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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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Hamish 4 Aug, 2014
Also tinou, I have updated the article with most of your comments included.
Skully 4 Aug, 2014
Quoting: EKRboiWhile 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.

You can download windows games with steam. Easy as pie with Steamcmd.
https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/SteamCMD#Cross-Platform_Installation

I used it to get the files for Doom3bfg and 7daystodie. So I could use the data for native versions.
Projectile Vomit 4 Aug, 2014
I enjoy Play On Linux. Granted, almost every title does work better in Window$, but some titles you wouldn't be able to tell the difference (Spore, Diablo 3, Skyrim- through Steam).

I do worry that some game companies will see this as an easy way out, but for small companies and older software it makes sense.

off topic- what happened to the Sims 3 script for PoL? :(
EKRboi 5 Aug, 2014
Quoting: SkullyYou can download windows games with steam. Easy as pie with Steamcmd.
https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/SteamCMD#Cross-Platform_Installation

I used it to get the files for Doom3bfg and 7daystodie. So I could use the data for native versions.

Nice! I've bookmarked it for when I need it again. While this will work... an option in the Steam GUI should be there IMO.
ReveArek 5 Aug, 2014
Quoting: HamishThe true solution for old games are source code releases, wherever possible.

Releasing source code is not enought when there are no devs to work on it. There are many games with source available but no one to work on porting them :( Like this one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6iv2530phw
oldrocker99 5 Aug, 2014
This is interesting, and, yes, wine performance is variable. I've been pretty impressed with PlayOnLinux, and if they can do what they claim that they can do, the bottom line is that more (older) games can be playable on Linux, which is already enough of a gaming platform that I deleted my Windows partition and don't miss it.
chrisq 5 Aug, 2014
To those who think POL "ports" anything, you should take a look at the code base.
Its a unholy mix of shells-scripts and python that uses some helper scripts to install the program in its own WINEPREFIX, add some dlls etc.
I tried to hack it once, but ended up writing my own cli-program in pure python that basically did the same. It was just to much work to try to understand, and it made no sense why it had all that horrid shell code in there.

They do have a nice repository of precompiled wine-versions though.
Hamish 5 Aug, 2014
Quoting: ReveArekReleasing source code is not enought when there are no devs to work on it. There are many games with source available but no one to work on porting them :( Like this one.

Well, the usual argument applies that if you want to change that the source code is out there, etc...

Still, if there are no developers that are willing to work on it then all that really shows is that the game does not have enough to hold someone's interest long enough to keep it from being abandoned.

And it is a bit of a stretch to point to one example and then say there are "many games" like that.
tinou 5 Aug, 2014
It is not always an easy task to port a game, especially if it uses proprietary frameworks or engines. It can take time.

Quoting: chrisqTo those who think POL "ports" anything, you should take a look at the code base.
Its a unholy mix of shells-scripts and python that uses some helper scripts to install the program in its own WINEPREFIX, add some dlls etc.
I tried to hack it once, but ended up writing my own cli-program in pure python that basically did the same. It was just to much work to try to understand, and it made no sense why it had all that horrid shell code in there.

They do have a nice repository of precompiled wine-versions though.

Unholly and horrible shell code, but also hours and hours of tests. Making an app run with wine with zero configuration on a large number of very different computers is not easy task, believe me. And when I see some wine based "ports", I can tell you that some mistake could be avoided. Why chosing a mix of Bash and Python? Simply because it's easier for beginers to write scripts in bash than in Python. (See supported apps section for further information). Also, the first version was fully written in Bash. Python came one year after to add a GUI. We kept the bash base, that's why the program does not follow a MVC model, that's why you might find strange things in the code. We are aware of that. We've started working on that for the fifth version, but it takes time, as everything...
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