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http://www.phoronix.com

We have our hands on the bash launcher used by Valve's Steam client for Mac OS X that was recently announced. While such scripts are usually insignificant, there is something interesting within it and that is explicit support for Linux.

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t1000's picture
Created by t1000 4 years 17 weeks ago
Category: Industry   Tags:
aboutblank's picture

aboutblank

4 years 17 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago

4

Not Free Software

Valve Steam is non-free software. What this means is that Steam fails to respect the users' essential freedoms. This fsdaily.com website is all about the promotion of free software. I voted this down because I can't find anything either promotes free software nor promotes society to consider and value their freedom.

Freedom respecting alternatives to this would include the Advanced Packaging Tool, Apt or Portage.

DeadSuperHero's picture

DeadSuperHero

4 years 17 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago

2

Or, from a gaming perspective.

Syntensity and games built with Gluon.

knowing-card's picture

knowing-card

4 years 16 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago

1

More games = more users = more freedom

If there are more games available for GNU/Linux then:

a) there will be one less reason not to switch to GNU/Linux
b) users who switch will have more freedom than if they stick with Windows or Mac
c) more users will mean more companies focusing on developing for GNU/Linux
d) more focus on developing for GNU/Linux will mean more funding for GNU/Linux developers
e) more funding for developers will mean the GNU/Linux will improve
f) improvements will mean more adoption
g) more adoption will mean more exposure to free software

All of this means more freedom not less.

I have no problem with it. People who oppose this sort of thing don't see the big picture or are possibly too hard-line to care. I'm sure they'll all vote me down for pointing this out.

aboutblank's picture

aboutblank

4 years 16 weeks 6 days 23 min ago

1

The problem

Do you know why steam does not work on GNU/Linux (natively without requiring Wine) right now? It is because Valve had decided to exercise their power as the master of Steam and ask their users to be subject to helplessness. This, together with Valve's decision to support only the Windows and OS X platforms, means that the community around Steam must appeal to Valve's goodwill in order to get Steam to operate on GNU/Linux. Appealing to the goodwill of a master to practise an upstanding practice (in this case, modifying Steam to run on GNU/Linux) is not the attitude of a free society. This is an attitude of a helpless society, one that is subject to the goodwill of a master.

If Steam was free, then it would be the community's responsibility to port Steam to GNU/Linux. The community will port Steam to GNU/Linux. I know this happens because of the examples of Warzone 2100, Blender3D, Fish Fillets, and Egoboo. All these software titles were once proprietary, ran only on Windows and was eventually liberated. Communities formed around these titles and then the communities improved the software to get it working on GNU/Linux. Before that happens, society must get their freedom first. Which leads me to this particular article.

The problem I have is that nobody is teaching users to consider and value their freedom. Do you know what is taught in this particular article? Readers are taught that "maybe Valve is gracious enough to start supporting Linux". This isn't an attitude of supporting freedom, this is an attitude of a helpless subject.

Supporting Valve by accepting their proprietary software does not lead to freedom.

knowing-card's picture

knowing-card

4 years 16 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago

2

A road paved with proprietary bricks may still lead to freedom

Valve had decided to exercise their power as the master of Steam and ask their users to be subject to helplessness.

Your assertion seems to based on the premise that Valve uses proprietary software with the intent of enslaving people. I refuse to accept that companies using a proprietary software business model always do so because they want to enslave their customers. I believe the majority of companies do so because they want to make money. And they haven't yet learned that free software business models can work just as well, if not better.

modifying Steam to run on GNU/Linux) is not the attitude of a free society. This is an attitude of a helpless society, one that is subject to the goodwill of a master

I don't agree. If enough people use Steam on GNU/Linux, Valve will start paying attention to the platform. Once they start paying attention so will other companies. Eventually more and more companies will become exposed to free software business models. Those who adopt the free software business models will succeed thanks to help from the community. Those that are slow on the uptake will either change or die.

society must get their freedom first

Society must experience freedom and its benefits before they can truly value it. Once society truly values freedom (and companies are not outside of society) society will reject proprietary software and it's business models.

The problem I have is that nobody is teaching users to consider and value their freedom.

You do and so do many others. Some teach people to experience freedom, others teach people to value it.

Do you know what is taught in this particular article?

Yes. People are taught that just because you like gaming it doesn't mean you can't also use a GNU/Linux. When someone is using GNU/Linux, you will be more successful in teaching them to value the freedom that comes with it.

Supporting Valve by accepting their proprietary software does not lead to freedom.

Rejecting Valve for porting Steam to GNU/Linux, rejecting users for using Steam on GNU/Linux, and rejecting articles that show people how they can have more freedom does not lead to freedom either.

aboutblank's picture

aboutblank

4 years 16 weeks 1 day 40 min ago

0

re: A road paved

Profiting and committing evil are not mutually exclusive events. Conducting a business is fine when it is conducted ethically. Valve subjugates users with the intent of making a profit. The act of seducing society into accepting proprietary software is evil. Commercial or non-commercial, my issue is not about profitting or business, the issue is about freedom and the evil of proprietary software. Free citizens cannot live upstanding lives whenever one chooses proprietary software.

It is possible that an increased adoption of GNU/Linux will lead to more to value their freedom. I think this scenario is unlikely. The reason is that society does not value its freedom. Relying on companies to respect our freedom because it is profitable for them to do so is not a reliable system for protecting our freedom. I think that users are not more likely to value freedom after adopting GNU/Linux. For example, people like Linus Torvalds and Matt Asay don't care for freedom but both of them use GNU/Linux and have a fair understanding of the freedom promoted by the FSF. There are millions of other individuals who have adopted our free systems and don't care for their freedom. The same is true for companies that write proprietary software for GNU/Linux; they wish to exert control over their users. The reason is that people are not taught to value freedom instead, people are taught focus on superficial values like convenience, expedience and utility.

How many individuals now have adopted GNU/Linux systems? Millions. How many of them have come to value their freedom. Only a handful. How many of these will gladly adopt a proprietary system should they become attractive and convenient? A large percentage. Those who do not value freedom will eventually lose it. Time and time again, I read stories of people that adopt GNU/Linux and still remain attached some way to proprietary software. Society just does not care for their freedom.

Promoting proprietary software does not teach society to value freedom; they only teach society about a proprietary software! Promoting proprietary software does not teach people to experience freedom. Encouraging society to adopt freedom one bit at a time is fine. The problem is that there is no explicit promotion to further adopt freedom after that. This particular news about Steam is all about how Valve might possibly be gracious enough to port Steam to GNU/Linux, it is not about encouraging people to consider freedom.

Articles like these do not promote freedom. They promote proprietary software. I cannot find anything that explicitly promotes freedom. This is why I vote down articles that promote subjugation no matter if that subjugation does target GNU/Linux - it is still subjugation! If you wish to promote freedom, don't do it in a roundabout way, just do it directly!

A road paved with proprietary bricks may lead to freedom. Only by convincing society to value and fight for freedom will society be lead to freedom.

knowing-card's picture

knowing-card

4 years 16 weeks 8 hours 29 min ago

1

Profiting and committing

Profiting and committing evil are not mutually exclusive events.

Huh? Did I say they were mutually exclusive?

Conducting a business is fine when it is conducted ethically.

Agreed.

The act of seducing society into accepting proprietary software is evil.

I reject the notion that promoting proprietary software is inherently "evil". Unethical, perhaps, but not "evil". Regardless, the vast majority of people and companies who are promoting proprietary software are not even aware of the ethical debate surrounding proprietary software. Proprietary business models have been accepted industry practice for decades. This doesn't mean they should be allowed to continue but calling them evil for doing it is preposterous.

Free citizens cannot live upstanding lives whenever one chooses proprietary software.

I think your idea of freedom is a little misguided. There are many kinds of freedom and people value different freedoms more highly than others. For example, people often willingly give up the freedom to use, study, modify and share Skype in exchange for the freedom to communicate with friends and family who do use it.

It is possible that an increased adoption of GNU/Linux will lead to more to value their freedom.

It's not just possible. It's actually happening. It's measureable. Proprietary drivers, codecs and software being available for GNU/Linux platforms have meant growth in adoption by both users and companies. By coming into contact with free software people are more likely to gain an appreciation for the freedom. I know this because I did. I switched before I knew what free software was. I didn't progressed from using the terms like "freeware", "commercial", "Linux" to terms like "open source" and "closed source" to using terms like "GNU/Linux", "free software" and "proprietary software". I know I'm not alone.

I think this scenario is unlikely. The reason is that society does not value its freedom.

As I have said previously, some in society will never value freedom over the benefits that come with restrictions, even when they are fully aware of the restrictions and the freedoms they have given up. With these people all we can do is improve free software so that they can get they will have other reasons to switch.

Relying on companies to respect our freedom because it is profitable for them to do so is not a reliable system for protecting our freedom. I think that users are not more likely to value freedom after adopting GNU/Linux.

I don't know what you base that on. I base my theory on the fact that I personally only became exposed to software freedom once I had switched. I only switched in the first place because I had the proprietary training wheels (drivers, codecs and software) to get me going. It was many months after switching that I became aware of software freedom, came to appreciate and value it and began to remove the training wheels I relied on. Again, I'm not alone.

For example, people like Linus Torvalds and Matt Asay don't care for freedom but both of them use GNU/Linux and have a fair understanding of the freedom promoted by the FSF. There are millions of other individuals who have adopted our free systems and don't care for their freedom.

Those are examples of the people I spoke of previously. Knowing the issues isn't going to change some people. This is why I was saying that telling these people to appreciate freedom is pointless and you have to use another approach. Whether they care about having it, appreciate it and value it or not - I'd still prefer for them to have freedom - or as much freedom as possible - anyway.

How many individuals now have adopted GNU/Linux systems? Millions. How many of them have come to value their freedom. Only a handful.

Only a handful?!?! Exaggerate much?

How many of these will gladly adopt a proprietary system should they become attractive and convenient? A large percentage. Those who do not value freedom will eventually lose it.

You are giving proprietary development too much credit and the free software development model not enough. Free software is improving more rapidly than proprietary software. Free software business models are becoming more accepted. In many cases, free software is no longer simply catching up to proprietary software - it is starting to lead. Firefox is a prime example. Creating a proprietary browser that is better than firefox would be too costly and not profitable enough for companies to bother. As a consequence, there is very little chance a proprietary browser better than firefox could be produced so people who are using firefox are very unlikely to ever switch away from it.

Time and time again, I read stories of people that adopt GNU/Linux and still remain attached some way to proprietary software. Society just does not care for their freedom.

You are preaching to the converted there. That point goes hand-in-hand with what I am saying. We must not waste our time preaching freedom to those who care not for it. But if we value their freedom and our own we must find other ways to give it to them.

Encouraging society to adopt freedom one bit at a time is fine. The problem is that there is no explicit promotion to further adopt freedom after that.

Why does the promotion have to be explicit? For example, if you want to promote healthy (and tasty) foods to people who don't care about their health, would you focus on telling them they should eat it because it's healthy? No. You wouldn't. You would focus on how tasty it is. Then once they're eating it and you know they like it, you can tell them how healthy it is for them too and that other foods which may or may not be as tasty are less healthy and should be avoided.

This particular news about Steam is all about how Valve might possibly be gracious enough to port Steam to GNU/Linux, it is not about encouraging people to consider freedom.

So what? Voting for the article here on FSDaily will mean people on the net are more likely to read it. This will increase the likelihood that people will switch. Which will, in turn, increase the number of people who are exposed to and therefore come to appreciate software freedom.

Articles like these do not promote freedom. They promote proprietary software. I cannot find anything that explicitly promotes freedom.

Okay they don't promote freedom *explicity*. But I don't see why the promotion has to be explicit or even intentional. If it increases people's freedom then I think it's worthwhile. I'm still not sure why you think it's bad to lead people to freedom via promoting use of proprietary software on free systems.

This is why I vote down articles that promote subjugation no matter if that subjugation does target GNU/Linux - it is still subjugation!

But it's *less* subjugation. Why can't you see that less subjugation is better than the same amount? Is one punch in the face not better than ten? Besides, voting it up here increases the chance that people will read your comments regarding freedom before they see the original article because often the article stubs on FSDaily rank higher than the original articles. When you vote it down you are not only voting the article down you are also decreasing the chance for people to read your comments. By voting it down your comments really only get seen by a few people - most of whom already know and agree with your opinion anyway.

If you wish to promote freedom, don't do it in a roundabout way, just do it directly!

If you wish to promote freedom then maybe you should consider other ways to do it because, by your own admission, the current methods aren't that effective. Particularly on people who don't care about freedom.

A road paved with proprietary bricks may lead to freedom. Only by convincing society to value and fight for freedom will society be lead to freedom.

And, again, we are more likely to convince them to value software freedom by convincing them to try free software. If promoting articles like this increases the chances of them trying free software then I'm all for it.

I've never seen an article that promotes proprietary software on a free system for the sake of increasing ones freedom. I wish someone would rewrite these articles you complain about so that readers can see that:

  1. they can use [proprietary_app_X] on GNU/Linux and how, but
  2. proprietary software restricts the user and how,
  3. free software does not and how, and
  4. there are free software alternatives to [proprietary_app_X] and
  5. they can be installed easily and how

If the articles did this, then I think we could both be happy. No?