.
  • I used to be an OS/2 user, and Windows compatibility is one of the possible reasons that no native OS/2 apps were ever developed... I hope the same does not happen to Linux.

    If OS/2 never got a lot of apps, it might be do to the fact that it was effectively derailed by Microsoft. It got some marketshare, but to most companies, it didn't look like it was growing.
    Companies will port to Linux as long as they think it's going to be big. If Linux growth drops off to zero this year, don't expect to companies to port.
    That's the reason all of those Java projects died; Java lost its momentum.

    But if Linux becomes a major player, it will get ports. Look at the Mac. It only has ~10% market share, and there are Windows emulators, but people still write software for it. And if it was easy and cheap to port Win apps to the Mac, it would have a lot more.
    If two companies are competing in a market, and one ports to Linux while the other can only be run under WINE, who do you think is going to get the Linux market? If we're significant, we'll get ports, and eventually, completely native (non-Winelib) ports.

    In the meantime, how many mainstream users are going to switch if they can't bring their day-to-day apps with them? Even if it's faster, more reliable, less expensive, and has a better user interface, without MS Office, there are a lot of people who won't switch. We HAVE to support legacy Windows applications to appeal to a wider, mainstream market. Once they're here, they'll discover all of the superior options.

    The monstrosity that is the Windows API is Microsoft's one of two remaining advantages (the other being mindshare). Writing anything complex for Windows is a nightmare, and many companies aren't going to rewrite a few million lines of Windows-specific code to support Linux right now. Microsoft locks companies into Windows with their API; it takes a large investment to develop those applications and they aren't eager to rewrite everything. WINE removes that advantage. It helps fuel marketshare growth, and as a result more native apps will come.

    And I must say, my problem with WINE is that, while it does look promising, I have yet to see a *SINGLE* Windows application of mine work with it... Every single one crashes and burns.

    WINE releases are still considered developmental, meaning they are unstable. Sometimes older releases work better with some applications. Remeber that the releases you've been using are just CVS snapshots. Sometimes implementing a previously stubbed function causes a once (mostly) working application to no longer work. Lots of things are changing.

    However, getting many applications to run fairly well requires only minor modification from a current release. I remember one developer commenting on how he was working to get PowerPoint working now, since he considered Office and Excel functional (sometimes not with the latest CVS copy, but it just takes a little tweaking usually).

    I think WINE still has longer to go than is reasonable at this point before it becomes truly usable...

    I'm going to estimate 6 months before just about any application could be ported with Winelib, requiring only minor additional touch-ups. Good, stable binary emulation might be further off, since it's easy to work around holes in WINE when you have the application source.
    Corel is doing a lot of work on WINE, too. Anymore, many of the CVS changelogs have email addresses with corel or macadamiam (sp?) (subcontractors for corel). It is progressing quickly.

    Why don't they just give up on it? It might be better for the Linux community in the longrun, too.

    There are a lot of things that would be better for the Linux community that aren't going to happen.
    For instance, the Open Source mess of incompatible licenses is a problem. Mesa had to be forked at version 3 so it could be used for XFree 3D support. Ideally (at least my ideal), we would all be using LGPL and GPL. But that's not going to happen, and two projects I theoretically work on (meaning I don't really do much, if anything), WINE and XFree, both have BSD derivative licenses.
    Also, it would be ideal if we didn't have multiple groups trying to write video drivers (XFree and GGI) or 3D drivers (Mesa, XMesa, GLX, GGI-3D) or sound drivers (OSS and ALSA) or gaming API's (clanlib and penguin play) or desktop environments (KDE and GNOME), etc, etc, ...
    For the good of the Linux community we should consolidate duplicate programming efforts, not only to prevent a waste of developers, but also to prevent incompatibilities (KDE and GNOME are especially large potential problems here).

    The only problem with deciding to consolidate our efforts is picking which one to use. I probably have very different ideas than you, or anyone else, for that matter. For example, I think it might be a good idea to concentrate all graphics device driver development in GGI, and make XFree run on top of that (which it can do). To me, it seems like the most flexible solution. However, I'm never going to be able to convince the XFree project to move all device development to GGI.

    So the moral is: people are going to write want they want, regardless of what anyone thinks is best. In response, we should try to make everything as compatible as possible, and eventually, everything will be redone Right. In the meantime, we're going to have rapidly changing, and overlapping API's, desktop standards, device drivers, and applications. If we tried to dictate how everything should be done now, development would fork immediately anyway.
  • Head over to VMware and read about their upcoming beta. The software is supposed to allow you to run any ix86 OS under Linux or (*cough*) NT. It's a little pricey ($300), but they're claiming it runs near-native speed. It would certainly remove the need for a Windows or BeOS partition here.

    It seems that not only do you need to spend $300 to get VMWare you also need to have the operating system you are going to use... It seems a lot easier to spend $300 on a new HD and slap the OS on there.

  • For those of us who live in Ottawa who are subjected to watching Mikey Hormone fly by us on the Queensway in his white Lamborghini Diablo (...)

    Run him off the road next time.

  • One problem is that there is no good way to use
    Microsoft Foundation Classes with Wine, and most
    newer apps are written to MFC rather than to the
    Windows APIs directly.
  • Well, all he said was that the fact that
    Linux is released under the GPL was not
    a barrier to Corel's adoption of Linux as
    a platform. He did not say that he was going
    to start releasing code under the GPL!

    Cowpland is a Suit, and he talks like one.

MAC user's dynamic debugging list evaluator? Never heard of that.

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