Wine, the program which allows Windows programs to run on Linux by implementing the DLL structure, has gone beta. How long did it take? Twelve years! That’s right! Twelve! Now, a lot of programs in the open source world are considered to be beta and they run perfectly fine (eg fluxbox and enlightenment). However, Wine has been in Alpha for twelve years! The reason? Windows is complicated as heck to emulate and it isn’t exactly out there and documented like open source projects are. They had to reverse engineer EVERYTHING! But, you may be saying, Beta still isn’t release quality! When I go to Winehq.org the version for download is 0.9. That’s true, but getting out of Alpha was a VERY important stage. You see, while in Alpha they would always fix one bug at the expense of functionality of another. In other words, if you looked on the program compatibility database you might see something like – This worked with 20030406, but does not work with 20040406. From now on, because it’s in Beta, those kinds of continuity breaks are not allowed. It should allow for a much faster development cycle as bug fixes will build on each other, not eradicate each other. I’m building from source as we speak and I hope to be able to post some test pictures later. Lets give the folks over at Wine a round of applause!