[SATLUG] U want some Wine with that

John D Choate jdchoate at gmail.com
Wed Jun 18 11:27:21 CDT 2008

I had always believed that the name Wine had originally meant 'WINdows 
Emulator', and later changed to 'Wine Is Not an Emulator'... but I was wrong 
about the first acronym.

Here's a clip from the FAQ at winehq.org:

"1.10. Why do some people write WINE and not Wine?

They are using the acronym "Wine Is Not an Emulator", the original name for 
the project. While recursive acronyms are clever, there really is no point to 
the capital letters. They look ugly, so please use the simpler, current name 
of the project: Wine. It's what we use. 

1.11. Is Wine an emulator? There seem to be disagreement.

There is a lot of confusion about this, particularly caused by people getting 
wine name wrong and call it WINdows Emulator. 

When users think of an emulator, they tend to think of things like game 
console emulators or virtualization software. This is the wrong way to think 
about Wine - Wine runs Windows applications in essentially the same way 
Windows does. Because Wine is just a native Unix substitute for the 
components of Windows, here is no inherent loss of speed due to "emulation" 
when using Wine, nor is there a need to open Wine before running your 

That said, Wine can be thought of as a Windows emulator in much the same way 
that Windows Vista can be thought of as a Windows XP emulator; both allow you 
to run the same applications by translating system calls in much the same 
way. Setting Wine to mimic Windows XP is not much different from setting 
Vista to launch an application in XP compatibility mode. 

There are a few things that makes wine more than just an emulator. 
Sections of Wine can be used on Windows. Some virtual machines use Wine's 
implementation of Direct3D, which works based on OpenGL, on Windows rather 
than truly emulate 3D hardware. 
Winelib can be used for porting windows application source code to other 
operating systems that Wine supports to run on any processor even processes 
that neither Windows or the Emulator bit of Wine supports. 

"Wine is not just an emulator" would be a more correct name. Thinking of wine 
as just an emulator is really forgetting about the other things it is. Wine 
emulator is really just a loader that allows windows binaries to be loaded 
and interfaced with the Wine API replacement for porting applications 

On Wednesday 18 June 2008 07:24:05 pixelnate at gmail.com wrote:
> On Tue, 2008-06-17 at 22:47 -0500, luis wrote:
> > Wine, a windows emulator that has been around for many years and done
> > something different ... unique even.
> WINE is an acronym: Wine Is Not an Emulator. I think of it more as a
> translator, similar to how Mac OSX uses/used Rosetta to get PowerPC
> software to run on the new Intel architecture.
> Great news though. I cannot wait to play with it.
> ~Nate

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