I just tried Wine again for the first time in about twelve months (last attempt was with eTax, useless IE-dependent thing that it is, last year. After a bit of configging it worked but couldn’t submit because of that dependency… it saved a data file I could submit with Windows, though) and am astounded.
After zero-config, installers work magically, 3d engines function, and everything is generally incredible. I read this on someone’s blog earlier today: “with that I was able to install the latest Wine (0.9.18 at the time of this writing). This comes with better support for HL2 and WoW.” and consequently was afraid the version in non-backports Ubuntu would be ancient, etcetera, and generally useless.
No, the author is correct in saying “better support” — there is intrinsically fantastic support for pretty much everything. It’s incredible. Now I’ve just got to get some time in which to play various games. Linux, apparently, is no longer a barrier to entry, and Loki Games (R.I.P.) would face an ever-diminishing challenge as compatability layers keep growing in their sheer brilliance.
I’ve yet to try productivity applications, but am content with having tentatively embraced the gamer side of geek for one weekend. I’d love to give Dreamweaver a whirl, but am unlikely to be doing enough development work to justify it for the next couple of months. MS Office would be a pleasant addition to the repertoire, though OpenOffice is excellent for most applications. I’d never go back to using Word for preparing real documents, but perhaps for things requiring collaboration/versioning it’s the best choice. I’d probably get MS Office for creating Powerpoint templates/editing other people’s work before I had any real need for it myself, so these things are still pretty unnecessary. It’s just fantastic to think that it is, all of a sudden, a possibility.
The irony of all this is that I’m waxing lyrical about closed-source apps when the actual intent of this post is to extoll the brilliance of F/OSS’s progress. Purists would argue otherwise… but they’re wrong :-)