some retarded lib32 stuff on Arch just to get it to work. That is downright retarded no matter how much you love 32 bit. Ohh and guess why I can't view any game trailers in the steam client? Because it looks for the fucking 32 bit flashplayer. It doesn't make things easier no matter how you look at it.
So long story short, you're going to have to wait. They'll get to you. But until that happens, you can man up and tinker it into working on your machine. And what you mean by "There is absolutely no reason for them to single out one distribution" is "I don't understand why they did it this way, therefore it's absolutely unacceptable" Of course there's a reason, you silly goose - that's why they did it.
tl;dr: You missed the point. "Support" means you can reasonably expect help from Valve if you need it. If you go off-plan, don't come crying to them if you can't figure something out.
And if it makes you feel any better, I haven't been able to view any trailers either. Not sure why.
It just doesn't make any sense to make Steam 32 bit only. Maybe you're used to this Windows on Windows (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_on_Windows) bullshit which almost sounds like some Geek Porn. Even the name should make you scretch your head and now you suggest something like Linux on Linux.
Have fun in the year 2038 when your beloved 32 bit stuff get's the Unix Millenium bug because it is to shitty.
Hear it from the master:
[...]And dammit, in this age and date when almost everybody has a gigabyte of RAM in any new machine, anybody who still thinks that “not that many people need 64-bits” is simply not aware of what he’s speaking of.
Go back and play with HIGHMEM.SYS on a 286, and stop blathering crap. When you’ve spent the last ten years of your life working with HIGHMEM.SYS, then you can come back and tell me that we still don’t need 64 bits. Until that is the case, anybody who still doesn’t get why 64 bits is a requirement should just shut up rather than make a total fool of himself.[...]
Linus just nails it sometimes. :D
Still think it is a good idea to release 32 bit only software on linux when all you have to do is run the compiler again to get some 64 bit binaries?
Ever wondered why Linux supported 64 bit software from day one and everything is available for 64 bit. Because it is god damn easy!
Even without a Steam beta account you can try 3 demos to see why Steam would work best with 32 bit dynamically link games only (when you want to be able to use the steam overlay and not only start the game):
a) 32 bit apps, dynamically linked
b) 64 bit apps, dynamically linked
c) 32 bit apps, statically linked
There are the examples:
a) World of Goo, Amnesia via linux32 wrapper
b) Amnesia on 64 bit
c) Unity of Command (use as option: sdl-fullscreen for better fullscreen mode with kde)
Only for a) the overlay which is done via a LD_PRELOAD lib works, you would need to have steam+app from the same architecture to let this work always, but not all 3rd party apps are 64 bit. So it is logical that Steam is 32 bit. But compared to a real package management system Steam has a huge fault: it does not install required depends. Also when you have to work around libc6 bugs via an extracted ubuntu libc6 package in the ~/Steam/ubuntu12_32 directory this only works for type a) games. If you want to play c) on Debian you have to extract the package again in the bin dir of the game itself (~/Steam/SteamApps/common/Unity of Command Demo/bin). mc can do that very easyly.
Firstly, I note that you keep saying things which don't make a lot of sense such as "thing-on-itself". I'm not researching that because I don't believe it's germane to the discussion, but rather a poor analogy at best (and a red herring at worst). But I am glad you brought up the Windows situation. If I recall correctly, Windows doesn't lose it's mind when asked to run a 32 bit app in a 64 bit environment. You've got a long row to hoe if you're going to convince me that backwards compatibility is a bad thing. And I maintain that a Linux distro should probably have that too. At the very least, I want MY computer to have that capability. This isn't necromancing old technology for the sake of doing so, but rather not forcing us to set fire to everything written before a certain date. Arbitrarily killing off old software, I believe, is the logical consequence of your position (and I still want your old 32 bit games since they're so shitty that you obviously feel ashamed to own them).
As to the Unix "Millennium Bug", I don't think your argument represents reality. No matter what register width my computing devices use in the year 2038, gaming apps as we know them today aren't going to be affected. To be honest, I don't see how a whole lot of any of my current apps are going to be affected in general. If my computer thinks it's 2033 or 1992, I just betcha that I will still be able to romp through Half-Life 2 and edit images without the least inconvenience. Also, full disclosure time - I DO run a 64 bit Linux OS. Steam for Linux works just fine on my machine ... and the OS in question is not Ubuntu. I would humbly suggest that maybe you should fix your computer instead of screaming at people because it's not working.
Ignoring the nerd rage there for a minute, why do you believe Valve is only planning to release a 32 bit version of Steam? As I explained above, this is not an issue in Windows because of relatively robust backwards compatibility. Compiling a 64 bit version would seem well within the realm of possibility if they wanted to do so, but it has never been necessary in their history (also, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that Steam for Linux isn't released yet). Maybe they will release such a thing if they can get 32 and 64 bit clients talking to one another (which would have to be done over a 32 bit protocol).
So why would Valve want to beta a 32 bit client? First, it's what they've already got established. When you undertake a new venture, you often don't try and reinvent the wheel. You start simple and work out from there as needed. I think we should all be ecstatic that Valve is bringing its tech to Linux at all. Rome wasn't built in a day.