Radio & Wine

posted May 26, 2002

You may have caught an earlier post on this topic if you're subscribed to the RSS feed. I got Radio working quite well under WineX* from Transgaming, but it's just flawed enough that I can't quite use it or fix it. But it's getting close...

Current summary of Radio in Wine:

* The news aggregator works. There is an issue with the date/time APIs... my computer thought it was 10am when it was 2pm (UTC vs. EST?), but otherwise, the aggregator appears to be working fine.

* The weblog posting almost works. In fact it seems to be calculated for the maximal annoyance factor, because the RSS file was correctly generated! The main weblog page, unfortunately, was not. The "bodytext" macro got rendered as blank, giving me a blank weblog page. Everything else worked fine.

* The Radio UI itself is closer then ever to working. I can see the outlines, they seem to mostly work, but if I click on them, the mouse-release event never passes through to Radio, requiring a forced shut-down of Radio, since it stops responding to mouse events. I don't quite know enough keyboard shortcuts in RU to get around significantly without using the mouse. Also the dynamically-generated cascading menus don't cascade, which is probably Wine's problem; I've never seen another app that actually dynamically generates cascade menus.

* As a result of the UI issues, I couldn't get in to try to figure out what's wrong. Obviously, if you can't double-click to open a script, you can't debug what's going on. If I could just get this working, I might be able to tell what's going wrong and see if it can be fixed...

* It was slower then native windows, but I'm thinking some of that may be Frontier's internal threading code, whatever that may be, not working as efficiently as it did under windows. If RU-in-Wine was only doing one thing at a time, it seemed about as fast as native Windows.

* Kit worked fine, and the "Do" page was useful, since I couldn't get QuickScript to work. (I can see it, and type into it, but I couldn't execute it. Oh, hey, CTRL-/ works inside of quick script, I'll try that next time I'm in Linux.)

* Despite the complaints, the amount of stuff that's working indicates that vast swathes of RU code are working perfectly normally, and it's just a few things here and there failing. Overall, the quality is impressive, even if there's still a bit to go. Progress is definately being made on this front. Whether we'll get to full stability, or at least usability, anytime soon remains to be seen, but things are getting better. (Hopefully the main Wine branch will repair their network code...)

If someone who knows Windows or RU well could help me out a bit... upon what foundation are the custom UI widgets built? I tried using the native "gdi32.dll", but that didn't seem to do anything. If I can work out which DLLs to use natively, I may be able to get this working. Alternatively, it's *possible* this is a quick, one-line fix in Wine, though I probably couldn't find it in less then a week. (Who knows?) It may also be a matter of *backing out* a patch, based on some quick email archive surfing I've done.

It's close... so close... at least I've got the aggregator...

*: For those that don't know, Wine is an application that attempts to provide a Win32 layer on top of Linux, with varying levels of success. WineX is a fork by a gaming company, focussed on DirectX and gaming issues; I tried that because I thought (apparently correctly) it would need more robust network code. (See issues in previous post.) Thus, when I talk about things working or not working, it's the quality of Wine being discussed, not RU.


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