Continuing on in my multi-part review of Bordeaux for OpenIndiana, I’m trying out a few of the supported applications to see how well they run.
I must say there are some odd inclusions to the supported applications list, amongst them VLC media player, and Apple’s Safari web browser. Practically every current desktop-ish operating system out there is guaranteed to have a media player of some sort available for it: on OpenIndiana, I use MPlayer (which runs great), and generally if you’re running desktop Linux then you’re going to have access to a whole bunch of media players capable of handling practically any codec or format imaginable – so I’m not entirely sure why VLC under Wine would be desirable, nor even something Wine development resources should be focused on. Running VLC under Bordeaux for Linux, for example, just feels a bit pointless.
Safari is a similarly baffling inclusion. The rationale is so that web designers have access to Safari to check the rendering of web pages on – but I really think any web designer remotely serious about their job (at least, serious enough to use the title “web designer”) would have access to a Mac OS X box of some sort. Furthermore, Safari itself in my opinion is just a pointless browser to support – it runs on a single platform, is controlled by a single vendor, and frankly – in this day and age of cross compatibility – is just increasingly irrelevant to me.
At any rate, the performance of both of these applications under Bordeaux on OpenIndiana leaves plenty to be desired. VLC wouldn’t install at all using the standard Bordeaux GUI: I believe Bordeaux references download locations on the actual source vendors’ sites, and if the vendor changes these at all then the installer ceases to work: unfortunately, the Bordeaux installer GUI does not give sufficient feedback that this is the case. After manually downloading and installing VLC 1.1.0 for Windows under Bordeaux, I immediately noticed graphical artifacts in the VLC GUI:
Interestingly, actual movie quality seemed to be degraded compared to the same file being played back under a native media player. In the below grab, a native media player is on the left, with the same movie being played back under VLC on Bordeaux on the right – click to zoom:
Regarding Safari, the application appeared to install, but when attempting to view bookmarks, or perform other certain commands, the application would crash:
Even worse, it would then screw up the windowing system, requiring manual killing of the wine processes:
Finally, I could never actually get to any sites, internal or external, even though internet connectivity on the host was fine.
My suggestion to the Bordeaux developers would be to simply remove these redundant applications from the supported applications list, and focus on getting core business applications such as Microsoft Office working seamlessly under Bordeaux. Even if someone out there really does have a use for VLC or Safari under Wine, then it’s imperative to have these applications running smoothly in a shipping product: my initial impressions are that there are several areas where things aren’t quite ready for prime time.