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Is Valve's Steam antithetical to Linux and the very core of the open source spirit?

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  • #31
    D'accord

    Originally posted by Gps4l View Post
    To quote the guys from Croteam ( serious sam 3 )
    With steam coming to Linux, all our problems are solved, and we will make a Linux version of our game.

    Before steam both nvidia and amd were not interested in making rely good Linux drivers.

    Unlike some of the free software guys ( movie revolution OS) I prefer good software over free software.

    One of the reasons why I am so happy with Valve, is that they want the games to run as good on Linux as on windows.
    No compromise.
    To achieve this, they need amd and nvidia and intel too.

    its only since steam I suddenly see the amd drivers improve.
    Quite right. An just once, AMD did released a new blob with a relese note. Imagine that !!

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    • #32
      The premise behind OP is horribly flawed: without Steam, a good share of future users will run Windows, an operating system "antithetical to Linux and the very core of the open source spirit".

      So please, give me a break.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Alejandro Nova View Post
        The premise behind OP is horribly flawed: without Steam, a good share of future users will run Windows, an operating system "antithetical to Linux and the very core of the open source spirit".

        So please, give me a break.
        This is the main retort. People are excited about Steam because it's a popular brand and bandwagon and lends credible popularity, even if it isn't doing anything interesting technologically and even if it isn't principled and expects to take a large share of revenues without logical justification. Those sound like weak reasons to support it and strong reasons to oppose it.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by peppercats View Post
          If you don't like it, don't use it.
          With most regular apps software, that is how it works. Individuals use it or they don't and that's how it is.

          With Steam, I sense that there is a larger group mindset saying, "no matter what game it is, no matter who made it, this service is the rightful center of gaming, this is where everyone should be buying their games through and where developers need to distribute through."

          I want to discourage that type of coercion.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by DanLamb View Post
            With most regular apps software, that is how it works. Individuals use it or they don't and that's how it is.

            With Steam, I sense that there is a larger group mindset saying, "no matter what game it is, no matter who made it, this service is the rightful center of gaming, this is where everyone should be buying their games through and where developers need to distribute through."

            I want to discourage that type of coercion.
            Yes, and?
            Don't play games if you don't like it.
            Steam is the best game distribution service available, game developers aren't going to stop using it because it goes against your RMS agenda.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by DanLamb View Post
              This is the main retort. People are excited about Steam because it's a popular brand and bandwagon and lends credible popularity, even if it isn't doing anything interesting technologically and even if it isn't principled and expects to take a large share of revenues without logical justification. Those sound like weak reasons to support it and strong reasons to oppose it.
              If you really want software freedom as a principle, popularity and pragmatism over elitism and purity is the option to preach those principles, and to convert people who don't care about them into people who follow them. Steam will benefit the Free ecosystem, it is already benefiting it, since Mesa is being pushed to its limits for the first time in a couple of years, and, as long as you can access ordinary desktops from a Steam Box (something that is going to be possible) will expose more and more users to alternatives. Also, remember Free Software is free as in FREEDOM, not as in price: you can sell support packages for free software, and neophytes who are coming here through Steam would be happy to pay for someone else to deal with their issues.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by DanLamb View Post
                I want to discourage that type of coercion.
                You are seeing this just like the RIAA sees piracy.
                In order to demonstrate that steam does harm to the open source spirit, you'd have to show that there would have been games that, if steam wasn't there, would have been released with less DRM, or more open source, or whatever you think is better. Or that in the absence of steam, a more open platform would have emerged bringing games to Linux.
                It is much more likely that, without steam, those hypothetical games would either not have been released, or released with in-house DRM (all that noting that being on steam doesn't prevent you from delivering through other means, with or without DRM, like humble bundles). The "open" gaming platform is completely utopic.

                But that's not enough. You would then need to prove that the amount of games not released DRM free (which, I think, is negative), is more harmful to OSS than the user and corporate interest, awareness and viability steam brings to the Linux ecosystem.

                So, all in all, I think that while Valve is not perfect, it is contributing to Linux in its own not-fully-open way, just like Canonical and Red-Hat do.

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                • #38
                  *sight*, ok First of all Steam didn't make mesa getting boosted Intel did that first. Though Windows 8 which scared Gabe Newell to the death decided to jump to linux and get things going. It's true to say that with Steam on linux, Intel has optimized their driver better than it used to be (which is kinda normal since most linux games aren't demanding at all).

                  DanLamb is an "idealist" (i think is the correct term), who can't assimilate others' opinion on this specific subject. Happens to all of us in very specific subjects.

                  Valve has NDA to hide their special contract deals with Devs whom want to distribute their game on Steam. But I dare you (DanLamb) to prove that Valve is coercing Devs over their games to be distributed on Steam. Also what would be their reasons? if you don't like it then you can enjoy Desura's platform which is open source.

                  Though Desura hasn't such weight that Steam has.

                  some stats here:

                  http://store.steampowered.com/stats/?l=english

                  i've not found any Desura stats but i think i made my point, right?

                  Dan you used to use windows, am i right? well MS had that kind of coercion that you speak about over every one (well, almost every one). But since that trick didn't please many, specially when Win 8 is around with Secure boot and etc, then you can see common end user to switch to linux or even Mac OS X.

                  So step back take a deep breath and go meditate on this matter from a new point of view or whatever, i guess many had made their point about not agreeing with your statement/point of view/way of thinking.

                  Cheers

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by peppercats View Post
                    Yes, and?
                    Don't play games if you don't like it.
                    Steam is the best game distribution service available, game developers aren't going to stop using it because it goes against your RMS agenda.
                    I'm not an RMS adherent. I like lots of various Gnu projects for their utility, and he's probably a nice guy, but he falls short of being a great philosopher.

                    With individual game titles, I completely support DRM, pay-to-play, subscriptions, DLC, ad-ware, and whatever else consumers and developers consent to.

                    if game devs and/or consumers are really happy with it and think it makes sense, then great. I see elements of coercion with Steam that I don't support and think the community should be fully aware of. I don't think Valve deserves a substantial cut of the revenue of games developed completely outside of Valve and I don't think they effort they've put into Steam warrants that much revenue.

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                    • #40
                      Antithetical to the core of the open source spirit, maybe. I think my main support for opensource operating systems comes from my hatred of monopolies. Stream has in many ways position itself with a monopoly over pc gaming, and who knows, if their consoles a big hit maybe they'll dominate tv screens as well.

                      That said, other games companies have ignored Linux for far to long and a steam monopoly is better for us than no games at all. So in the short term Steam is a very good thing for Linux and I, as a gamer, am glad to have it. Just wish it was 64 bit :P

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Nevertime View Post
                        a steam monopoly is better for us than no games at all. So in the short term Steam is a very good thing for Linux
                        Desktop Linux, and gaming on desktop linux is growing for reasons that are much larger than Valve/Steam:

                        - iOS/Android are huge. The Microsoft monopoly on client devices has been broken. Years ago, most game developers were fine to use Microsoft exclusive tools that produced apps that were Windows exclusive. Recently, that has really changed, and there is a much stronger push towards platform neutral APIs. For things like 3D graphics, sounds, and keyboard/mouse input, there really is no reason to use a non-portable single platform API over a platform neutral one.

                        - Linux in general, is in way better shape than it was years ago. Today users get can get the latest and greatest web browsers like Google Chrome, rock solid Flash/YouTube, and "it-just-works" installation and hardware compatibility (mostly). None of these things were true in the past. Years ago, Linux wasn't practical compared to Windows for many usages. Today, beyond cost and ideology, it is just a better product for many productivity uses. Anecdotally, I see many programmers and tech types are switching and are surprised by how much better it is. The command line is *way* better, the software repo is awesome and makes it easier to install zillions of tools like python and git and keep everything patched and avoid malware/adware. For command line centric programming tools like python, ruby, octave, java, scala, git, etc, Linux just makes more sense. I would even say that things like Microsoft Word that locked a lot of people into Windows have been somewhat replaced by markup tools like markdown and TeX.

                        Now that people are using Linux in larger numbers as their main work/school productivity machine, games are sure to follow. Linux doesn't need a Steam at all for games.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by DanLamb View Post
                          This is the main retort. People are excited about Steam because it's a popular brand and bandwagon and lends credible popularity, even if it isn't doing anything interesting technologically and even if it isn't principled and expects to take a large share of revenues without logical justification. Those sound like weak reasons to support it and strong reasons to oppose it.
                          I think you're underselling steam. Running a content delivery network with user access control that size of steam is an interesting technological problem, which is one of the reasons you didn't see many of them when steam was released and still, there are few with the reliability of steam at this time. Everyone would have a store like steam if it was easy, but most of what we see is people making a grandiose mess with their attempts just like the majority of clouds.

                          Valve have earned their place in the market by being forward thinking while offering added value to your experience. There is a significant amount of logical justification for them to take their cut, which most people will point out is siginficantly less than publishing via bricks and mortar would take from you. Unless you can argue valve employees should work for free, I doubt many people are going to lose sleep over the fact they're making money from giving us what few else would.

                          Still, feel free to buy games direct from the companies that offer that. It's likely the ones that don't are happy with the agreement that valve have with them.

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                          • #43
                            Yes, to OP's headline. It's also malware and DRM.

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                            • #44
                              The drm is bugging me a lot and i also miss 64bit support.
                              If the game is available on Desura i rather buy it there even if it costs a lot more (DRM free and 64bit support).
                              If i buy a game on steam and later buys a bundle pack i can't give away or sell the stand alone game, and that feels like fraud.
                              Why can't i give a game i bought to a friend if i buy a bundle (first game and the sequel), i bought the game and should be able to do what i want with it.
                              Last edited by Nille_kungen; 04-07-2013, 11:54 AM.

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                              • #45
                                It's not like Steam forbids you to run Desura, or to install those packages through your ordinary package management system.

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