I do hope they'll get about the problem of the multitude of distributions
Heh... THAT is easy, believe it or not. LGP's done it all the time. The only gotcha would be a major ABI change that breaks the linkage rules for binaries. Loki Games stuff got busted on that- the devs didn't care because they're presuming that you'll have the vendor or distribution fix it for you.
Right now, as long as you're not trying to install for system-wide use, there's several differing ways to produce runtimes and install that just simply work for all distributions.
Hah! I seen steam coming to Linux in my imaginary crystal ball. Next is MS losing significant OS market share in 2009 (4.5%??). I'm doing my bit by installing Ubuntu on computers I sell a provide free support for it. So far I haven't had to support anything after initial setup =]
I'm all for it. I'm dual booting now, as are many (most?) Linux gamers, but I'd be thrilled to let my XP64 install gather more dust than it does. TF2 and Guild Wars are all I'm really playing ATM, and I have a pretty gnarly list of stuff purchased in Steam (thanks to the Epic/Id packs). Even if only Source gets ported so far, I'm certain that the sharp increase in reported Linux users (Steam does that) would help get some of the other stuff in Steam's catalog ported. Heck, just having Source ported opens up a whole REAM of mods and third party products. LOTS of games are built on Source, and when you add in Id (already have native versions, so Steaming is trivial) and Epic (likewise), that's a pretty large catalog.
WHEN?? This is all well and good, but are we hours, days, weeks, months, years, or 'when it's done' away from this getting into general users' hands??
I personally feel it would be nothing but a good thing, and I'd go so far as to advocate paying Valve a one-time 'transfer to Linux and pressure all Steam publishers to develop Linux ports' fee, but I'd like to know how soon this is expected.