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  (Source: engadget.com)
There are only 1,000 spots available in the current registry

Valve has announced that it is allowing users to apply for the Steam for Linux beta.
 
Valve is specifically looking for experienced users that are familiar with Linux and are running Ubuntu 12.04 or above. This is likely because it's in the way early stages and needs a good debugging. Users that are newer to Linux are being asked to wait until the next beta release to apply. 
 
There are only 1,000 spots available in the current registry, so those who fit the bill can sign up through their Steam accounts. Valve will follow up with users afterward. 
 
Steam is a digital distribution, multiplayer and communications platform that distributes video games online from small developers to larger software companies. 

Source: Joystiq



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I am in favor of this...
By Motoman on 10/29/2012 2:24:22 PM , Rating: 1
...Linux has a lot of promise - always has. The problem is that it's always just been that - promise. With essentially no support from the software industry, deciding that you're going to try to get by on a Linux box is tantamount to deciding that you're never going to use any mainstream software at all.

At least Linux still understands what an OS is...and isn't. An OS isn't a GUI. It's not a web browser. It's not a media player. An OS is the logic necessary for the hardware bits to talk to each other, and a framework for other applications to run on. That's pretty much it.

That way, if you want a different GUI, you can use a different GUI. Etc. ad infinitum. We've let MS and Apple move the goalposts on what an OS is to essentially be a whacking huge bundle of dizzying numbers of applications, 99% of which have nothing to do with being an operating system.

I'd really love to see Linux get the industry support it needs to become relevant. Maybe this will be enough to get the ball rolling. I am a huge non-fan of Steam and any similar online services, but obviously Steam is wildly popular and they have a massive user base.

If you could get popular games, MS Office, and Adobe products on Linux, the platform would be good to go. Yes, I know there's plenty of open source office suites, and theres GIMP et al, so on and so forth. But none of those actually displace the original which they're copying. And people who live their lives depending on the originals won't switch.

So you go on with your bad self, Steam. I don't like you, but I hope you succeed.




RE: I am in favor of this...
By BifurcatedBoat on 10/29/2012 2:30:46 PM , Rating: 1
The bar for me is reaching the point at which it is no longer necessary to use the commandline to perform operations that can be handled completely within the GUI in other operating systems.

In other words, software installation - from any source, installing hardware/drivers, connecting to networks, etc. can all be handled from within the GUI. No sudo, no leaving XWindows, no modifying config files with a text editor that can potentially leave your machine in an unusable state.

When a distribution of Linux meets that bar, then it can say it has arrived, and is a real alternative to Windows for average computer users. As a software developer and computer geek, I could of course learn to use it in its existing state, but there's no point when very few others will ever be able to.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By The Raven on 10/29/2012 4:07:44 PM , Rating: 2
Just FYI, I'm running Ubuntu 12.4 (yet to upgrade) and haven't needed to use the command line except for some crap that I had to mess around with (for experimentation purposes). I've never used Mint but I hear that is even more "stupid proof".

But I don't think an OS will truly arrive until it garners the appreciation of the app development community. As we see here that tide may be turning. (Now we just need Netflix to ride the wave and the masses may jump lol.)

Even if you don't use Linux or hate the people who preach to you about how much better (morally and/or functionally) it is than OSX or Win, this is good news for all in my estimation because it is devs telling MS, Apple, EA, Activision, etc. that "now the door is right there and I won't let it hit my @$$ on the way out." It can help keep these powerful corporations in check regarding how they treat their customers regardless of what OS/platform they are on.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By mackx on 10/29/2012 6:53:37 PM , Rating: 2
you'd have to due to software installs no? PPA etc?

any need, for whatever reason to go into terminal means it's not ready for the average user. to be fair, the average user (i imagine) would find most of ubuntu usable and a decent sub for windows - but, as soon they want a program and have to jump through hoops - forget it


RE: I am in favor of this...
By BrotherPointy on 10/29/2012 9:37:09 PM , Rating: 2
You know Ubuntu has an app store, right? The apps from the repos appear there, too. All one-click install.

PPAs are for developers and enthusiasts, normal people isn't meant to use them, but even then there is a graphical PPA manager floating around, and you can also manage them graphically from the good ol' Synaptic although this option is slightly less straightforward.

A lot of bloggers and tutorial writters post lines to be entered into the terminal, but that's not because you have to use the terminal, you don't have to, they just think it's easier for you to copy/paste a line than for them to explain where to click.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By TakinYourPoints on 10/29/2012 10:55:40 PM , Rating: 3
Hell, app stores and repositories have been in Linux long before they were in Windows or OS X. One click, simple


RE: I am in favor of this...
By BrotherPointy on 10/29/2012 10:00:46 PM , Rating: 2
Modern Ubuntu and Linux Mint (and some less known distros like ROSA Desktop and Zorin OS) fly over your bar, like airplanes. Your comments give me the impression that the last time you tried Linux was a long, long, long time ago.

The biggest problem Linux has right now is the lack of sympathy from hardware manufacturers. Most of the problems people have with the OS itself are caused by half-assed hardware support and that's where the solutions often involve getting dirty with the terminal, but ultimately either that's your fault for trying to use an OS that your hardware doesn't officially support or the manufacturer's fault for not supporting Linux, depeinding on how you see it.

On properly supported hardware, like what you'd find on a System76 computer, everything works beautifully.

Then the only concern left will be the apps but that's another story, and Valve is going to make a nice contribution on that front (if it doesn't turn out to be a lame half-assed attempt).


RE: I am in favor of this...
By Ammohunt on 10/29/2012 2:44:50 PM , Rating: 2
I have heard this argument many times the fact of the matter is that the alternatives to proprietary software lately are very very good to the point that you won't miss them. I am puzzled about your adobe products on linux comment; i have both flash and pdf viewer installed on my Fedora 16 based work pc.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By Spuke on 10/29/2012 3:28:50 PM , Rating: 2
Which versions of Adobe Flash and Adobe Acrobat Reader are you using on Linux?


RE: I am in favor of this...
By Ammohunt on 10/29/2012 5:56:51 PM , Rating: 2
I am using version 9 from the yum repo they provide.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By Motoman on 10/29/2012 3:29:14 PM , Rating: 2
Photoshop? Dreamweaver? Lightroom? Illustrator?

Flash and Acrobat are tiny little plugins...the big question is the real products.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By Bubbacub on 10/29/2012 3:47:32 PM , Rating: 2
gimp has done everything that i've ever needed from an image manipulation program - i suspect 99% of users fall into this group

if one is 100% locked into photoshop then one is probably better of staying on mac/windows.

on the office side of things libreoffice support for docx files is there - but it isnt quite good enough IMO to allow one to use it without running into trouble with your document not rendering properly on windows machines.

therefore i use wine to run ms office and its 100% stable and i get full functionality in linux that one would get in windows.

gaming aside there few things that are worse to do in linux compared to windows and IMO many things where the reverse is true.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By Motoman on 10/29/2012 3:53:42 PM , Rating: 3
The point is that people WILL NOT dump PS for GIMP. Won't.

Just like they won't dump MS Office for Libre/OO/whatever. Won't.

As for Wine...please.

You think you're making points that support using Linux - when in reality, these are *precisely* th reasons why Linux is a marketplace failure.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By Bubbacub on 10/29/2012 4:12:03 PM , Rating: 2
you misunderstand me

im not saying that linux shouldnt be a marketplace failure. its got no direction, no marketing budget and many companies are 'afraid' of open source software. it has no hope of taking over the market.

what i am saying is that if you are a moderetely advanced windows user, are open minded and are sick of bloatware infested drivers, virus checkers etc. etc then it may be worth giving linux a go.

p.s. with regard to office - i run it under wine - its rock solid stable - i use it every day and it works exactly like a windows install of office - right down to external plugins.

not everything works in wine but the big programs all do.

p.p.s as i said - if you are locked into photoshop - stay on your existing platform. most people however are not locked in.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By The Raven on 10/29/2012 5:12:16 PM , Rating: 2
I think there is some confusion between you two.

I think Moto is saying that since everyone is familiar with Office, PS, etc. they willnot learn to use FOSS alternatives.
His argument is not a matter of function. He is talking about people being used to PS (not the GIMP) and therefore not being able to switch to Linux.

But on the otherhand I understand what Bubba is saying too. I had a very lillte exposure to PS and then I heard about the GIMP. So I decided to try to learn "free" first. Well mission accomplished. I do the things I wanted to do with PS in the GIMP now. I'm glad I didn't get dependant lol. But to Moto's point, that doesn't mean anything to those now using PS.

But since the ISPs and Adobe are cracking down on pirated SW, I think the GIMP may increase in popularity in the near future lol.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By RjBass on 10/29/2012 4:37:44 PM , Rating: 2
If somebody wants to use Linux and MS Office is a must, they could always just use Office365. It's virtually the same thing but no specific OS required.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By karielash on 10/29/2012 3:40:35 PM , Rating: 2
Office 2007 works fine on Linux, not sure what popular games you are talking about but a significant number run fine under WINE, often faster than the Windows version on a comparable platform.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By inighthawki on 10/29/2012 3:52:52 PM , Rating: 2
I would love to see you give a benchmark where WINE was faster than Windows in any modern game. Not to mention, you won't be able to use any DX10/11 features since WINE barely supports DX9 properly in all cases.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By Motoman on 10/29/2012 3:54:58 PM , Rating: 4
Not to mention finding any significant number of users who will be convinced it makes sense to install Linux on their machines, then Wine, then run their games in Wine...instead of just using Windows.

Wine isn't a solution. It's a symptom of the problem.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By Bubbacub on 10/29/2012 4:14:47 PM , Rating: 2
have you actually run and used wine on a regular basis?


RE: I am in favor of this...
By Motoman on 10/29/2012 5:08:09 PM , Rating: 4
No, but that's not the issue.

The issue is convincing people that just running Windows, and launching their games/programs normally without any hoops to jump through, is somehow an inferior idea to installing Linux (which is frequently a PITA), then getting WINE setup, then maybe or maybe not figuring out how to get your programs/games installed and working via WINE, and then they can use them.

Inserting lots of extra crap in the middle makes no sense. Doesn't matter how superior you may or may not think everything else is...or how little inconvenience it seems like to you. The point is that it makes not the slightest amount of sense for anyone else. Why would they go thorugh all that BS instead of just running Windows like they're used to?


RE: I am in favor of this...
By Bubbacub on 10/30/2012 3:58:16 AM , Rating: 2
it depends on how much value one puts on running linux over the pain and hassle of getting wine to run.

obviously some one who doesnt use linux and doesnt value its utility as an os over windows has nothing to gain from using wine.

if however you DO like linux and want to use it as your main os for reasons OTHER than gaming - then it is nice to know you can still play the odd game without rebooting or virtualising.

wine is no replacement for a windows gaming box


RE: I am in favor of this...
By karielash on 10/30/2012 10:04:07 AM , Rating: 2
No, that is exactly the issue.

Maybe prior to talking something down you should actually try it. The 'hoops' you mention are the same as in Windows...locate setup... install...

Wine is installed by default, there is no 'making it work' or 'hoops' to jump through. The problem is not functional it is educational.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By Motoman on 10/30/2012 12:10:22 PM , Rating: 2
No it isn't.

Installing Linux in and of itself is frequently a task well beyond the capabilities of a normal user. Especially if you have to go and try to find device drivers on your own, and install them on your own.

Then trying to make Windows programs work in Wine is not a trivial task. And lots of stuff just simply won't run in Wine at all.

There is no comparison to be made between using Windows and running a Windows app in it and using Linux and getting Windows apps to run in Wine. Your assertion that they're equivalent is ridiculously laughable.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By karielash on 10/30/2012 1:58:14 PM , Rating: 2

Yet again you make assumptions that you cannot substantiate.
Installation of Linux is just as simple as an installation of Windows in fact with some versions, notably Ubuntu/Mint.

Running office in Windows is less than trivial, in fact, there is NO difference between an installation on Windows and an Installation on Linux, insert disc... click on installer.

Your assertion to that what you can and cannot do in Linux is clearly based on the complete and total lack of knowledge of the product, perhaps before you make such sweeping comments you should at least try it. While I concede that some products do not run under WINE there is a lot of common programs that do, with little or no effort required to install and configure them.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By Motoman on 10/31/2012 12:47:55 PM , Rating: 2
I have tried it...multiple times.

Driver support is far from complete. If you're lucky, the distro you've downloaded will recognize everything and contain drivers for all your bits. If not, and there's a huge chance it's not, you're off on your own trying to figure out how to find drivers (and maybe no Linux drivers exist at all for some of your bits) and then how to install them.

...and the problem is that WINE, first of all, exists...as noted, it's a symptom of the problem - not a solution. The problem is that Linux has no mainstream software industry support.

I really, really wish it did. But it doesn't. WINE is a band-aid on that headwound.

And then to explain to an average PC user that "well, probably a lot of the programs you want to use will work in WINE, but some won't" is an absolute death knell for the OS. NOBODY outside of a handful of enthusiasts are going to spend the slightest amount of time on an OS where there's even the slightest chance that some piece of software they want to use won't work.

And that's the state of Linux, past and present. I'm hoping that Steam will help change that in the future...your apparent assertion that that future is already here, though, is false.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By anactoraaron on 10/30/2012 4:46:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Inserting lots of extra crap in the middle makes no sense. Doesn't matter how superior you may or may not think everything else is...or how little inconvenience it seems like to you. The point is that it makes not the slightest amount of sense for anyone else. Why would they go thorugh all that BS instead of just like they're used to?


Off topic but this is my EXACT gripe about Windows 8/the start screen. "I have to now click on desktop first...?" "OH I have to scroll over to the corner first then click settings then click power then click shut down...? WTF?"


RE: I am in favor of this...
By inighthawki on 10/30/2012 8:24:41 PM , Rating: 2
I think your problem with Windows 8 is on a whole different magnitude of the scale than getting Wine setup and running correctly for everything...

And seriously, you're complaining over a single extra click on startup and an extra click plus move of the mouse on shutdown? How terrible your life must be now...


RE: I am in favor of this...
By anactoraaron on 10/31/2012 12:27:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And seriously, you're complaining over a single extra click on startup and an extra click plus move of the mouse on shutdown?

Uh no. Not quite. To shutdown windows 7 you simply click the start button and then click 'shut down'. That's 2 moves. To shut down windows 8 you-

first: click the bottom left corner to bring the start screen back up (if on the desktop)
second: drag the mouse to the upper left corner. wait for the side bar gui to come up.
third: click on settings.
fourth: click on power.
fifth: click 'shut down'.

That's five moves. I don't care that once the command is given it shuts down faster since once you look at the process of shutting down all that extra jumping through 3 additional unnecessary moves in the UI negates any gains made there- particularly for the average consumer. It's the unnecessary jumping through hoops like this is why there's no wide spread adoption for linux in general and it's why I think windows 8 will likely not be as widely adopted as windows 7 will be.

Sure there's quite a bit more in getting wine setup in linux but the premise remains the same. Why the heck did they redesign the UI in windows to add steps to do common things??


RE: I am in favor of this...
By Motoman on 10/31/2012 12:48:37 PM , Rating: 2
This is why Win8 will be the biggest flop in MS history.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By inighthawki on 10/31/2012 3:05:55 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure what you're talking about.

You just have to move your mouse to the bottom right of the screen then click settings>power>shutdown. That's 1 click and arguably one mouse move more than the start menu. It works while you're on the desktop, you don't need to be at the start screen or within metro...


RE: I am in favor of this...
By BrotherPointy on 10/31/2012 4:27:21 PM , Rating: 2
People whines left and right when something in Linux is "1 click and arguably one mouse move" different from how it is in Windows.

Now we'll see who is for real (the ones who also whine about Windows 8) and who's a fanboy (the ones who do about Linux but don't about Windows 8).


RE: I am in favor of this...
By Mike Acker on 10/30/2012 7:40:36 AM , Rating: 2
hopefully we won't ever run adobe on Linux

I have now switched to UBUNTU 12.04

it's more than a promise: it works.

It comes with Firefox (browser) Thunderbird (e/mail)
LibreOffice ( office equ, and at no charge ) .

But the real difference is in the construction of the o/s
suggested reading
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/10/22/security_r...

it's a bit dated but still relevant.

msft is focusing heavily on sandboxing apps in Win8 and this is a very good thing. but it won't fix the problem with RPCs. those are the core of Windows


RE: I am in favor of this...
By Paj on 10/30/2012 9:05:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
At least Linux still understands what an OS is...and isn't. An OS isn't a GUI. It's not a web browser. It's not a media player. An OS is the logic necessary for the hardware bits to talk to each other, and a framework for other applications to run on. That's pretty much it.

That way, if you want a different GUI, you can use a different GUI. Etc. ad infinitum. We've let MS and Apple move the goalposts on what an OS is to essentially be a whacking huge bundle of dizzying numbers of applications, 99% of which have nothing to do with being an operating system.



I think that is one of the reasons why Apple and Windows have been more successful in the consumer space. They create a common GUI and libraries for use by developers. The GUI becomes inexorably linked to the platform, so developers dont need to worry about what custom shell people are using.

Its this freeform nature that is one of Linuxs strengths, but also a weakness. Different Linux GUIs can differ so much that there isnt really anything like a consistent experience beyond the command line. In order for Linux to succeed as a consumer OS, consumers need consistency and a good user experience. They don't want to hear ' Yeah dude, Linux with the Burrito module running Springbok X13 is the most stable version yet.' It's intimidating at best.

Unfortunately, this will most likely mean that one distro, with one set of 'core' packages, becomes the norm.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By Motoman on 10/30/2012 10:11:12 AM , Rating: 2
I can't speak to Apple, but the GUI being firmly attached to Windows isn't necessarily true. Back in the day I used AstonShell for a while on an XP box...was kind of cool.

While you can paint that as a weakness for Linux, it also allows distros to differentiate, by selecting what GUI to use as their default. The average user probably would never be inclined to switch GUIs...so if they saw a PC at BBY running Gentoo with Gnome, and another running Mandrake with KDE (just pulling names out of a hat here), they can play with them and decide which one they like better.

The problem is you'll never see a Linux machine at BBY. Because there's no mainstream software support. And because there's no mainstream software support, there's no mainstream investment in it from hardware vendors. And because of all that, it's not a valid option for the regular consumer.

If Steam can get something started here with the gamer base...generally a more tech-savvy group than the population at large...maybe they can help put enough momentum behind Linux to get Microsoft, Adobe, et al to create Linux versions of their cornerstone software packages.

Linux will never be valid until it gets mainstream software like MS Office and Adobe products on it. Having more than one GUI available, at that point, would be icing on the cupcake.


RE: I am in favor of this...
By TakinYourPoints on 10/31/2012 7:50:34 AM , Rating: 2
Doesn't like Steam.

Add one more thing to the list that Motoman is a complete idiot about.


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