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Desura Game Client Is Now Open-Source

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  • Desura Game Client Is Now Open-Source

    Phoronix: Desura Game Client Is Now Open-Source

    Desura, the Steam-like game distribution service that came natively to Linux last year, is now open-source...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTA0NjI

  • #2
    Great news, however I have question marks with regards to having the server closed. I can understand that they are 'scared' of leaking info or getting hacked, but a properly developed server shouldn't have that problem to begin with

    Having said that, if it becomes popular, I wonder how long it takes for an opensource server to be developed by someone else. The protocol apparently, (from the client side anyway) is open. Then, how long for a client to be integrated into ubuntu software center as a 'virtual'-repository ...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by oliver View Post
      Great news, however I have question marks with regards to having the server closed. I can understand that they are 'scared' of leaking info or getting hacked, but a properly developed server shouldn't have that problem to begin with
      Is that why it's closed? Or is it closed for the sake of maintaining sales profits and to avoid fracturing the distribution channel?

      We've got too much fragmentation already, between PSN, XBL, Steam, Android Market, iOS/OSX App Store, Windows Marketplace, Ubuntu One, iTunes, Amazon, Desura, EA's custom store, Ubisoft's custom store, etc. Most of these services are entirely redundant. Originally they existed separately as they targeted different platforms, but with the multi-platform stores being common-ish now, most of the rest only exist solely because some asshat marketeer wants to have access to user information that the other stores don't share or to better "control" market prices and the like.

      The end result for actual users is almost entirely negative. Users want one place to buy apps/games, preferably with a Steam-like "one purchase, all platforms" approach. Users want a single list of all their friends, achievements, high scores, saved game backups, avatar customizations, etc. Users want to have just one account to remember and log in to. Users want only one entity responsible for securing their payment details. The community aspects of a fragmented "market marketplace" are hurt heavily, and the usability aspects of that fragmentation just frustrate users.

      Releasing the server as FOSS has a myriad of user-oriented benefits inline with the tenets of GNU Manifesto and the OSI Mission, naturally. Releasing it so that the Astronaut can make his own fucked up fork does nobody except the Astronaut any good at all.

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      • #4
        Desurium - looks like they're taking their open version naming convention form Google Chrome ie the chromium project

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        • #5
          I'll be happy if it just shows up in a package manager instead of having to install it locally for each user.

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          • #6
            I think having to install it locally for each user is the way to go. Giving proprietary games root access is dangerous, and they don't really need it anyway. Desura is it's own standalone manager for the games anyway, so it can keep proprietary stuff out of the system.

            That said, I love Desura and use it all the time. I think the way they do things now makes sense.
            Last edited by benmoran; 01-21-2012, 11:10 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jhansonxi View Post
              I'll be happy if it just shows up in a package manager instead of having to install it locally for each user.
              I presume this is exactly what they intended. Easier acess to the client == more users.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by benmoran View Post
                I think having to install it locally for each user is the way to go. Giving proprietary games root access is dangerous, and they don't really need it anyway. Desura is it's own standalone manager for the games anyway, so it can keep proprietary stuff out of the system.
                Any more dangerous than proprietary GPU/scanner/wireless NIC blobs? I don't care about the games being installed locally, since many will probably require a separate purchase for each user. I just want the client installed globally and since its open source there isn't any significant risk if installed as root.

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                • #9
                  So can someone tell me what (other than icons/branding/etc) is different between the open source and non-open-source versions of this client?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jhansonxi View Post
                    Any more dangerous than proprietary GPU/scanner/wireless NIC blobs? I don't care about the games being installed locally, since many will probably require a separate purchase for each user. I just want the client installed globally and since its open source there isn't any significant risk if installed as root.
                    I'd say so, since GPU and Wireless blobs tend to be more widely used, and therefore more thoroughly scrutinized. I guess I do agree with what you're saying though. I have no problem with the client itself being installed globablly, as long as the games are local.

                    I just hate proprietary stuff in the system package manager (but don't mind proprietary games, in general).

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jonwil View Post
                      So can someone tell me what (other than icons/branding/etc) is different between the open source and non-open-source versions of this client?
                      The branding is all that is different. The open source version is now the ONLY version of Desura. The one that you download directly from the Desura website will have the Desura branding, but community compiled versions will have to use the alternate name.

                      I think the hope is that like all good open source projects, the community will contribute features and bug-fixes back to the main project. There will undoutably end up being some crazy custom builds as well, that won't really fit the main project. Those guys can call it Desurium.

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                      • #12
                        Generally, I think open sourcing user frontends to propriatary channels is a great idea. I am only not so sure if it is the best for desura.

                        Steam is seeing a lot of hacks for their clients targeting to decrypt games you do not actually own. With desura, not applying that harsh sort of DRM, I think it will be very easy to hack the client to throw out stuff for free.

                        And dont tell me "Nah, the indie folks are not like that" considering the abuse the last HIBs got although they are almost giving the games away for free.

                        I hope this is the right choice and I would hate to see such a friendly move being ultimately turned into the demise of the desura platform.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by elanthis View Post
                          We've got too much fragmentation already, between PSN, XBL, Steam, Android Market, iOS/OSX App Store, Windows Marketplace, Ubuntu One, iTunes, Amazon, Desura, EA's custom store, Ubisoft's custom store, etc. Most of these services are entirely redundant.
                          I disagree with your assessment. Many of those product markets you brought up are a monopoly on their platform and or have virtually 99% market share. More choices the better, and hopefully we can drag away some of Window's and Steam's monopoly share in the PC platform area. I for one hate having to activate a game from the control freak Steam platform, sure would be nice to see somebody else on the box we would have to activate through. Of course i would prefer to deal with game companies directly rather than through a third party.

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                          • #14
                            Nice. I already have it installed on Windoze. Lots of indie game stuff. And a good bunch is cross platform. Also not much DRM to spot which is a fine thing.

                            But Michael, where is the much anticipated and talked about Steam on Linux? ;-)

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                            • #15
                              Current build process is less than optimal. Let's hope that will chance in the future.

                              I believe by open sourcing the client, Desura will find it's way to many linux distros and will be available via package manager. That will make it easier to purchase titles using their platform.
                              Rob
                              email: dagger@gentoo.org

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