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The Team Behind PlayOnLinux & PlayOnMac Reveals PortMyApps (UPDATED)
Posted , 4 August 2014 at 7:05 pm UTC / 8108 views
Interesting bit of news today, folks, as the teams behind the widely popular PlayOnLinux and PlayOnMac applications have announced their new service, PortMyApps. The website gives a short list of reasons why one would want to port to Mac/Linux as well as a system that also allows you to test out your specific program for free.

Those familiar with WineSkins on Mac OS X may be familiar with the methodology.

Basically, it just wraps your Windows program in a standalone Wine environment which doesn't require any additional configuration or setup on the intended platform (in theory).

This service is obviously geared toward software publishers, but any program can be "ported." There is even an online feature that allows you to upload a Windows program via a zip and see if it will work with their solution (Linux support soon).

Overall, I'm pleased to see this program/service exist. I feel as if this could convince more developers to port their games and programs, even if it's not native. What do you guys think?

Source: http://en.portmyapps.com/

UPDATE: One of the people involved with PortMyApps wrote the following in the article comments:
tinouAs a developer of PlayOnLinux, and by reading some comments, I want to make things clearer;

This tool is noway made to discorage use of native ports. In fact, you cannot use it port games because it is limited 50Mo.

It is designed for very specific apps (like the one we ported) that could not and would not be ported in other way, or very old game (in general the source code is lost).

Games that can be natively ported won't be ported with PortMyApps, it is not planed for the moment. (And there are no point for that!)

Anyway, we do not have enough resources to bring profesional support for a game played by million of users, so clearly we won't take this risk ...

Also, you'll notice that the website is called PortMyApps, and not PortMyBrandNewGame ;-) ...

Wine's results are too variable for us to afford the risk to work for very big companies ...

Game editors that are interested in Linux do not want to give a bad image of their brand by bringing a low quality support for a title. Valve has proven it by not using wine for Steam.


This article was submitted by a guest, we encourage anyone to submit their own articles.

Sslaxx commented on 4 August 2014 at 7:09 pm UTC

Well, so long as it works better than the wrapper Witcher 2 uses...

Well, so long as it works better than the wrapper Witcher 2 uses...
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n30p1r4t3 commented on 4 August 2014 at 7:10 pm UTC
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SslaxxWell, so long as it works better than the wrapper Witcher 2 uses...

People have said that TW2 runs better through WINE anyways.

[quote=Sslaxx]Well, so long as it works better than the wrapper Witcher 2 uses...[/quote] People have said that TW2 runs better through WINE anyways. ^_^
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scotsman9999 commented on 4 August 2014 at 7:40 pm UTC

As flawed as the wrapper vs true port idea is, I have a feeling if the Steam Boxes prove to be successful, we will see alot of publishers rushing to get their games on Linux for SteamOS, and this may be the method of doing it.

I imagine some will be good and some very poor. Valve's goal should be able to make all of their games playable on SteamOS without having to use the streaming service (which doesn't work with some games).

All I can say is - anything that makes weaning me from Windows is a good thing.

As flawed as the wrapper vs true port idea is, I have a feeling if the Steam Boxes prove to be successful, we will see alot of publishers rushing to get their games on Linux for SteamOS, and this may be the method of doing it. I imagine some will be good and some very poor. Valve's goal should be able to make all of their games playable on SteamOS without having to use the streaming service (which doesn't work with some games). All I can say is - anything that makes weaning me from Windows is a good thing.
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FutureSuture commented on 4 August 2014 at 8:06 pm UTC
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Considering how Linux is only gaining momentum as more and more games appear for our favourite operating system, this is something that I do not want to see happening. Some of these releases are several years old, yet are still being ported so that they are native e.g. Darksiders, Civilization 5, XCOM: Enemy Unknown. I don't want that to change now when it really counts.

Considering how Linux is only gaining momentum as more and more games appear for our favourite operating system, this is something that I do not want to see happening. Some of these releases are several years old, yet are still being ported so that they are native e.g. Darksiders, Civilization 5, XCOM: Enemy Unknown. I don't want that to change now when it really counts.
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EKRboi commented on 4 August 2014 at 8:10 pm UTC
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While wine and the like are great tools I really wish they were not "pushed" as a real solution to delvelopers and publishers of older and no longer developed apps/games instead of doing a true port. If it is a new game/app there is no excuse to not just do a native port especially if it is being ported to OGL for mac too. It gives the noobs a bad taste as perfomance is almost never on par (unless its older or already opengl (see RAGE)) and only cements the bad things these noobs have read or heard about linux.

Like I said in the steam hardware survey topic, just release the code for your older and not currently maintained titles and the awesome linux community will likely do most if not all of the leg work for you at little to no charge. Then we can just get the actual game content from our steam catalog or directly from the windows install disc(s). I would like to see steam for linux allow for the downloading of non linux games in my catalog for no other reason than to get the data. As an example, Doom3-BFG.. I needed the data for RBDoom3BFG once I compiled it.

While wine and the like are great tools I really wish they were not "pushed" as a real solution to delvelopers and publishers of older and no longer developed apps/games instead of doing a true port. If it is a new game/app there is no excuse to not just do a native port especially if it is being ported to OGL for mac too. It gives the noobs a bad taste as perfomance is almost never on par (unless its older or already opengl (see RAGE)) and only cements the bad things these noobs have read or heard about linux. Like I said in the steam hardware survey topic, just release the code for your older and not currently maintained titles and the awesome linux community will likely do most if not all of the leg work for you at little to no charge. Then we can just get the actual game content from our steam catalog or directly from the windows install disc(s). I would like to see steam for linux allow for the downloading of non linux games in my catalog for no other reason than to get the data. As an example, Doom3-BFG.. I needed the data for RBDoom3BFG once I compiled it.
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vulture commented on 4 August 2014 at 8:17 pm UTC

i don't mind having option of running wine. but, this is like death by 1000 cuts for native ports and god knows how many future developments.

uninstalling POL is 1st on my list same as never buying one title made in this way is 2nd

i don't mind having option of running wine. but, this is like death by 1000 cuts for native ports and god knows how many future developments. uninstalling POL is 1st on my list same as never buying one title made in this way is 2nd
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n30p1r4t3 commented on 4 August 2014 at 8:22 pm UTC
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I never thought the response to this would be so negative. While a native port would be great, in some cases the studio is either too small, or not that well off financially enough to support a native port either in house or via third party.

The way I see this is a tool for games/apps that would never see a linux release to get ported for a lot less than a full on port.


For example, Skyrim. Skyrim will probably never see a native release until the OpenMW team decides to port it 50 years from now, but it works amazingly well in a wineskin on OS X.

I never thought the response to this would be so negative. While a native port would be great, in some cases the studio is either too small, or not that well off financially enough to support a native port either in house or via third party. The way I see this is a tool for games/apps that would never see a linux release to get ported for a lot less than a full on port. For example, Skyrim. Skyrim will probably never see a native release until the OpenMW team decides to port it 50 years from now, but it works amazingly well in a wineskin on OS X.
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tinou commented on 4 August 2014 at 8:25 pm UTC

As a developer of PlayOnLinux, and by reading some comments, I want to make things clearer;

This tool is noway made to discorage use of native ports. In fact, you cannot use it port games because it is limited 50Mo.

It is designed for very specific apps (like the one we ported) that could not and would not be ported in other way, or very old game (in general the source code is lost).

Games that can be natively ported won't be ported with PortMyApps, it is not planed for the moment. (And there are no point for that!)

Anyway, we do not have enough resources to bring profesional support for a game played by million of users, so clearly we won't take this risk.

As a developer of PlayOnLinux, and by reading some comments, I want to make things clearer; This tool is noway made to discorage use of native ports. In fact, you [b]cannot use it[/b] port games because it is limited 50Mo. It is designed for very specific apps (like the one we ported) that could not and would not be ported in other way, or very old game (in general the source code is lost). Games that can be natively ported won't be ported with PortMyApps, it is not planed for the moment. (And there are no point for that!) Anyway, we do not have enough resources to bring profesional support for a game played by million of users, so clearly we won't take this risk.
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n30p1r4t3 commented on 4 August 2014 at 8:28 pm UTC
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tinouAs a developer of PlayOnLinux, and by reading some comments, I want to make things clearer.

This tool is noway made to discorage use of native ports. In fact, you cannot use it port games because it is limited 50Mo.

It is designed for very specific apps (like the one we ported) that could not and would not be ported in other way, or very old game (in general the source code is lost).

Real games won't be ported with PortMyApps, it is not planed for the moment.

Care to explain further? I understand the Limitation on size due to bandwidth, etc, but why not support for full games?

If a company were to contact you, would you be willing to work with them to port an AA title?

[quote=tinou]As a developer of PlayOnLinux, and by reading some comments, I want to make things clearer. This tool is noway made to discorage use of native ports. In fact, you [b]cannot use it[/b] port games because it is limited 50Mo. It is designed for very specific apps (like the one we ported) that could not and would not be ported in other way, or very old game (in general the source code is lost). Real games won't be ported with PortMyApps, it is not planed for the moment.[/quote] Care to explain further? I understand the Limitation on size due to bandwidth, etc, but why not support for full games? If a company were to contact you, would you be willing to work with them to port an AA title?
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