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Vote For GOG To Make Galaxy Open Source

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A forum goer of GOG and occasional GamingOnLinux commenter of the name shmerl has been campaigning for this to happen, starting a wishlist item and a forum thread on GOG for users to vote and comment on the matter.

For those of you who do not yet know, GOG's Galaxy is akin to Valve's Steam, with a few differences.

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Nevertheless, why should we give a flying fudge about whether or not Galaxy should be open source? Fenixp, a forum goer of GOG, tells us why:

Fenixp

    A) The part of the community who's capable at programming can make:
    - Their own, personal branches of the application to suit their own needs.
    - Collaborate on public branches, implementing functionality that GOG would never have thought of, with the possibility of GOG incorporating the best ones into the core application - that's free work for GOG and more options for every customer. Good example would be cloud saves, video streaming etc. - I'm willing to bet that if GOG doesn't implement them in the first place, this functionality will get into a usable state within weeks of community contribution. And best of all, GOG does not have to actually accept these features and incorporate them into the main release.
    B) Developers! If GOG provides both API AND source code for the application, devs can actually make their own additions of features they would expect of the client - again, with no cost for GOG, but with the benefit of GOG saying whether or not that particular feature is acceptable.
    C) The heightened security associated with open source software.
    D) Free debugging/bug fixing. If there's a bug GOG can't quite murderize - a common occurrence in GOG's software - at one point or another, a community member will come out and do it for them. For free.
    E) Talent hunting. Whenever GOG or CD-Project needs to expand their teams, suddenly they'll have a bunch of proven developers to choose from.
    F) On Linux, the open source client can be packaged in system repositories.
    G) Popularity. If GOG wants to expand to Linux world and releases an open source client, they suddenly get a lot of converts from Steam and a shitton of sales.


Fenixp could not think of any downsides to open sourcing Galaxy, and I cannot come up with any issues with this either. Can you, and even if you can, do they carry enough weight to completely negate the presented advantages?

shmerl has also asked that I link to the following items regarding the documentation of the protocol and API of Galaxy to enable community alternatives:

Wishlist item

Forum thread Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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39 comments
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STiAT 16 Jul, 2014
Quoting: Shmerl
Quoting: DrMcCoyYeah, there's no chance in hell this will ever happen.

I dare you to prove me wrong, GOG.
Why can't it happen? I don't really see any downsides for GOG.

There are governance implications, depending on the way and licensing.
Shmerl 16 Jul, 2014
I think more than governance, the overhead of running the open source project can be an issue, especially if GOG never did it before.

So, even if GOG can't open source the client, they can document the protocol:
https://secure.gog.com/wishlist/site/document_the_protocol_and_api_of_the_galaxy_updater_client_to_enable_community_alternatives

That for sure shouldn't have any blockers.
FutureSuture 16 Jul, 2014
Quoting: ShmerlI think more than governance, the overhead of running the open source project can be an issue, especially if GOG never did it before.
Can you provide more detail? What overhead?
Shmerl 16 Jul, 2014
For example if GOG open the client, they'll have to deal with bug reports, pull requests (i.e. features and fixes requested to be added to the code) and so on. While normally that's very useful, to actually handle all that, GOG will have to allocate resources (i.e. people, time etc.). I'd say it's worth doing, but GOG can think it's just an extra burden.
FutureSuture 16 Jul, 2014
Quoting: ShmerlFor example if GOG open the client, they'll have to deal with bug reports, pull requests (i.e. features and fixes requested to be added to the code) and so on. While normally that's very useful, to actually handle all that, GOG will have to allocate resources (i.e. people, time etc.). I'd say it's worth doing, but GOG can think it's just an extra burden.
I was thinking that, but at the same time, GOG will have to allocate resources to Galaxy anyway, so the people maintaining Galaxy can handle that. What's more, having additional capable hands working for free would surely negate any added load as well.
stan 16 Jul, 2014
  • Supporter
Quoting: FutureSutureWhat's more, having additional capable hands working for free would surely negate any added load as well.
Depends on the quality of the contributions :).

Reasons why they might not want to make their client open-source:
- to hide anti-cheat methods
- to hide misc statistics gathering
Shmerl 16 Jul, 2014
Hehe, so that boils down to having "something to hide"? That's exactly the point of this request. To gain trust, such things shouldn't be hidden. There is nothing wrong with preventing cheats or gathering stats, and why should it mandate closed clients? Authentication can be performed using open ones. Say for example you don't claim that you can't use an open browser to make a transaction with your bank, because you can cheat?
alcalde 16 Jul, 2014
Quoting: Shmerl
Quoting: DrMcCoyYeah, there's no chance in hell this will ever happen.

I dare you to prove me wrong, GOG.
Why can't it happen? I don't really see any downsides for GOG.

The obvious downside: some other gaming store uses the open source client. Now their competition benefits from GOG's effort.
alcalde 16 Jul, 2014
Quoting: DrMcCoy
Quoting: BillNyeTheBlackGuyNot every program needs to be open.
Wrong.

If everything were open there'd be no money to be made in programming anymore. How about we pick whatever it is you do for a living and decide that everything associated with that should be free?
Shmerl 16 Jul, 2014
Quoting: alcaldeThe obvious downside: some other gaming store uses the open source client. Now their competition benefits from GOG's effort.

That's a pretty empty downside. GOG doesn't sell their client, they sell their service.

Quoting: alcaldeIf everything were open there'd be no money to be made in programming anymore.

That's nonsense. Open doesn't mean it can't be commercially used to make money. Or I guess RedHat and others just get money from thin air.

In gaming context, that can be more interesting though. For example you can't use most business models like support and etc. Games work on hard sales. So making the game fully open makes it hard to sell. For that one can make the engine open and artistic assets closed.

Anyway, in GOG's case they aren't selling their client.
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