Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Interview Tom Wickline of the Bordeaux Group

Juraj Šípoš Who maintains did a interview with me about Bordeaux, About what Bordeaux is and the future plans of the project. I'm posting the English version of the interview if you want to read the original interview in Slovak it's posted here: with screenshots.

I found Bordeaux looking for some Wine enhancements and I came across the website.

Bordeaux is a commercial front-end or User Interface for Wine, which shows users the way to a comfort zone, as Wine is sometimes difficult to use. The Bordeaux Technology Group distributes Bordeaux and Tom Wickline is in charge of sales and support. I interviewed him to get some answers and details about this project. Here they are.

1) Bordeaux is the name for any Wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. Why did you choose this name when there are also other famous brands of wine?

Steven Edwards chose the name for the project because the highest quality red Wine come from the Bordeaux regain of France.

2) Bordeaux is a Wine dependency. What does it mean in particular? Does it run with Wine a bit better than Wine alone, or is it only a front-end (a users' comfort zone)?

Up to version 1.8.2 Bordeaux is mostly just a simple front-end with three custom dlls to get around some install problems. We also have install scripts and templates for each of the applications we support. When Bordeaux 2.0 is released this will all change.

3) What is Bordeaux's history?

Bordeaux was first written to be a front end to winetricks. The first release was in January 2008 and provided the front end to winetricks, but after awhile Dan Kegel devised a front-end for winetricks and we had the choice to drop the project or take it in another direction. So after some thought we decided to extend the winetricks script and support some popular productivity applications and Steam for gaming.

4) Do you plan to distribute Bordeaux in the same way as CrossOver Office with its own version of Wine? On your website at you inform readers about your plans to bundle Wine with Bordeaux. Will it be a modified version of Wine?

Yes, we are currently working on our next release and it will come with a bundled version of Wine with some enhancements (hacks) so we can support more applications and games. The biggest downside to any Wine front-end is Wine is released every two weeks and comes with absolutely no guarantee that a regression will occur to your favorite application or game. So what happens is we release Bordeaux and test against the most current version of Wine at the time of our release. And a couple days later a new release of Wine comes out and things don't perform as they should. So we have to ask our users to use a known version of Wine that works. And this causes major problems as different people use different versions of Wine. And when a stable Wine release is released only ever couple years, you really cant expect people to use two year old software.

5) There are a few free front-ends for Wine like WineXS, q4wine, or Wine-doors. What is special about Bordeaux if compared to the above-mentioned Wine enhancements?

Bordeaux runs on all systems, we will bundle Wine, cabextract, unzip, wget and freetype, so the user doesn't have to go out looking for any dependencies. With a Wine bundle we can add in enhancements like the unsupported "DIB Engine" and set a registry key to turn it on or off. We can also add in other (hacks) as needed for installer bugs and the many holes that are still present in Wine.

6) Bordeaux is available for Solaris, Linux, and FreeBSD. You also have Bordeaux beta version for Mac. Will Bordeaux be available for other platforms too (OpenBSD, NetBSD…)?

Bordeaux will run on any system that Wine runs on, we have builds for FreeBSD and PC-BSD at this time and if their is demand we would try our best to support OpenBSD, DragonFly BSD or any other BSD derivative.

7) How well does Bordeaux work with Windows games?

When Bordeaux 2.0 ships you will be able to play any game that currently works in Wine. And with the inclusion of the DIB Engine and some other enhancements playability and performance should improve on a number of these games.

8) On the back of Wine, Bordeaux runs many Windows applications very well - MS Office 2003, MS Office 2007, or Adobe Photoshop CS2. What other Windows applications would you particularly like to see working with Bordeaux?

Microsoft Outlook is at the top of the list and its one of the reasons why were bundling Wine with Bordeaux 2.0

9) When do you plan to release Bordeaux 2.0 and what major changes can we expect?

The biggest change will be the Wine bundle, the release is still a couple months away, I have everything building and running on Linux, FreeBSD and OpenSolaris now. But we have to rewrite all the scripts and make changes to the wine menu builder for example, so it links to our version of Wine if the application was installed via Bordeaux.

10) If users buy Bordeaux (version 1.8.2, for example), will you allow them to use future versions for the price they already paid?

Yes! All purchases come with six months of FREE upgrades so anyone who purchases Bordeaux today will defiantly get a free upgrade to 2.0

11) You are behind the Wine Reviews website. What is your connection to

I do a little of everything at bordeauxgroup... Sales, PR, Support, testing, hacking, site updates, scheduling... You name it, I do it to some extent.

12) There is no demo version of Bordeaux. Do you plan to make one?

Yes, with a demo we can let people try the software before they buy it. and with a demo we can for example get into the BSD ports system and builds for PC-BSD will be automatically built. Our demo wont be the old style time restricted nag screen demo, it will be a limited version demo. for example the demo might only support IE, Irfanview and Apple's QuickTime Player. These applications are also free downloads so everyone would have the chance to try Bordeaux. Then if they need support, or Microsoft Office or Photoshop they could buy the full version. But for people who only need the free apps we include in the demo the software would be free.. They could however still buy a copy to show their support. :)

13) Some people in the Open Source community recommend "good" (free) or "bad" (non-free) software. Richard Stallman does not recommend OpenBSD because of a few makefiles in its ports system and the Stallman vs Raadt controversy started a very huge thread - Do you experience a similar denial of Bordeaux by some guys in the Open Source community? If yes, is the resistance strong?

No, we haven't had any resistance up to this point but then again we provide all the required source to go it alone if you wish.
see: when Bordeaux 2.0 ships it will also come with all relevant source code, bundled with the actual release in a SRC directory. The build scripts wont be included but if you know what your doing you can easily write your own.

14) What particular contributions to the Wine community are on your records?

OSX : comes to mind, from what I get AJ had agreed to accept the code then changed his mind at the last minute. :) So Steven is still working on those patches.

and others......

FreeBSD and PC-BSD :

Once we start releasing Bordeaux with a Wine bundle we will of course have more contributions to the Wine project. Most front-end changes don't effect the actual underlying Wine code, So with user support in the way of purchases we can devote more hacking hours toward Wine and give back more to the Wine project.

I thank you very much for taking the time to answer the above questions.

Thank you very much for allowing me the opportunity to explain a little about Bordeaux and the Bordeaux Group.

Tom Wickline

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