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The Team Behind PlayOnLinux & PlayOnMac Reveals PortMyApps (UPDATED)

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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.
Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Editorial, Wine
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I'm an 20 year old Sophomore at the University of Michigan. I hail from a small town in Michigan called Galien. My interests are Linux, gaming, girls, and computers in general. 
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29 comments
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EKRboi 4 Aug, 2014
Quoting: n30p1r4t3I 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.

If it really is a small studio who can't afford it then put your source out there (NOT the content) and let the linux community sort it out. If it's something that enough want then someone will port it for little to nothing. Then they will still get the game sale they might otherwise have not so the person can get the data needed to run on the native binary.

I just don't want to see it become even more of a crutch than it already is that they get use to using instead of doing it the right way.

Quoting: 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!)

thanks for this, makes me feel a bit better about it.

EDIT* if the source is truely lost because it is that old I really don't have a problem with it as it will most likely show no difference in performance (ie frames locked to 60) than if it was run in windows. Using it as a crutch for newer stuff sucks for me personally. When running in ultra wide (5760x1080) I tend to need every ounce of power my rig has to run them natively in windows.. so when you subtract the loss in performance from using wine it's usually a show stopper for me. I also completely understand that my setup is in no way standard and that I am a minority.
tinou 4 Aug, 2014
Quoting: n30p1r4t3
Quoting: 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?

It will depend on the context. I know for example that GoG use wine for old games because they have no other choice. Our role is first to give good advices. Be sure we're going to be very clear about wine disadvantages versus a real native port.

@vulture, don't worry, we won't port Skyrim.
FutureSuture 4 Aug, 2014
Quoting: 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!)
This sounds like something GOG would be very interested in. Have you contacted the folks there?
tinou 4 Aug, 2014
Quoting: FutureSuture
Quoting: 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!)
This sounds like something GOG would be very interested in. Have you contacted the folks there?

Well, we are thinking about it, but for the moment, they are doing things on their side ;-)
tinou 4 Aug, 2014
Quoting: EKRboi
Quoting: n30p1r4t3I 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.
If it really is a small studio who can't afford it then put your source out there (NOT the content) and let the linux community sort it out. If it's something that enough want then someone will port it for little to nothing. Then they will still get the game sale they might otherwise have not so the person can get the data needed to run on the native binary.

I just don't want to see it become even more of a crutch than it already is that they get use to using instead of doing it the right way.

Quoting: 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!)
thanks for this, makes me feel a bit better about it.

Also, you'll notice that the website is called PortMyApps, and not PortMyBrandNewGame ;-)
EKRboi 4 Aug, 2014
Quoting: tinouAlso, you'll notice that the website is called PortMyApps, and not PortMyBrandNewGame ;-)

I know.. I'm more speaking of wine in general and not pointing at POL exclusively. I just hope it stays "PortMyApps" and doesn't end up being "PortMyGames". that's all I was getting at. Give people an inch and they take a mile =)
Antalius 4 Aug, 2014
Cool, as long as it helps the interest for the linux scene grow, especially the old games sector and not used as a cheap workaround by devs (EDIT: obviously for new games), I'm excited for it. Thank you for the work put in to develop this, all the best!
tinou 4 Aug, 2014
Quoting: EKRboi
Quoting: tinouAlso, you'll notice that the website is called PortMyApps, and not PortMyBrandNewGame ;-)
I know.. I'm more speaking of wine in general and not pointing at POL exclusively. I just hope it stays "PortMyApps" and doesn't end up being "PortMyGames". that's all I was getting at. Give people an inch and they take a mile =)

Do not worry, it will stay PortMyApps ;-) As I said, Wine's results are too variable for us to afford the risk to work for very big companies, :-)

Quoting: AntaliusCool, as long as it helps the interest for the linux scene grow, especially the old games sector and not used as a cheap workaround by devs (EDIT: obviously for new games), I'm excited for it. Thank you for the work put in to develop this, all the best!

That won't happen really. 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.
neowiz73 4 Aug, 2014
this would be great for some of those much older programs and games.
Hamish 4 Aug, 2014
Quoting: EKRboiIf it really is a small studio who can't afford it then put your source out there (NOT the content) and let the linux community sort it out. If it's something that enough want then someone will port it for little to nothing. Then they will still get the game sale they might otherwise have not so the person can get the data needed to run on the native binary.

This. The true solution for old games are source code releases, wherever possible.

If there really are enough arguments to make this not happen (other than losing the code in question) then you just demonstrated the game is still valuable enough that you should be doing it properly with a native port rather than simply using WINE.

I can accept WINE and DOSBox for abandoned games, or even if it is done by people in their own time for a specific interest, but if you are a game developer and are still actually serious about your old games, please either release the code or do a native port.
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