Linked by Debjit on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 21:16 UTC
Games A rumor has been going around for about four months now that Valve is coming out with a Linux version of Steam and had a lot of people in the Linux community very excited. However Valve have officially killed the rumor. And it is not what people wants to hear - there is no Linux version of Steam in development.
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RE: Does it have to be Steam?
by wirespot on Tue 24th Aug 2010 07:24 UTC in reply to "Does it have to be Steam?"
wirespot
Member since:
2006-06-21

I wonder what are all Linux distributors waiting for. There are commission money to earn + there is a chance to expand their market penetration if done right.


Not sure what you mean here. Linux distributions already have perfectly good software packaging and distribution systems in place. They are certainly better than anything on Windows (which is why individual software developers are forced to come up with their own DIY distribution mechanisms, on Windows).

Furthermore, there has been no lack of methods (see Linspire's CNR or Ubuntu One) to seamlessly insert commercial software in the normal Linux package management and allow users to download as well as pay for it easily.

Unfortunately, while such methods should be perfectly adequate, I suspect they will not see a lot of success. The fabled niche market that Linux supposedly represents is not it; there's reason enough to suspect that Linux "marketshare" is double that of Apple, and Apple has no problem spinning commercial apps. But their respective app ecosystems are wildly different.

Even more different is the Windows landscape. Lacking a sane software distribution system at OS level for so long, developers got used to creating their own methods of distribution and update. Hence, Steam. This is further complicated by the fact game developers are increasingly paranoid and have resorted to offering more and more content via download only and via protected "black boxes" that attempt to emulate the closed environments of the consoles on the PC.

That does not sit well with the way things work on Linux. I mean, let's think about it for a moment. As a Linux user, one is spoiled rotten into knowing that his or her system is secure, malware free, and all installed files are accounted for. Would I even WANT a rogue piece of software like Steam creating its own little black box on my hard drive? Maybe, if I was a hardcore gamer. But how many people are hardcore gamers? On the PC? On Linux?

So you see, I'm thinking this whole Steam thing is rather a non-issue. Too many implausible and incompatible things stand in the way of gaming on Linux. (By "gaming" meaning, the way big game developers want to do things.)

Steam is obviously interested only in the first part.


"Steam" is not interested in anything since it's a non-sentient piece of software. Did you mean Valve?

Ideally Redhat, Ubuntu and Novel should come up with mutually compatible binary formats so that they don't dig themselves into ever decreasing market niches.


Is there any reliable evidence to the size or evolution of their respective marketshares? Has it been unequivocally been tied to "incompatible binary formats", that allows you to state that?

What do you even mean saying those distros have "incompatible binary formats"? The ELF binary format is quite cross-compatible across the UNIX world, not only Linux.

If you mean "I want to take an executable from one distro and run it on the other" then that's not the term you're looking for. I don't know what that is, or why you'd want to do that. There are apps that can be dropped-in on any distro and they run (see Firefox downloads). But usually, isn't it simpler to install the app from the distro's own repository?

Reply Parent Score: 7

dayalsoap Member since:
2010-05-19

This is how one becomes pedantic without actually saying anything worth while.

Congrats, dude, you typed 500 words to bring nothing to the table.

This is why I believe only people from 1st tier universities should be allowed to communicate in an area that can reach the masses. It would help filter out dunger comments like this.

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE[2]: Does it have to be Steam?
by ndrw on Tue 24th Aug 2010 14:53 in reply to "RE: Does it have to be Steam?"
ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

Well, I see you found answers to all your questions. :-)

Just for completeness, yes, I though about initiatives like Ubuntu One (although its focus is more on "cloud" than an online store and it is limited to a single vendor).

For distribution of commercial software such a "web store" should have more features. Things like portable (between vendors) and stable installation ABI, uniform package format, well supported subset of basic libraries, built-in or online licensing servers, perhaps even optional DRM.

There is quite a lot of commercial software for Linux (the company I used to work before spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on CAD software licenses alone), but it usually follows "Windows" model of software installation augmented with a fair amount of shell scripting hackery. A "web store" could make lives of people producing and using such software much easier.

Just to make it clear: it has nothing to do with opensource software repositories. Both models of software distribution simply have different requirements and are subject to different tradeoffs. For example, opensource software isn't nearly as sensitive to platform fragmentation as software distributed in a binary form (all it needs is a backward compatible API and work of distributors to recompile all the packages).

Reply Parent Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Linux distributions already have perfectly good software packaging and distribution systems in place.


Packaging systems that are designed to work with open source which is the caveat here.


They are certainly better than anything on Windows (which is why individual software developers are forced to come up with their own DIY distribution mechanisms, on Windows).


Forced to come up with their own mechanism? How did you get modded up for posting blatantly false information? Never heard of the Windows installer? DIY mechanisms? You mean like the third-party wizards that can be used as an alternative? I have a copy of one of those wizards from 2005 and it is still better than anything in Linuxland. The binary packaging tools in Linux are crude and always require additional tweaking.

The standard method of distributing software in Linux is to build for a single distro, release the source and then let the army of package managers handle the rest. Distributing closed source software is just a PITA.


there's reason enough to suspect that Linux "marketshare" is double that of Apple


Based on what? Macbooks have been selling well the past few years and I have never even seen a Linux based netbook at a retail store. All the web stats show around 1% and I see no reason to believe otherwise.


Even more different is the Windows landscape. Lacking a sane software distribution system at OS level for so long, developers got used to creating their own methods of distribution and update. Hence, Steam.


Making stuff up again.

Steam is not simply a distribution system, it's also a storefront that Valve uses to sell games. Valve gets a 40% cut of each sale and has strict requirements for developers, it isn't some community project created as an alternative to the standard Windows installer.

Reply Parent Score: 2

jbauer Member since:
2005-07-06


Packaging systems that are designed to work with open source which is the caveat here.


They're not exactly good for open source either. Rebuilding everything every few months to stay current is plainly unacceptable.

Edited 2010-08-24 21:57 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Furthermore, there has been no lack of methods (see Linspire's CNR or Ubuntu One) to seamlessly insert commercial software in the normal Linux package management and allow users to download as well as pay for it easily.


CNR was tied to a lame distro and had an annual service fee while Ubuntu One is a cloud service. All the major distros have distribution systems designed around open source. The needs of proprietary developers are routinely ignored.

Linux users will just have to keep playing Tux Racer and Windows games in a VM until distros drop the 'your source is my right' ideology.

Reply Parent Score: 2