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Latest Comments by beniwtv
Some thoughts on Linux gaming in 2018, an end of year review
25 December 2018 at 5:23 pm UTC Likes: 1

tuubiEmulation is what you resort to if a good native build is not available. There's simply no question about which is better, from any practical standpoint. That's no argument against emulation of course, just that there's no point in this comparison.

People are comparing them though, for better or worse, in the light of developers pulling native builds for Proton.

stretch611Even if the app is working according to WINE's AppDB (or similar for Proton) that is no guarantee for it to work all the time.

And you have no guarantee a native build will work all the time, either. Think of all the problems caused by particular distros, the OpenSSL breakage on Arch, the Steam runtime update breaking games, publishers having fixed builds in beta branches, because they don't want to update the main game on Steam (looking at you, Battleblock Theater), developers dropping Linux support, Linux builds not kept up to date with their Windows counterparts, multiplayer not working cross-platform, just to name a few that happened recently.

You're right that Flatpak and the likes is probably the answer to some of those, but that wouldn't work in the old game build scenario, since old libc/graphics library would probably not be able to talk to a modern kernel/graphics driver.

So I agree with Tuubi, in that we shouldn't really "compare" native and emulation, but use both where they apply.

Some thoughts on Linux gaming in 2018, an end of year review
25 December 2018 at 12:29 pm UTC

tuubiAn old release not running on modern distros is a problem, and it's great that Wine helps you there. But this shouldn't lead you to the conclusion that we should emulate all of our games.

That wasn't my conclusion at all - sorry if it looked that way - rather, that neither native or emulation is "better" than the other, both have their places.

Some thoughts on Linux gaming in 2018, an end of year review
25 December 2018 at 11:19 am UTC

BeamboomMaybe that's where we'll end up. Emulation. But that is a loss. Emulation/bridging/compatibility layering/call it what you want always comes with a cost, compared to properly coded and compiled binaries for our platform. It just does.

Personally, I recently have begun to question that native binaries are better. I have a perfect boxed copy of X2: The Threat from LGP, yet that won't work on any modern distro anymore. Nor can I feasibly emulate (or virtualize) an old distro, with 3D acceleration, since no vendor makes drivers for distros that old. But I can play the Steam version in Wine just fine.

I've been playing Elite: Dangerous quite a bit recently too, and when playing I just forget it's not even running natively, that's how good it runs. Same with many other games.

Seeing that we are already playing a bunch of games that have been "ported" via Dosbox or Wine, let's say on GOG, I don't see why emulation can't be a valid solution. (Hence even Windows users have to use emulation for some games, as they don't run natively on new Windows anymore).

The only reason against Wine in my mind is that there is a possibility that some DRM/anti-cheat are not compatible with Wine, but I have learned to expect the FOSS community coming together, doing the impossible and making these run eventually .

Steam Play thoughts: A Valve game streaming service
2 November 2018 at 2:13 pm UTC Likes: 1

NanobangYeah, I know, but I appreciate your taking the time to offer some guidance on the matter.

Looking back, I think it would have been better, more accurate, had I written I'm no fan of "the" cloud in general because---like EULAs---it continues the trend of further eroding control of what otherwise would be one's personal [i]property.[/i] The way I see it, FOSS and GPL types of licensing are much more in line with copyright than the paranoiac greed underlying the legalese of the ubiquitous EULA. And I'm not saying you do or don't agree (though I imagine you might) I'm just taking the opportunity to expand upon a topic near and dear to my heart.


Fully agree - I don't like them taking away more control, also game preservation for new generations / gamers that like to re-play games / gamers that never played these games but would like to in the future is very important in my opinion (see my other post for more detail).

Anecdotally, I recently got into some retro game stuff - playing games I did not have the chance to when I was younger - and some games it's really though to get hold of - you can't find them new or used, they simply "vanish" from the market, which is a great shame.

Steam Play thoughts: A Valve game streaming service
1 November 2018 at 5:28 pm UTC

Purple Library GuyI think you are having a fundamental misunderstanding, based perhaps on the currency of the deliberately misleading term "intellectual property". Let's take it away from digital for a second, because the lack of a physical thing tends to confuse people. If I buy a book, like go into a bookstore, pick up a paperback, give a store clerk some money in return for the book and leave the store with the book, I own the book. I can do almost anything I want with the book; I can shred it, I can lend it to a friend and so on. I cannot legally bludgeon someone to death with it, but that isn't illegal because I don't own the book, it is illegal because it's murder. Another thing I can't do is publish it. That is not because I don't own that book, the one I paid money for, it is because just as murdering someone violates criminal law, violating an author's copyright violates copyright law. You could say the author in some sense "owns" "the work", but the author does not own the copy I bought. If the author showed up on my doorstep and wanted my copy, I could say no. If they took it, that would be theft, theft of my property. Note that if I published the book that would not be theft, it would be violation of copyright.

If I buy a game, I also own a copy. I paid money for that copy and the situation was framed as "buying" it, so it is mine. The fact that the copy is digital does not in itself change this. It does make certain legal uses impractical, or their legality difficult to verify, since it can be hard to distinguish between moving a file and copying it, and it does make it possible for the seller to include some practical barriers (such as DRM) to actually treating it as your property. But none of this makes a thing you bought not a thing you legally own.

I agree with you, and it's also what I said. I think we just define "to own" in the context of software differently.

You yourself said you own the physical book, but can't publish it, because you'd violate copyright, as you do not own the work. Software is similar, you do not own the work, but you may own the digital (or physical) copy.

I would just argue that "copyright" is like a license; further restricting what you can do with your "owned" item. Be that a game or book, doesn't really matter, thus not really fully owning it.

Steam Play thoughts: A Valve game streaming service
1 November 2018 at 4:33 pm UTC

Purple Library GuyI disagree. What you don't own is the copyright. What FOSS software licenses license, set conditions on (or rather, mainly explicitly remove default conditions from), is the copyright. When you buy a game, a copy of the game IS your personal property. You do not hold the copyright so you don't have a right to copy it.
It's true that software companies have been trying hard to make the situation ambiguous and fuzz the law with their EULAs and so forth, but in most countries if it came down to a court case it would turn out that the purchaser of a thing owns it, even if it's a digital thing.

But that's exactly what is said!

You don't own the copyright, you don't own the work. You may own the physical copy the work is on though, but that still does not make you own the work. You own a license to use the work (described in the license / EULA).

And FOSS licenses do not remove copyright. They just make some exemptions to it, see:

Copyright isn't just about "copying" the work.

Steam Play thoughts: A Valve game streaming service
1 November 2018 at 3:25 pm UTC

My thoughts on DRM/Cloud gaming/Always-Online games is that personally, I have mixed feelings for those things.

I am myself not the type of gamer that goes and re-plays games once I've played the story once. Even with "recurring" games like Rocket League, there comes a time when I leave them for good, when there's no more interest in playing the same game over and over. So on that side, I don't see myself affected by DRM/Cloud/Always-Online in the sense that I do not care if games are taken away from me once I've played them; I have no interest in them anymore anyway.

HOWEVER, on the other side, I am very much against DRM/Cloud gaming/Always-Online - the reason is that I believe games should be preserved for future generations, or players that have never played them. We can not preserve these games if we're actively being hindered by it.

Worst thing is, the industry does not care about preserving games - they actively go against it even years after the game is no longer being sold. I hope for a world where DRM is stripped from games after it's no longer necessary (or not even put in to begin with!), or small server back-ends/offline patches released for Always-Online games, or cloud streamed games getting a downloadable package once it's no longer offered on the streaming services.

It wouldn't be hard for devs to do these tings, and let the gamer community worry about game preservation.

Steam Play thoughts: A Valve game streaming service
1 November 2018 at 3:13 pm UTC Likes: 4

NanobangI'm no fan of "the" cloud in general as it continues the trend of further eroding control of what otherwise would be one's personal property.

Just quickly want to chime in here: Games/software are not your personal property. You may own a physical medium the game/software is on though, which is your property. But you still need a license to use that copy.

So, games and software are licensed. Even FOSS software. Otherwise, you would own the right to them, which you do not.

I get what you wanted to say here, though. And I agree, when owning a physical copy without DRM probably nobody is gonna bother you in the future, to take it away or prevent you from playing it.

The Steam Beta Client has some updates to the runtime for games that needs testing
26 October 2018 at 2:56 pm UTC

devnullThat is IMPOSSIBLE. The whole reason code uses third party libs for things like SSL (collectively refering to all things "Secure this connection between two points") - is not worrying about it breaking.

Well it's not impossible - but time consuming. A full-time job in itself for many applications. I agree 100% though that security-related libraries should not break API, unless there is REALLY REALLY no other way (or a completely new protocol that can't be represented with the current API).

In fact, any library not breaking API would be nice - but this is hard to do in itself. Sometimes conserving an old API is a great source of hold-back for a library.

I recently linked GnuTLS 3.0 to Proton that was compiled against GnuTLS 2.6, and things do work now, in many games. So I think at least the developers did try to conserve the API as much as possible in this specific case.

The Steam Beta Client has some updates to the runtime for games that needs testing
26 October 2018 at 10:42 am UTC

devnullDepends which bugs you're refering to but they were certainly known, maybe not as public.

I can obviously only speak of public disclosure of these bugs, for example POODLE was disclosed 2014:

Whether it was known in 2009, I don't know. At least us server admins/app devs did not know until that point.

devnullDo you know how TLS1.3 works? It's not a silver bullet and there was nothing stopping applications from enforcing security policy. I know because it's one of the first things I do on installs.

Agree, no security protocol will ever be perfect - but that doesn't mean we should just leave old broken protocols enabled. Yes you can take steps to mitigate things like POODLE or BEAST, but for example in the case of POODLE both server AND client have to be patched - just ensuring your local app policy is half the work.

Also SSLv3 client applications tend to be older and use weaker ciphers.

devnullI don't follow this at all for the simple fact I updated libgnutls to my own distro's "latest", and STILL have problems. While the steam runtime may be old, requiring bleeding edge rolling releases is ... assinine.

The issue with COMPILING TLS have NOTHING to do with Steam. What on Earth. Do you know what other dependencies that involves?

I have no idea what your distro's latest version is, so can't comment on that. It is of course possible GnuTLS has bugs of it's own making connections fail.

I don't think understand you last sentence - as an app dev you ARE responsible of keeping your dependencies up to date. Steam-runtime or not. Problem is, if developers only target the runtime, they will get outdated dependencies.

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