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With the Steamworks Virtual Conference: Steam Deck over, we now have quite a few details that have come out on what to expect from the Steam Deck, Proton, Linux, SteamOS 3 and more.

Soon we'll go over some of the main points in another article, but something interesting caught our attention in one of the Q&A sessions. A hot topic that has come up time and time again since Proton was revealed back in 2018, has been whether developers will just drop native support and always go with Proton (or however it has been phrased).

We've seen a lot of articles across the web on it, and plenty of users from both camps argue it to death. So what do Valve really think about it?

We now have an actual answer.

Read out from developers in the session by Valve's Kaci Aitchison, the question was: "Would you prefer a game to use Proton or to have native Linux support, what's the stance on that?", answering Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais said "We have no strong preference. Really, it comes down to whatever is the best experience. So if it's easier for the developer to get to a point where the best experience is achieved through Proton we think that's great. But if they have the know-how or the resources to work on a native Linux build, that has a great experience and has all the functionality and they're able to maintain it, we think that's even better."

You can listen back yourself on YouTube in the full event video, with the question around 3:02:35.

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F.Ultra Nov 14, 2021
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Quoting: Shmerl
Quoting: slembckeHah! I used to think GDB was just the worst, but it's my go-to debugger now. With a few dozen lines of scripting you can at least soften the annoying parts (can't just click in an IDE to set breakpoints, etc), while greatly amplifying the parts where it excels.

I know you can script it. But I feel like scripting to improve out of the box debugger experience shows it has a long way to go to feel comfortable. And that's not a good thing if no one is trying to address that properly.

I don't think criticism of those who are used to MSVC debugger level of comfort is invalid. So I'm not even sure why it's still not addressed. Do gdb developers have such mentality? I.e. script it if you feel like it's not good enough already and we aren't going to improve the debugger itself? If so, it's a bad mentality.

Doesn't any of the 20 odd GDB frontends solve this?
Shmerl Nov 14, 2021
Quoting: F.UltraDoesn't any of the 20 odd GDB frontends solve this?

Some help with it, but nothing feels like a real thing.
Guppy Nov 15, 2021
Quoting: GuestIt's quite a non-committal answer, the sort you get from politicians.

Judging from investment and effort, it very much looks like Valve prefer "Proton". Just easier for them, makes complete sense. Supposedly however the Deck isn't as closed up as consoles, so it shouldn't matter what Valve want - it should matter what the community wants, what developers want.

I read it as "native is better, but only if your willing to support it".

And that pretty spot on, if you don't have the know how or will to maintain the native version for the life time of the game the don't bother and instead invest the time in making sure it runs well in proton.
holisticboy Nov 15, 2021
Quoting: Guest
Quoting: aufkrawall
Quoting: GuestIt's quite a non-committal answer, the sort you get from politicians.
Diplomats can also be politicians and I think it was a polite way of saying that half-a**ed Linux ports with stupid restrictions for crosss-play etc. are not the way to go.

Pretty much as I see it - I had meant that it was a politician's answer in that it was a response to the question, but didn't actually answer the question. Which is understandable, because Valve really shouldn't have a preference on the matter if it's an open platform and they can't very well say anything that might bad-mouth developers (the very people they need to have on board).

And so I just wanted to point out that Valve didn't really give an answer, so there's no use in anyone trying to say that they did, but I do personally think your statement is what Valve would like to be able to say.

Having no preference or stance is the only way of winning here; that's their answer. They either say "native or die" and alienate developers who cannot support native releases (devaluing their steam-deck), or the say "proton all the way" and alienate the devs who have (and will) make Linux ports.

Their goal is to sell Steam and Steam Decks, but if they lock the platform too much either way they'll ultimately make less money, and reduce the chances that Steam Deck is a winner (increasing money again).
Beamboom Nov 15, 2021
That's the only rational and fully logical answer to that question, really.
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