wine-gecko coming to a fedora wine installation near you…

It is always a nice feeling when you can close a bug on your package which has been open for about two years. In this case I am talking about rhbz#573530 – titled “package gecko support”.

What does this mean? Wine implements its own version of the Internet Explorer. For this it uses a customized version of the Mozilla Gecko layout engine (see Wine Gecko). If wine creates a new wineprefix for a user or a version upgrade of wine wants a new version of wine gecko the user is asked to download a windows build of the gecko engine (~17M). On systems with 64bit & 32bit wine the download has to be done twice. This needs to be done per wineprefix, even if you need to start with a fresh prefix the files will have to be downloaded again.

What can be done about this? Wine has a search path for wine gecko which includes a central place on the system. This is done so distributions can bundle wine gecko. While wine gecko is licensed under OSS licenses we are talking about building a windows build of the gecko engine. For the past two years this was not possible in fedora due to the available mingw. With the inclusion of a new mingw stack for the upcoming fedora release 17 (see mingw-w64 cross compiler) wine gecko can be cross compiled on fedora out of the box.

Thus wine 1.5.0 will pull in one (or on 64bit installations two) new packages on upgrade – mingw{32,64}-wine-gecko – which contain a system managed version of the wine gecko engine. All users upgrading from an older wineprefix (before 1.5.0) or creating a new wineprefix will not have to download wine-gecko from an external source and will be automatically using the shipped version.