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Thread: Linux is not ready for Steam

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  1. #1
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    Default Linux is not ready for Steam

    I think Valve should wait a year before porting Steam. The multimedia and audio frameworks and APIs on Linux are currently a mess. The APIs and frameworks need to be stablized before any sort of large scale professional game development can begin on Linux.

    http://braid-game.com/news/?p=364

    If Value ports Steam to Linux in its current state, I'm afraid it will become unprofitable and they'll quickly abandon it. If that happened, there would be virtually no professional Linux games for years.

    Linux needs to be ready before we fall under the spotlight.

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    Although the article above is a bit old, it's still quite true. I tested around 20 games and emulators on Ubuntu. Although, some of them worked (they sometimes needed a bit of configuration), most required you to remove PulseAudio. Many games using the Allegro framework with SDL also required me to tell SDL to use OSS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkphoenix22 View Post
    Although the article above is a bit old, it's still quite true. I tested around 20 games and emulators on Ubuntu. Although, some of them worked (they sometimes needed a bit of configuration), most required you to remove PulseAudio.
    For what reason?


    Quote Originally Posted by darkphoenix22 View Post
    Many games using the Allegro framework with SDL also required me to tell SDL to use OSS.
    Allegro is pretty dead.
    SDL can be compiled to ANY library. It can also be compiled with ALL libraries support, you have to set single envvar to tell it what it should use.
    If you are using OSS and have single card, you pretty much dont need PulseAudio.
    But OSS, like Microsoft, is known for backstabbing.
    Besides, Pulse takes 20Mb RAM at peak for all options it gives.

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    Game developers are not going to want their users to have to reconfigure their entire sound system to run their games.

    Most of the emulator used bare SDL for their audio. Still had to remove PulseAudio, though most did work with ALSA. All worked with OSS.

    Allegro is alive and well they've made quite a few releases in the past 6 months and are about finished their rewrite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazycheese View Post
    Allegro is pretty dead.
    I'd hesitate to say that... There's at least one IGF winner from last year that uses it.


    SDL can be compiled to ANY library. It can also be compiled with ALL libraries support, you have to set single envvar to tell it what it should use.
    Indeed. Baseline sound is not TOO bad with SDL. However, it's not an ideal choice. It is limited in what it and SDL_mixer can do- and more to the point tuning it within that space to avoid latency issues with sound output can be...entertaining...

    If you are using OSS and have single card, you pretty much dont need PulseAudio.
    Perhaps not "need", but desire, perhaps. If you're running a single sound application and don't mind unloading some things when you want to run a game or deal with a tracker or MIDI app- or to play music, then yeah, it works just fine. If you want to have a SIP phone up on your desk or something similar and want to do more than just that task (i.e. play a game, etc...) you're going to have no end to problems with most of the applications within OSS unless you adopt the latest API edge to cope with that problem. OSS as most people use it is a single sound source playing model- and you have to do something like PulseAudio, Phonon, etc. on TOP of it to make it work like the MacOS and Windows crowd have come to expect things to work (Not to mention most Linux users, really...).

    But OSS, like Microsoft, is known for backstabbing.
    Not these days, but in the past, yeah.

    Besides, Pulse takes 20Mb RAM at peak for all options it gives.
    Ah... But with a machine with 256Mb or more RAM, that's not a major problem- and with Gigs of RAM it's mostly a non-issue. Yes, it's bloat. They probably ought to re-think what they're doing within it, if you ask me. The idea itself is a sound one, no pun intended, and unless you can come up with a good, graceful way to handle it in the Kernel you're going to have to have some userspace bit to do this with (OSS4 might've done that- but we don't know in the large because ALSA was put in it's place because of politics ages ago. I didn't quite agree with them then, but I wasn't in a position to challenge it back then.).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    Perhaps not "need", but desire, perhaps. If you're running a single sound application and don't mind unloading some things when you want to run a game or deal with a tracker or MIDI app- or to play music, then yeah, it works just fine. If you want to have a SIP phone up on your desk or something similar and want to do more than just that task (i.e. play a game, etc...) you're going to have no end to problems with most of the applications within OSS unless you adopt the latest API edge to cope with that problem. OSS as most people use it is a single sound source playing model- and you have to do something like PulseAudio, Phonon, etc. on TOP of it to make it work like the MacOS and Windows crowd have come to expect things to work (Not to mention most Linux users, really...).
    OSSv4 has built in mixing and per-application volume controls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkphoenix22 View Post
    OSSv4 has built in mixing and per-application volume controls.
    Like I said... I thought they'd sorted it out more at the lower levels, but I wasn't sure because I've not had the time to try to hose up my machine and then un-hose it by ripping Pulse/ALSA out and putting OSSv4 in. And as I said before in the previous posts, making a by-fiat answer like that, you're going to have the same fun going forward for about 6-12 months as people sort out what you've done- and in some cases try to un-break their games (studios, that is...) by what you've done there if we did it.

    I'm not saying we shouldn't look into that- but we need to make a very, very well thought-out decision on this before acting. Yes, we need answers now. NO, we don't need to just make the problems worse in other areas more than ONCE. We won't get another shot at moving things around like this for many years to come.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkphoenix22 View Post
    The multimedia
    Gstreamer

    Quote Originally Posted by darkphoenix22 View Post
    audio
    PulseAudio or OSS

    Quote Originally Posted by darkphoenix22 View Post
    on Linux are currently a mess.
    Proof?
    Also, there is SDL for any-platform you want any-library you want pain-free autodetection.


    Quote Originally Posted by darkphoenix22 View Post
    The APIs and frameworks need to be stablized before any sort of large scale professional game development can begin on Linux.
    I dont notice any bugs in Pulse since 2009.

    Quote Originally Posted by darkphoenix22 View Post
    Their first ubuntu install?

    Quote Originally Posted by darkphoenix22 View Post
    If Value ports Steam to Linux in its current state, I'm afraid it will become unprofitable and they'll quickly abandon it. If that happened, there would be virtually no professional Linux games for years.
    Utter garbage. I hear about some project to gather 1 Billion $ for several linux games recently, where everyone could deside the bundle price <themself>.

    Quote Originally Posted by darkphoenix22 View Post
    Linux needs to be ready
    Its not Vista. Define the word "ready". For software, it is ready many years ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by darkphoenix22 View Post
    before we fall under the spotlight.
    Them (braid-whatever dot whatever) better say in dark than fall under my spotlight with utter crap arguments.

    Install Ubuntu(yes its so hard),
    Install Code::Blocks,
    Create new template SDL project.
    Very very hard and unready. +Facepalm+

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazycheese View Post
    Gstreamer


    Utter garbage. I hear about some project to gather 1 Billion $ for several linux games recently, where everyone could deside the bundle price <themself>.

    Well, it is a million $$$ you know...

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazycheese View Post
    PulseAudio or OSS
    Rather ALSA.

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