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  • Richard Stallman Comments On Valve For Linux

    Phoronix: Richard Stallman Comments On Valve For Linux

    Richard Stallman has commented on Valve's plans to bring their games/software to Linux. Of course, he isn't happy about more non-free software coming to Linux...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTE0OTQ

  • #2
    In the Soviet Union, everything was required to be in the Public Domain, and your work could not be considered private property.

    We don't live in the Soviet Union. Stallman wishes we did. Too bad for him.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by RealNC View Post
      In the Soviet Union, everything was required to be in the Public Domain, and your work could not be considered private property.

      We don't live in the Soviet Union. Stallman wishes we did. Too bad for him.
      That's just not true. What Stallman believes in is that software should be free (as in freedom), period. He even acknowledges in his blog post that game artwork is a different story.

      Edit: on the other hand, I really have no idea what he thinks about the soviet union or communism, so I can't really speak for him.

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      • #4
        The biggest problem with GPL is Stalman

        This just highlights how stupid this guy can be! Many of these games take substantial amounts of cash to develop and as such the developers have no chance of paying the bills if they don't use some sort of rights management. In fact if people tried to take Stalmans advice there wouldn't be a games industry at all.

        In any event im happy that the concept of open source is wide enough that many license can fill a developers needs. Frankly I can not see any wisdom at all in offering software with a GPL license attached. One doesn't want to be associated with such lunacy.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by M1kkko View Post
          That's just not true. What Stallman believes in is that software should be free (as in freedom), period.
          So did the Soviet Union. It needs to be free for the people. As in freedom.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by RealNC View Post
            In the Soviet Union, everything was required to be in the Public Domain, and your work could not be considered private property.

            We don't live in the Soviet Union. Stallman wishes we did. Too bad for him.
            I really don't think free software can equate to communism... personally I believe free software equates to computer science rather than the other way of doing things which to me equates to computer magic....

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            • #7
              Some people use Linux for its open source mentality, some people use Linux cause they think it is just a better operating system. Everyone uses Linux for different reasons. Is Steam bad or good for Linux? Who care's.. it's all about choice. No one is making anyone download Steam, it is the users choice. If you don't like don't install it.

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              • #8
                If Stallman really want to give freedom to users, then he should not be against any nonfree software. If freedom is primary value then users have right to choose if they want to use nonfree software or not. Moreover they can choose if they want to follow Stallman's philosophy or not. Therefore Stallman would be contradicting his own beliefs by speaking against Valve on linux. Right now he did that only partially, but I belive that this man has unlimited potential to be as incoherent as it is only possible.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by otikscypi View Post
                  If Stallman really want to give freedom to users, then he should not be against any nonfree software. If freedom is primary value then users have right to choose if they want to use nonfree software or not. Moreover they can choose if they want to follow Stallman's philosophy or not. Therefore Stallman would be contradicting his own beliefs by speaking against Valve on linux. Right now he did that only partially, but I belive that this man has unlimited potential to be as incoherent as it is only possible.
                  I agree isn't Freedom realistically about choice.

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                  • #10
                    Stallman isn't stupid, he's just a zealot. The fact is though, his opinions are consistant and have a lot of merit, and just because the rest of us are pragmatic, doesn't mean he's wrong. In fact, he's likely smarter than me or you due to his consistency, as he obviously has a strong understanding on his viewpoints, and isn't easily swayed be desires or emotions. Our community needs people like him, and whilst you don't need to agree with everything he says or does, he deserves some amount of respect.

                    Fact of the matter is, you buy steam games, Valve dies, you won't be able to play those games. Even if Valve doesn't die, once computer hardware and operating systems move beyond their current stage, you'll have a lot of problems running your current x86 games. I suspect steam will try to keep these alive for as long as possible, but at some stage it just won't work anymore. This is what he's warning you about, and whilst I trust Valve a great deal more than many companies, its an issue that will come about at some time in the future, even if its a long time after I stopped caring about my games, he is right, 100% so. If I'm honest, I've always agreed with this viewpoint, but I'm a lover of good games, and valve has bribed me with awesome service, quality games, and sales.

                    I believe he also suggests that Steam may bring move positives to the platform than it'll harm it. In a way he's being pragmatic. Personally I agree with his opinions, especially when it comes to the core OS and the hardware specs/drivers. I even generally prefer open source software unless the proprietary stuff is far superior. Again, in this sphere games are somewhat of an expection for me; most games are consumed for a while then left in the dust. Its more about the experience, the story, and the gameplay, than underlying technologies. Once you're done, you're mostly done, and I've always been fairly happy with that. I suspect others don't share my view point, but thats fine - I just like to consume many games. I'd prefer if their engines were open source, but in reality if the choice is between no game, and a closed game, I'll pick the latter.

                    Its a big double standard, but we should reward valve (and anyone else) for supporting our platform too. They're doing a lot better than the majority of big vendors, but that doesn't mean we need to stop making the case for the source engine to become the open source engine in the future, hell I suspect it'd support Valves buisness model to do such a thing (because presumably those games would be easily integreated with steam, and thus probably sold there). I'd prefer to see an open source steam client, but that may be something they'd never resonably be able to do because of the DRM. Either way, the first step is get them here. If its a success, you never know.

                    If Stallman really want to give freedom to users, then he should not be against any nonfree software. If freedom is primary value then users have right to choose if they want to use nonfree software or not. Moreover they can choose if they want to follow Stallman's philosophy or not. Therefore Stallman would be contradicting his own beliefs by speaking against Valve on linux. Right now he did that only partially, but I belive that this man has unlimited potential to be as incoherent as it is only possible.
                    He doesn't take your freedom to choose non-free software away from you, he just suggests that using it would be a bad idea to use it. Everyone is free to choose, he just believes you're making the wrong choice. Also, his freedom is about the users freedom, not commerical freedom. You can morally argue that you should have the right to modify and use the hardware and software you bought in the way you want. I can't see the moral argument that you should be allowed to make money on code you downloaded by restricting the freedom of your users. The problem is, most users just accept the status quo, and don't really realise that it is actually BS their printer will not work with W7, and XP will quickly becoming a non-viable OS choice in the near future. He does not restrict your choice here, but he does have a point. You shouldn't need to buy new hardware because the company you bought from refuses to support your current hardware anymore and makes it near impossible for you to support it yourself.

                    The same argument works for games. What if come window 8, steam refuses to support any of your games? Sure you'll continue to use Win7, but what if Microsoft refuses to continue to release patches for Win7? You quickly enter a laughable scenario where you've lost your games because your OS is no longer really safe to use on the Internet. In theory the market will correct this, but lets say few people agree with you? Bye bye list of games. Like I said, he has a point. Doesn't mean you need to go without, but at least you know what you're letting yourself in for.
                    Last edited by ownagefool; 07-29-2012, 09:04 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ownagefool View Post
                      I'd prefer to see an open source steam client, but that may be something they'd never resonably be able to do because of the DRM. Either way, the first step is get them here. If its a success, you never know.
                      I could see them releasing the majority of the client, just remove the DRM information from the code maybe.

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                      • #12
                        Where is that site which listed the reasons for wanting F/OSS, pointing out why one would care more about the license for the software on a laptop than a microwave?
                        I think its pretty relevant here.
                        F/OSS has far greater practical relevance for tools than for games.
                        If some part of a game was made into a general library, for some reason, then the importance of the license for that would instantly increase.
                        And what if the save data is some proprietary data? The worse that can happen is that you lose it, and its not important (as opposed to work related material)
                        I don't think RMS would requite artists to hand out the PSD-files with all the layers intact (because otherwise you can't change it as easily), or otherwise refuse to look at it.
                        Nor refuse to sit in a car that was designed using proprietary CAD-software.
                        Just like a car or a painting, games are an end-product. It just happens to be digital.

                        * B.t.w, This might actually also push for better open source GPU drivers

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by z1lt0id View Post
                          I could see them releasing the majority of the client, just remove the DRM information from the code maybe.
                          Actually, I think the main reason they won't open the client today is because they're in a shaky situation with competitors. The main issue, in my mind, is they wouldn't want to give up their competitive advantage to MS whilst MS have spent many years trying to steal their customers with Games for Windows Live and the Xbox. By the sounds of it, Gabe expects this only to become more of an issue with Win 8, which is there is the big Linux push. If Linux manages to fracture the steam community enough that valve feels safe, they'll maybe begin to open up to the idea that the source doesn't need to be closed to the client. They wouldn't want to give MS easier time cloning steam when they're still behooven to Windows as an OS.

                          After the obvious MS issue, again they won't want to give their code to the likes of EA with origin. Of course, in time competitors will be able to reproduce all this anyway, so maybe they'll be able to convinced at a later date that the likes of EA aren't a big when you consider the client will only be a GUI with a bunch of API calls anyway. Still, I suspect this argument will only be possible after you see 1 million online Linux players, which may never happen. Time will tell though, maybe Gabe really has drunk the open source kool-aid.

                          I don't think RMS would requite artists to hand out the PSD-files with all the layers intact (because otherwise you can't change it as easily), or otherwise refuse to look at it.
                          RMS already basically stated (which I believe is new, but I don't follow him, so i wouldn't know) that he doesn't believe art assets need to be open source. He also states that he believes people should still be allowed to sell software, which in reality would be the sale of such assets in an open source game. This is how ID can still sell quake3, even though they open sourced the engine. Course, they wait a few years before they open source as their engine is primarly how they made money. Valve on the other hand (I don't believe, but I don't really know) don't make most of their money from source licenses, thus it makes sense that a source engine with hooks into steam could potentailly make valve more money.

                          Still if you want to make the argument that Valve should open source anything, you should specifically focus on the arguments pertaining to how it would benifit them, as opposed to how it would benefit you. I thoroughly believe it would benefit them to have their platform completely ubiquitous, which I believe open sourcing (or just providing APIs) could help with, and I also believe that their games and engines are now vehicle for promoting the steam platform, which is why they're are rumors that both their upcoming games are either going to be fairly cheap or free. There are potential negatives of course, and unless you can understand those, there is very little use trying to convince valve at all.

                          I imagine the people in charge of making such decisions are fairly smart, thus it'd be useless to attempt a dialogue with them without a resonably tailored non-bias argument.
                          Last edited by ownagefool; 07-29-2012, 09:35 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wizard69 View Post
                            This just highlights how stupid this guy can be! Many of these games take substantial amounts of cash to develop and as such the developers have no chance of paying the bills if they don't use some sort of rights management. In fact if people tried to take Stalmans advice there wouldn't be a games industry at all.

                            In any event im happy that the concept of open source is wide enough that many license can fill a developers needs. Frankly I can not see any wisdom at all in offering software with a GPL license attached. One doesn't want to be associated with such lunacy.
                            just what i was gonna say, maybe not that extreme thou

                            Stallman is a really smart individual, no doubt about it
                            from whats he's usually saying, id say he is an utopist and therefore has a rather naive view of the world(geniuses tend to be naive) thus belives anyone can do anything just for fun
                            nothing wrong with that, utopia is a good goal, its just so far away

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gens View Post
                              just what i was gonna say, maybe not that extreme thou

                              Stallman is a really smart individual, no doubt about it
                              from whats he's usually saying, id say he is an utopist and therefore has a rather naive view of the world(geniuses tend to be naive) thus belives anyone can do anything just for fun
                              nothing wrong with that, utopia is a good goal, its just so far away
                              Stallman doesn't believe you should work for free, but he probably does believe there is a limit to the amount you can milk a piece of work. He believes in a world where if someone pays you for software, you provide them the source. This means you need to charge people the amount of hours you worked on the software as opposed to developing software, and selling it to a load of people for $10. You could try to do that in Stallmans world, but you'd need to have a vehicle to stop them downloading that software from elsewhere. For the Redhat OS, that vehicle is support and updates; Sure CentOS still exists, but redhat makes a lot of money with an OS they largely give away for free.

                              In Stallmans world, new development would probably be cheaper too as people wouldn't need to reinvent the wheel every 5 minutes. You could use whatever was already good, and build on that. This would be near utopic for software quality and delivery times, but those attempting to make a living from releasing your own apps for a priced shared amoung a large number of people would probably suffer the conseqences of that. In this world, Microsoft probably couldn't exist as the company they are, Redhat would flourish, and both Operating Systems would probably be better than they are.

                              It probably wouldn't be all the catastrophic. Most people professional programmers are probably hired by companies or do contracting work for specified fees, but it'd be interesting times for a select few. We don't live in his world though.

                              P.S. I'm a 'professional programmer', and I'd love to coast of my work forever. I like have the potential to do that, but I also accept that in my own mind open source is superior. I'm sorta a hypocrite, and definitely not a member of the church of Stallman. I just don't like to see people disagree with the man when they don't seem to fully understand his view points. Personally I feel anyone who supports open source should have a strong understanding of his opinions, even if they don't agree with them 100%.
                              Last edited by ownagefool; 07-29-2012, 10:01 PM.

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