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Thread: Unigine Pushes Engine Changes; More Mesa Friendly

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ancurio View Post
    So, according to your logic, if I use Firefox, it is the "right thing to do" to contribute to PulseAudio, since they're both Open Source. Right?
    Yes. That is correct. Use as much open source software as you can, and give back in return. That's how the continuum works. It's a positive feedback loop that continually intensifies progress and the whole ecosystem gets better for everybody. Thanks for poignantly summarizing the correct way to be a responsible open source citizen with a good concrete example. Note however that you can't just naively assume from this principle that everyone should contribute. There are many valid reasons why you wouldn't contribute; for example, if you are just an individual and you have no programming skills, the most you might contribute is submitting automatic crash reports or the occasional bug. That's fine. But corporations whose main business is to employ software engineers have NO EXCUSE not to contribute, unless they aren't using any open source software themselves.

    If you disagree with this principle, then you disagree with the most fundamental activity that has resulted in Linux having any measure of success in any market. If you want to try and mount a counterargument, go mount Steve Ballmer's ass instead -- you'll be more successful that way. It's VERY hard to argue with success, and success is the product of the positive feedback loop of open source. It only falls apart when people only use and do not give back any contributions. The higher the ratio of companies that don't contribute vs. the companies that do, the worse off the open source ecosystem is going to be, which eventually means that anyone who's using open source -- whether they're contributing OR NOT -- is ultimately going to lose out, because the positive feedback loop will turn into a negative feedback loop due to a lack of contributors, which will further fuel adoption away from the libraries and common code as they bitrot, and so on and so forth until a large number of projects are effectively "extinct" (no developer activity and no users). It's a reasonable comparison to a food chain in nature -- is it that hard to understand?

    And BTW, before you accuse me of being a hypocrite, http://launchpad.net/rbpitch is my work, along with several other projects and patch contributions to PulseAudio, ALSA, Rhythmbox, Gnash, OpenSimulator, and Vala.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ancurio View Post
    Please explain to me how Linux is a "very serious" primary platform (as opposed to Win/OSX)?
    The only reason forum traffic for Linux is so high for them is because 90% of their buyers turned out to be Linux users, who blindly and happily
    bought the game simply for the illusion of AAA games coming to Linux. Other platforms.. well, to them it was just what it is,
    a poorly executed idea of a tower defence/RTS hybrid.
    It has nothing to do with what you or I or anyone other than the stakeholders and managers at Unigine think. You can hate open source and hate Linux and minimalize it as an insignificant platform all you want, but to Unigine, they care about it. They really do. They've said it themselves multiple times in public. I don't see how it's a problem that, for whichever reasons, the company decided before the Linux sales started coming in, that they would commit to FULL support of their engine and games on desktop Linux. All I'm saying is, if they want to maximize their ability to support that platform, it'd help their goal along tremendously to contribute to the open source drivers, and I think they also have the ability to do so.

    You might say, "well, Unigine never has to contribute to drivers on other platforms!" -- No shit, sherlock. Linux is different. It's developed different. It's used different. The ecosystem is different. The way that it sustains itself is different. It should come as absolutely no surprise that there is also value -- monetary value for Unigine -- to be had in activities such as contributing to the open source drivers, to make them better, to make their games run better, to attract more sales and more third-party developer licenses. You can't apply the norms and values of the proprietary operating system world to an open platform, because those norms and values are invalid assumptions when the principles on which the platform is based are different.

    If you're wondering what those principles are, you might want to start by reading literature such as the Open Source Initiative's "Open Source Definition" at http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd or Richard Stallman's book, "Free Software, Free Society". And before you accuse me of being a Stallmanite, realize that I'm an equal opportunity idealist: I love the OSI's ideals as much as I love the FSF's. They both lead generally toward the same goal, and they both oppose naive, 20th century, proprietary-thinkers. One may be a little more practical than the other, but I'll take the positive qualities of both camps in unison and make the best of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ancurio View Post
    At first they could just go (as icculus put it once) "binary blobs or GTFO". They clearly stated they had no intentions of supporting any buggy OSS drivers.
    But, as ungrateful as the community typically is , they just ignored all that and started obliviously submitting bugs caused by OSS drivers..
    seeing that their customers were mostly from Linux, the devs didn't want to make them more angry.
    I'd like to tell an alternate story: what really happened is that, between the time Unigine was initially released and the present, sufficient functionality was added to the leading open source drivers (e.g. r600g) to more or less render Unigine properly. Ever since then, Unigine has thought, "OMG, they are REALLY close to having a great experience with our game on the open drivers -- we had no idea!" So it was more of a positive reaction, they were happy that the support was evolving, and they wanted to push it along by maybe tweaking their engine a little to shape things up on their end. And once it got close enough that they could actually do something to improve support on the open drivers, they figured what the hey, it won't hurt anything to improve our engine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ancurio View Post
    And that's the reason why I personally, should I ever become a game dev, wouldn't even think about Linux.
    First you are kind enough to provide Linux support in the first place, and: people are ungrateful and demand support for inferior OSS drivers.
    Then you are kind enough to support those drivers, and then folks like you come along and all of a sudden even demand contribution to drivers they never even intended to support.
    Clearly they intend to support them, or they wouldn't be conceding to their customers' queries to support them.

    A company that responds to its customers -- gee, what a concept! I hope you never enter the game development market, because your ideology is exactly the mentality that has kept Linux out of the gaming market since the inception of the free desktop. Unigine, on the other hand, genuinely seems to care about changing that problem for the better, and it would only be logical for them to contribute a little more by working on the open drivers.

    And who the hell are you to say what Unigine wants or doesn't want, or intends and doesn't intend? They may not have initially intended to support the open drivers, but clearly that attitude has changed, regardless of the past. Whether or not their support for the open drivers is "grudging" (attitudes like "grumble grumble, damnit I don't want to support these stupid broken drivers.... OK here's a patch that helps them, now go screw off"), the fact is that they're helping make their engine work better with the open drivers. Why do you oppose this? Are you a Microsoft shill?

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic
    Yes. That is correct. Use as much open source software as you can, and give back in return.
    This doesn't make any sense at all. Imagine all those corporations using Linux. Had they contributed back to ANYTHING besides the kernel, it wouldn't be where it is today.
    It only makes sense if you help make the things better which you use, because it's simply (as Torvalds often says) easier and more cost-efficient.
    That's the whole reason the Kernel got where it is today. Contributing to something random instead just because "it's open source" doesn't make any sense.
    Torvalds himself doesn't really believe in this Free Software stuff you're spouting, as he's from the pragmatic Open Source camp.

    And calling you a hypocrite if you wouldn't be doing anything yourself? You really think I'm as low as those shit faces calling Michael a hypocrite just because he uses a Mac?

    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic
    You can hate open source and hate Linux and minimalize it as an insignificant platform all you want, but to Unigine, they care about it.
    I'm sorry, you completely misunderstood what I meant by "Please explain to me how Linux is a "very serious" primary platform".
    What I meant was "Please explain why Unigine would care more about Linux than its other supported platforms".
    And of course they care about Linux, because that's where they get their customers from!
    This doesn't mean they really care about all the FOSS ideology stuff as well. Why else would they develop a closed source engine?

    It is true that at one point, the FOSS drivers reached a point of maturity where they weren't easily ignorable by devs anymore.
    Still, it just means one more burden on them, having to support two driver sets now.

    The funniest part however is that you seem to be somehow believing that Unigine is trying to help bring gaming to Linux.
    They are a f***** company. They want to make money, so they can eat. The reason they improve their game for Linux
    is so that more paying customers can play it. Period. You clearly seem to be interpreting too much into this.

    Oh, and by the way, yes, I am a Microsoft shill (whatever that means).
    Last edited by Ancurio; 04-09-2012 at 11:44 AM.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ancurio View Post
    This doesn't make any sense at all. Imagine all those corporations using Linux. Had they contributed back to ANYTHING besides the kernel, it wouldn't be where it is today.
    It only makes sense if you help make the things better which you use, because it's simply (as Torvalds often says) easier and more cost-efficient.
    That's the whole reason the Kernel got where it is today. Contributing to something random instead just because "it's open source" doesn't make any sense.
    Torvalds himself doesn't really believe in this Free Software stuff you're spouting, as he's from the pragmatic Open Source camp.
    So am I also from the Open Source camp. "This doesn't make any sense" is hardly a counter-argument. Back on topic to Unigine, Mesa is anything but "something random" to Unigine. In fact, it is a core dependency which directly enables users to run their software. If the dependency doesn't work, neither does their software. Get it? Got it? Good. If you don't believe that at least a simple majority of desktop Linux users are running open source drivers, look at any of Michael's Linux graphics surveys (he does them yearly). Something like 80% of people use the drivers that the distro ships, and for the majority of distros, that's going to be open drivers (for Intel graphics chipsets, it certainly will be, as there's no alternative).

    Do you see why there is a huge difference between Unigine contributing to something like, I don't know, OpenOffice or KDE, versus contributing to something like Mesa? The difference is, at least half of the Linux desktop customer base needs Mesa to run Unigine software; zero percent of the users need OpenOffice or KDE to run Unigine software. So it's not "something random" as you said, but something directly relevant. In your base capitalistic terms, it comes down to this: if Unigine contributes to Mesa, then more customers are happy; if more customers are happy, Unigine eats better (i.e., makes more money). There, I said it with no reference to open source/free software ideology at all. Happy now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ancurio View Post
    I'm sorry, you completely misunderstood what I meant by "Please explain to me how Linux is a "very serious" primary platform".
    What I meant was "Please explain why Unigine would care more about Linux than its other supported platforms".
    And of course they care about Linux, because that's where they get their customers from!
    This doesn't mean they really care about all the FOSS ideology stuff as well. Why else would they develop a closed source engine?
    I'm not saying they care about Linux because of ideology. I'm saying that the ideology provides a relevant underpinning for why the open source ecosystem works, and how to ensure that it continues to work. Whether you acknowledge that the ideology is there, and is actively being used to continue the progress (see my previous discussion of the "positive feedback loop"), is irrelevant -- it's there, it's important/essential, and it's better to acknowledge it than ignore it, because it means that you know more about the world if you understand the underlying processes that make it happen. Unigine doesn't have to acknowledge it, either, but as long as they do things in practice that coincide with the ideology, everybody's happy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ancurio View Post
    It is true that at one point, the FOSS drivers reached a point of maturity where they weren't easily ignorable by devs anymore.
    Still, it just means one more burden on them, having to support two driver sets now.
    Yes, but it's a happy burden, because it gets you more customers. Did you hear Microsoft complaining that when they unveil a new operating system version, they now have to support all the previous ones and the new one also? No -- they're extremely happy to do this (elated, in fact), because it means they get allll that new revenue from the new OS. So it works out in their favor in the end. I'm saying that contributing to Mesa is a good business proposition for Unigine, in addition to the fact that it just so happens to agree very well with the open source ideology.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ancurio View Post
    The funniest part however is that you seem to be somehow believing that Unigine is trying to help bring gaming to Linux.
    They are a f***** company. They want to make money, so they can eat. The reason they improve their game for Linux
    is so that more paying customers can play it. Period. You clearly seem to be interpreting too much into this.
    Well I'm glad you're a Unigine employee who knows what's in the minds of their executives and managers, because I'm not psychic and I don't work for them. Good to know that you can accurately represent their intentions without even directly asking them. Nicely done!

    Red Hat is also a "f****** company", but would you claim the same base capitalistic intentions of them? Or do I need to start linking you to pages on redhat.com that directly contradict that their sole purpose for existing is for financial gain? And that they're a publicly-traded corporation nonetheless? Yeah, I know, it's hard for your little, pure-capitalistic mind to accept, but sometimes companies DO do things for philosophical reasons. The world's changing, bro.

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