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Wine Software

Transgaming Bringing Windows Games to Linux(?) 288

An anonymous reader wrote in to point us to transgaming which is trying to get the DirectX APIs on Linux, and make it possible to run DirectX games on our OS. What is perhaps more interest is their perspective on how to get paid for their work. Not sure how I feel about this whole thing.
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Transgaming Bringing Windows Games to Linux(?)

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  • Already posted (Score:5, Informative)

    by root_42 ( 103434 ) on Sunday October 14, 2001 @09:24AM (#2426779) Homepage
    Does NOONE do any research on slashdot anymore? Look here! [slashdot.org] *sigh*
    And I wonder why my articles keep getting rejected. :-)
    • by Publicus ( 415536 )

      Why did this get modded down as redundant? The story is redundant, as the poster points out, but the post isn't. In fact, it's one of the first posts on the story. This should be modded up as informative, not down.

      I've been really disappointed in the moderation I've been seeing lately (and I have been meta-moderating). Not only because I've taken some hits on comments that were not that bad, but also on others' comments. If you have mod points, read the guidelines, and think about what you're doing. You make this site better or worse to read. Right now, some of you are making it worse.

      • Re:Already posted (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Pyrrus ( 97830 )
        because it adds nothing to the conversation to hear
        someone bitching that "this was posted before, so I don't care"
        yeah, I've seen the story before, but that doesn't
        mean it's not worth bringing up again (espescially
        if there have been new developments in the story)
    • Well quite.

      I think what we really need is for Slashdot: News for Nerds, to be a ***NEWS*** site. I don't really understand why the editors occasionally seem to find this such a bizarre concept - that if something is years old, it's not news. They might also consider that if someone is posting something that old there are two possibilities: 1) that it's been posted before or 2) though a brilliant process of sub-k5 user-voting the item hasn't ended up on the front page: namely if nobody bothers to post something, it isn't important.

      What's worse, half the time we have these years old items the things come under (2) - that everybody else has managed to read a crap article without posting it, but then someone, months later, posts it and the editors accept it, never considering that the reason nobody's submitted it before is that everyone who's read it has realised it's crap...

      </rant!>
    • This is a problem that calls for a technological solution. You'd think that this would be an 'Itch' the slashcoders would want to scratch. How difficult would it be to create a simple story posting processor, which tells the editor whether links in the current story had been posted previously? (and when, and if they had made any misspellings or grammatical errors) Clearly, because there are so many editors, some of them miss or forget stories from time to time, leading to duplicate postings--so I'm not blaming them for these mistakes. But these mistakes happen frequently enough that I think they can be blamed on poor organizational routines, which could be rectified with new procedures and software. Is such a project in the works?
    • Re:Already posted (Score:2, Informative)

      by RoninM ( 105723 )
      In fact, it's no less than the fifth time it's been posted. Twice, even, by CmdrTaco.
  • by disc-chord ( 232893 ) on Sunday October 14, 2001 @09:25AM (#2426781)
    One aspect of TransGaming's model is based on the Street Performer Protocol. We are licensing some of our 3D code under the Aladdin Free Public License, which restricts certain forms of commercial redistribution. Users may freely download and use the software, but will be encouraged to subscribe to our subscription service. We will not release that code under a less restrictive license (such as the Wine license) unless and until we have a paying subscriber base of at least 20,000 users. This means that our work will not be fully incorporated into the main Wine source base before that point. Further development of our work will also be predicated on that subscriber base being sustained. This gives our customers a direct incentive to stick with us - if our subscription revenue dries out, so will our release of new code.

    That's an interesting approach, "We've got you by the balls, so keep paying". While some people will be quick to point out "This is just a friendlier version of MicroSoft's subscription model" .. it is not. This is more like Public Broadcasting's subscription model... the content is freely available to all, but some people NEED to support it or there will not be any new content... period. I hope this works. I'm a big fan of the PBS model.
    • by BenHmm ( 90784 ) <benNO@SPAMbenhammersley.com> on Sunday October 14, 2001 @10:16AM (#2426936) Homepage

      It's actually just a formalised version of the same philosophy that most open-source projects go by.

      It could be also rewritten as
      "Although we like coding for the sake of it as much as the next guy, we do have better things to do than do something that has no support at all. If, after all our hard work, no one gives us anything back we're going to do something else more appreciated. Now, some people like appreciation in the form of praise, we prefer cash."


      It is really human nature, and is entirely fair enough. I hope it works too: the community does need a half way point between doing open source for the fun of it, and writing closed source for money.
    • http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=00/12/30/142723 7&mode=thread

      posted by timothy almost a year ago (dec 30 2000).

      chromatic writes: "Looks like a company called TransGaming Technologies has been improving DirectX support in Wine. They plan to use a modified Street Performer Protocol to make money, and will eventually relicense their patches under the Wine license. Maybe I'll finally be able to run Thief!" And maybe one day Xbill will run on Windows.
      • Actually, I daresay that xbill could be ported to Cygwin/XFree86 [cygwin.com] more than a little easily. Perhaps I'll give it a shot when my own project[1] is done. I'm already looking into Cygwin/XFree86 as a replacement for the infernally buggy eXceed.

        [1] I'm working on travtrack and travlib [sf.net]. Travtrack is a programme to manipulate a Traveller universe. Travlib is a library of functions and classes (using C/gtk+) which represent a Traveller universe. Traveller [farfuture.net] was a great old science-fiction game from the 70s which has been given a new lease on life with GURPS Traveller [sjgames.com] from Steve Jackson Games [sjgames.com].

    • "We've got you by the balls, so keep paying"

      I think this is a great model, and I've been thinking a lot about it. The only flaw I can come up with is this: What happens if they change their mind when they have 19999 users? In other words, there ought to be some sort of service for people who want to use a model like this to guarantee that once 20000 people actually subscribe, the source comes out. Perhaps if a trusted third party would hold a copy of the source for them and be given the legal right to release it when, in their judgement, the terms of the protocol have been fulfilled.

      I wanted to check out transgaming's web page to see if they do something like this but it seems to have been slashdotted. Any karma-working-girls out there have a mirror or a link to the google cache?

      bryguy
      • What happens if it takes them 5 years to get those 20,000 subscriptions?

        What happens if by the time they FINALLY get that 20,000th, they've expended most of the money it all generated?

        I don't see why this model would work any better than an all out commercial liscense.

        If the project is good enough, people are going to pay for it.

        Well, some people anyway. Other people won't pay for anything at all. But they hardly count since they won't ever be a revenue stream.
        • What happens if it takes them 5 years to get those 20,000 subscriptions?

          I think they're betting on the fact that it won't. If it does, that's a clear indication that there's not enough community support for them to continue with this business model, and they'll have to think of something else, or just lay everyone off.

          What happens if by the time they FINALLY get that 20,000th, they've expended most of the money it all generated?

          Well, if you read their subscription page [transgaming.com], you'd see that they are not even taking your credit card number right now. In fact, what they want to see is at least 20000 people expressing interest in subscribing before they actually ask you for your money.

          As for using up all of the money before releasing the code, what they're asking for is a $5 / month committment, not a one-time fee. They're looking for an ongoing revenue stream, on the order of $100000 / month, to support their development costs, and keep some open source programmers paid.

          I don't see why this model would work any better than an all out commercial liscense.

          Well, for one thing, unlike a commercial vendor, they won't need to worry about "piracy"; as long as they have a solid base of users willing to commit financially to the product on an ongoing basis, they are perfectly happy with all of the freeloaders using it and enjoying it.

          If the project is good enough, people are going to pay for it.

          I agree. I'd pay for it. I hope there are 19999 other people who would, too. I'm also glad that they would let me use it even if I couldn't pay for it, or didn't believe that it was worth $60/year.

          I really think that this could be a viable open-source business model, and while I can't tell you to support it, I'd encourage anyone who might be interested to fill out their survey [transgaming.com] to show some support.

    • by HanzoSan ( 251665 ) on Sunday October 14, 2001 @11:41AM (#2427319) Homepage Journal


      I think this is the best for GNU and open source software to be profitable.

      If people need something bad enough, require they pay for the service, and its done.

      NOT THE CODE, once the codes released, its open source, which means you can improve it.

      You just want the service, not the code itself, the code once released, is owned by us, but we need programmers to make the code.
    • We all know the open licenses like "Free beer" or whatever doesnt make money, I sure dont get my beer free.

      I hope this works out, Tribes under linux, that will be perfect.
  • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Sunday October 14, 2001 @09:27AM (#2426786) Journal
    While I understand the reasoning behind emulating another (more popular) platform, it causes more problems than it solves.

    If we didn't emulate quicktime using WINE, then Apple would either have to make a native app, or loose that part of the market to RealNetworks.

    Of course, sometimes the company will do just that (refuse to port an application). But that's how the economy works. Those companies that suit your needs should be the ones you use. The ones that ignore you should go out of business.

    With emulation, programmers need to work their collective asses off to get an application working every release, and that work could be better spent elsewhere. So, demand native apps, and let the ones that refuse, loose market-share.
    • Wine Is Not an Emulator
      • Wine Is Not an Emulator

        Bull...

        emulate
        tr.v. emulated, emulating, emulates
        1. To strive to equal or excel, especially through imitation: an older pupil whose accomplishments and style I emulated.
        2. To compete with successfully; approach or attain equality with.
        3. Computer Science. To imitate the function of (another system), as by modifications to hardware or software that allow the imitating system to accept the same data, execute the same programs, and achieve the same results as the imitated system.


        Sure sounds like an emulator to me.

        Dinivin
        • You missed it (Score:2, Informative)

          by hawkfan ( 11267 )
          From the WINE faq:
          WINE stands for Wine Is Not an Emulator. It implements native code to the function calls present in the Windows DLL's. An emulator is something that duplicates the environment that an application runs in. WINE doesn't bother.

          • Just because I say "I'm not a 25 year old male" doesn't mean I'm not a 25 year old male.

            Wine may not bother to duplicate the environment that an application runs in, but it still meets the definition (from the American Heritage dictionary) of emulate.

            Dinivin
            • by DABANSHEE ( 154661 ) on Sunday October 14, 2001 @10:34AM (#2426993)
              Because they work the same way with Windows 95 applications as WINE does. Through a Windows API.

              Yes just as both (DOS based) W9X/ME & WinNT/2K/XP (which sort of evolved from Digital VMS & IBM's OS/2) use a Windows API so windows applications work nativelly with both OSes (even though they are completely different), WINE is a Windows API so the same applications can work natively in Linux (& potentially other X86 nixes) in exactly the same way, without re-compiling or anything.

              IF WINE was a emulator, it could be re-compiled to work with PPC Linux or Alpha (thats a CPU platform, now 64bit, that was developed by Digital cum Compaq & made by Samsung & Intel) Linux. But no, as a API layer it only works with the same X86 hardware that Windows works on. So its only compatible with X86 Linux boxes.

              However in theory if WINE was developed for Alpha Linux then Windows applications written/re-compiled for Digital Alpha WinNT4 (MS put out a re-compile of NT4 for the Alpha CPU platform), would then work natively in a Digital Alpha Linux box.
    • Considering just how important Real Networks is these days in the marketplace, I don't see how Apple or Microsoft are being hurt by ignoring the Linux market. It certainly isn't doing Real any good. (maybe your comment should say "the companies that ignore markets that actually matter should go out of business"
    • It's a Windows API layer, which the applications use to communicate with the hardware, just like the Windows API in Windows NT itself, for example.

      A better example (I think - I'm no expert) would be the Win16 API in IBM's OS/2.

      Actually using such a API layer is how MS can get Windows applications working natively on 2 completelly different OSes - the DOS based W9X/ME & WinNT/2K/XP, which sort of evolved out of Digital VMS & IBM OS/2. There's no commonality between the 2 OSes other than both having a Windows API so the same applications work for both platforms. So all WINE is, is another Windows API for another platform (Linux & potentially other X86 nixes), so the same Windows applications will work NATIVELLY with 3 different OSes, instead of 2, without any re-compiling, or anything.

      Actually I've always wondered why the people behind all the X86 nixes (the X86 varieties of Sco/Caldera Unix, Solaris, BSD, QNX, Linux, etc) don't get together & develop a common GUI API layer. So the same GUI applications could work with all the X86 nixes natively without any re-compiling or anything.
      • Actually I've always wondered why the people behind all the X86 nixes (the X86 varieties of Sco/Caldera Unix, Solaris, BSD, QNX, Linux, etc) don't get together & develop a common GUI API layer. So the same GUI applications could work with all the X86 nixes natively without any re-compiling or anything.

        Actually, there is such a common GUI layer-- it is called X.

        However, like all *nix software, there are other incompatabilities, most notably in the C-libraries and even a few differences in the kernel itself. However, note that, with the proper packages installed, you CAN run compiled Linux binaries on FreeBSD. In short, it is not the problem with the GUI layer-- it is a problem with underlying componants.

        One of the dangers though is that WINE could reduce the need for people to develop software for Linux. That is pretty minor, though, because I think that Microsoft will STILL have a had time competing with Linux.
    • It is both good and bad. Good in that it relieves a lot of the resistance to switching to the new (linux) system. Bad in that it threatens to do for linux what Win-OS2 did to OS/2: you don't have to rewrite your software to work with OS/2, it will run on OS/2 better than it will on windoze natively (it did, too, for 16-bit code which was widespread at the time). The result was no one wrote OS/2 software. Why learn and do it via a new/different method when you could just keep writing code the way you always had been and have it still work on OS/2?


      What would be more compelling is a GOOD, open, free (or mostly so), and easy API set that works on windoze, macs, and linux. OpenAL and OpenGL are good, but the latter, unfortunately, tends to be updated too slowly while M$ with DirectX adds nice, new, fancy-pants features yearly that make games look greater while OpenGL remains stable, but sticks with capabilities from several years ago.

      OpenAL is good on the soundside but the graphics arena, and OpenGL are too slow in improvement. I'm not sure what the solution would be, it is certainly not something that linux-users or BSD-users and developers have much say in. I suppose we could dump OpenGL and create a new open graphics API that works just as well as OpenGL and DirectX, is easy to write for, and is truly cross-platform. You would have to make it compelling for game companies to write with that API (and not insist that they GPL their games - talk about killing a golden-egg laying goose...) rather than DirectX.

    • Hint... The name gives it all away:

      Wine
      Is
      Not an
      Emulator

      Rather, it's an attempt to duplicate Windows APIs on linux. An altogether different thing that an emulator.
    • It a perfect computer world it would be possible to write one version of software and have it run under aver OS, on every piece of hardware. That's what this is bringing us one step closer to. If the program runs just as good under linux with an abstraction layer as it does under windows then what's your problem? It doesn't then matter what the target platform was, it works on linux too. Please explain how that could be a bad thing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14, 2001 @09:27AM (#2426787)

    Transgaming is cool. Read the submission [ic.gc.ca] they wrote to the Canadian government's copyright comment process.

  • by GoatPigSheep ( 525460 ) on Sunday October 14, 2001 @09:31AM (#2426798) Homepage Journal
    I hate to say it, but there aren't too many examples of companies who focuss on open source software who are making very much money. It is difficult for startups especially. I suggest people put the 100$ or so they would save by not having to purchase windows to good use by supporting the developers. If this thing works out, you won't need to dual-boot anymore anyway.
  • How difficult is it to emulate a moving target such as DirectX, especially since driver support on Linux is limited, and Microsoft seems to release a new DirectX version every 6 months or a year?

    On the other hand, their subscription service looks interesting, although how much people will pay to "guide" their work to their favorite games is rather questionable. These things are not business apps, and the entire concept is made less palatable by the fact that the longer it takes to get a game running, the less desirable the game is.
  • why bother? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14, 2001 @09:32AM (#2426805)
    why not actually write some linux games that don't owe anything to windows?

    why is it that the linux community invests so much time and effort in trying to be windows, in trying to emulate windows, in trying to "steal" attention from windows when they should just be concentrating on making the bext possible linux?

    are they really that jealous for attention?

    do they feel that's the only way they can attract users?

    lookit, you've got an audience of easily ten million people with linux! don't tell me the only thing these people are interested in is backwards compatibility in some form or another with windows! and before you flame me, yes, porting windows games on a code level is a kind of backwards compatibility.

    i'm convinced that there is a very deep and very real hypocrisy that underscores a lot of what the linux community does. they've emulated the look-and-feel for windows, they've written emulators for apps, they've basically busted their butts to make linux more "windows-like" in every respect.

    linux is not windows and should not TRY to be windows in any way, shape or form. it is wrong, it is sterile, it is counterproductive, and it makes the linux community into its own worst enemy.

    now you my flame my lame unworthy ass.
    • The friends that I have using Linux would rather dick around compiling kernels than play games. Sure there are 10 million users, but how many would actually play games? Probably 1-2%, and of that 1-2%, 75% would want the games for free. Do the math, there ain't much money to be had there.
      • Re:why bother? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by p3d0 ( 42270 )
        The friends that I have using Linux would rather dick around compiling kernels than play games.
        Sounds like far too small a sample space to be statistically significant.
    • by sheetsda ( 230887 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [steehs.guod]> on Sunday October 14, 2001 @10:17AM (#2426939)
      The idea is not to try an emulate Windows. Making a DirectX API under Linux cuts the time required to port apps from Windows to Linux to almost nothing. That will make game developers take a much more serious look at porting their games to Linux. "Hey, if we spend 5 days we can port this thing and open it up to a larger market and make more money."

      I for one hope this effort is successful. Linux is great, but a lot of what I do with my computers is entertainment, and Windows is presently beating Linux in that department. Take that away, and I'll never boot Windows again, and I know there are others out there with the same view. Get more games on Linux and you'll see a great many of them make the switch.

    • Perhaps the only reason i run a windows operating system is that i play games. I do all my real work on Linux and Apple boxes, i keep a Win2K box running with all the latest bad boy hardware for the sole purpose of running off the shelf (okay i pre-order most online) games. With this BS WinXP flopping out of redmond, i would be pretty excited to never have to install a microsoft operating system ever again.

      imagine how much better my modded bad ass game boxen would perform if it wasn't running NT kernel. The sad truth is that it will be years before Linux Gamer penitration is close to that of Windows (it's a numbers game to the accounting departments of the major game developers, i realize that a good argument could be made that where there is a windows box, there is a linux box waiting to happen), the industry will bring the best games out for windows first for some time now. hell i have a g4 tower running with a gig and a half of ram and Gforce3 card (and full comprehensive OpenGl support) and i still don't really game on it because the preponderance of the games i like most are not released on the Mac for months (if ever) after the windows release.
    • Re:why bother? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Mike McTernan ( 260224 ) on Sunday October 14, 2001 @10:35AM (#2426996) Homepage
      Isn't one of the things that puts commercial software houses off releasing for linux the amount of tech support required?

      Linux comes in many forms, flavours and has a following of hackers who tinker with the systems making it difficult to make a product easily installs 'out-of-the-box' and works properly. How many times have you had a tarball fail to make or config because of dependencies, missing files or version issues? Too many times for me...

      Microsoft did a wonderful thing with Windows - they assimilated all PC's into the same thing enabling people to release software that has a much better chance of installing correctly on any win9x/NT/2000 machine. (But then i guess you could also argue that win users expect lots of stuff never to work and random crashes so don't bleat to tech sup so much ;)

      Also the fact that linux folks seem to *hate* commercial software under linux...
    • Re:why bother? (Score:3, Interesting)

      Okay, listen to this, naysayer, and see if you can figure it out.

      I use Linux.

      I have used Linux since 1993.

      I have to work.

      Work uses Windows.

      I have to bring work home.

      Linux can't open many Windows files.

      I have to keep buying Windows.

      I like games.

      There aren't many Linux games.

      There are many Windows games.

      I have to keep buying Windows.

      Windows is expensive.

      I don't want to keep buying Windows.

      Software is software.

      I have nothing against games companies.

      If Linux will run games, I will be happy.

      Data is data.

      I have nothing against data made with Windows.

      If Linux will open all data, I will be happy.

      Okay? I want to work and play like a human being. I also want to use Linux. So shoot me. Why don't you go and hide in a bunker in Montana?
  • by Logic Bomb ( 122875 ) on Sunday October 14, 2001 @09:33AM (#2426808)

    In the end, I'm not sure how much difference there is between totally Free software and this company's idea from the consumer side. What game theory and economist types call the freeloader problem is when a few people get stuck shouldering the burden for what is really a common good. This company seems to just up the ante, since only a small portion of the user base will have to take on the job of supporting the programmers. It does at least give the option of allowing users to 'rotate' -- people can pay for only one year's subscription, then let someone else take their spot when it runs out. But it's anyone's guess whether this will actually happen. I forsee the company having to regularly reissue a big threat to withdraw their software unless a few thousand people send them some money, which may or may not work. Because the company's finances and subscription rolls won't be open to the public, any statistics the company offers about the number of subscribers will be treated as suspect, allowing worries about extortion and broken promises.

    To be honest, I think the underlying philosophy of their idea is pretty damn cool. It's sort of like the board of a small church or a neighborhood association, in that members of the community take turns assuming responsibility for the entire group. But without the same level of information on both sides of the relationship -- in a church, everyone knows who has taken their turn, because it's done publicly -- I think it may be doomed to fail.

    • once they relicense their code into WINE, they can't "withdraw" it, right? And any "missing" features (e.g. DirectX 10 olfactory extensions) could be added by others ... especially since the groundwork would already be laid, and obviously TransGaming doesn't control the spec. Is there really a risk of ongoing extortion here?
      • I'm not sure if I can answer your question correctly, since IANAL. However, as all of us at /. know, that never prevents anyone from trying. ;-) I would think that through their particular licensing scheme they can in fact 1) withdraw it from future versions of WINE, and 2) not allow any further work to be distributed that relies on their code. In essence, no, it's impossible to suck all the distributed copies of work done so far off the 'net, but it's possible to legally prevent anyone from doing further work using the code for anything except personal uses.
    • Not to be picky, but this called the "free rider" problem, not the free loader problem.

      That's it.

      Bye for now.

      D
  • by justanyone ( 308934 ) on Sunday October 14, 2001 @09:41AM (#2426834) Homepage Journal
    There's a lot of difference between:
    • several million people having access to do improvements and coding on a product;
    • 100 people working part time on a project with some amount of dedication and coordination;
    • 3 people working full time plus a good systems architect participating;
    • if those 3 people have 10 years experience or are now in college and writing hard-to-read academic code (with an assumption that an experienced coder will write easy-to-read code because they've seen so much schlock);

    I would be happy to participate in an open source project, but they seldom are easy to jump into. You have to have task lists, simple routines to write, and a bunch of systems integrators to put those routines together into the code's baseline.

    Plus, Mythical Man Month makes a strong case that systems complexity increases with the cube of the number of developers. This makes open source more susceptible to systems complexity issues due to the large number of people interacting with it. Just some ideas... Anyone disagree with my presumptions?

  • by BadDoggie ( 145310 ) on Sunday October 14, 2001 @09:42AM (#2426836) Homepage Journal
    Open Source Philosophy:

    For the last several years, Linux-based companies have been struggling with the problem of how to make money from free software. The problem, of course, is the difficulty of convincing users to pay for software that can be downloaded and freely copied from the Internet. Instead of paying for the software itself, Linux companies have followed several different business models that amount to charging for ancillary products and support that surround the core software, which remains free. The reasons for the development of these models is clear: Linux, and the majority of Open Source software is in economic terms a "free good", and selling a free good makes about as much sense as charging for air.

    At TransGaming, we believe that in order for Linux to succeed with consumers in the long run, we need innovation not only in software development, but also in the social sphere. We need to encourage more user participation in the development process, and give users more responsibility, both financially and otherwise, for the ultimate result. We view our work on two levels: at the software level, we're creating a way for Windows games to run on Linux. At the social level, we're running an experiment in how to create a sustainable economic model for the development of free software that also gives users the incentive to participate more actively in the creative process.

    One aspect of TransGaming's model is based on the Street Performer Protocol [firstmonday.dk]. We are licensing some of our 3D code under the Aladdin Free Public License [slashdot.org], which restricts certain forms of commercial redistribution. Users may freely download and use the software, but will be encouraged to subscribe to our subscription service [slashdot.org]. We will not release that code under a less restrictive license (such as the Wine [slashdot.org] license) unless and until we have a paying subscriber base of at least 20,000 users. This means that our work will not be fully incorporated into the main Wine source base before that point. Further development of our work will also be predicated on that subscriber base being sustained. This gives our customers a direct incentive to stick with us - if our subscription revenue dries out, so will our release of new code.

    Our customers will have several direct means of guiding the work we do. First and foremost, they will have the right to vote on which game we work on next - giving them control over our development priorities. Second, they can file bug reports to which we will respond within three working days. Users who file high-quality bug reports will not only see their bug report dealt with promptly, but will receive additional voting status, making their votes count more. Users who believe that we're doing a good job can 'tip' us, by subscribing at higher monthly charges - those who do so will of course receive a higher voting status. And finally, users who believe that we're not adequately addressing their needs can tell us so by unsubscribing altogether.

    Developers in the community who want to contribute code or bug fixes to the project can do so under the Wine license, since their patches can then be distributed within our current version, under the AFPL, as well as eventually to the main WineHQ tree. Since we're always looking for skilled developers, we may offer regular contributors contracts to work on particular development areas, or games that our users have requested.

    Quit whining about whoring... I'm already capped from comments, not providing "mirroring" on Slashdot.

    woof.

  • If the Work normally reads commands interactively when run, you must cause it, at each time the Work commences operation, to print or display an announcement including an appropriate copyright notice and a notice that there is no warranty (or else, saying that you provide a warranty).

    ~:$ cp 1.txt 2.txt
    cp: THE SERVICE AND SOFTWARE ARE PROVIDED "AS IS," WITHOUT WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION WARRANTIES THAT THE SOFTWARE AND THE SERVICE ARE (A) FREE OF DEFECTS OR ERRORS, (B) VIRUS FREE, (C) ABLE TO...

  • yeah but... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheMMaster ( 527904 ) <hp@NosPam.tmm.cx> on Sunday October 14, 2001 @09:51AM (#2426855)
    I have some mixed feelings about this, it is good that I can run diablo 2 on linux (I really want that because now I can't play it at all) . On the other hand this might be the well knows "OS/2" effect

    Because the win16 support of OS/2 was so good no company made native OS/2 programs... and we all know what happened to OS/2... don't we?

    Why can't we all just stick with our OS and wait a little while for Loki to port it?? If and IF we BUY games instead of pirating them like most windows players do. Gaming industries will make more games faster.
  • Subscription Policy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by toral ( 267417 ) <nzoschke@parrett.net> on Sunday October 14, 2001 @09:51AM (#2426856)
    Their subscription policy sounds like it has been developed with some thought, but I see some potential problems.

    First, I would be bothered investing in TransGaming's product knowing that my return could possibly dry up due to other people pulling out.

    Steven King tried this method [salon.com] a while back with a mixed result. Sure, he made a bit of money selling it directly to his readers, but the forced honor system he set up didn't end up working. Luckily for his fans, King continued to release the other chapters.

    What we have seen thusfar in street performer protocols is that they really don't help the little guy. King could afford to conduct his experiment -- he has some money to burn, and a rather loyal following.

    Second, with a 'nobody' like TransGaming, their product has to carry all the weight. It would have to work incredibly well - be fast, stable, and versitile - before I could see them getting any subscription. This is going to be incredibly hard when a 100% perfect product already exists to do this: Windows.

    Most linux users I know still dual boot to play games. This doesn't really bother them, and it shouldn't; you use the right tool for the job.

    I agree it would be nifty to be able to play DirectX games in Linux, but from their website it sounds like this is another rolling emulation system and it will probably have to go through some serious updating before a new game works under it. It sounds like to get a new game working, the subscribers first need to vote on it, then help test it by sending in bug reports.
    This is a lot of work for a game that out of the box will run fine in windows. I miss the appeal.

    I don't like being cynical about these types of things. Someday someone will break the system and find a good way to make money off of open source. For this reason I don't blame these guys for trying. I just think that in their case, it is going to be rather hard to achieve the quality of software that subscribers would feel entitled to when they could just boot Windows instead.
  • I'm hoping that the extra votes that some will get based on money will be limited or capped. Unlike the extra votes based on work/help/debugging, the money votes require no other assistance than handing over cash, and the opinions could fork things quickly from what a majority are interested in to that which a minority with spare cash want.

    Without some limiting method for money-based votes, 100 people giving $1000 each would have more say and effective control than 20,000 each signing up for $5. This is how Congress already works in the US.

    woof.

    • The could really be the cool part. I am no coder but think for a second about a gaming company that puts games out on windows. Maybe they would be the type of subscriber that would pay for extra votes.

      This could work at more then one level. You could save the man power of porting your own game. This could be a winner for the company, the software firm, and the gaming community.
    • That would be the good thing about the idea. They're a bunch of folks who need to eat. They're a bunch of folsk who'd like to have a few luxuries. Whom are they more likely to listen to: the folks who line their wallets and pad their bellies, or the freeloaders? Whom should they listen to? Obviously, the folks who are willing to do something for them.

      Yeah, your $5 doesn't go very far. But it arguably goes further than your one vote in any election or referendum. And you are on a completely equal basis with everyone else: neither your race, nor your sex, nor your creed matters. All that counts is the colour of your cash.

      I believe that that's a truly valuable idea.

  • Why do they have Q3 team Arena (fairly high ) on that vote list ???
    I runs native under linux just fine.
  • As far as I'm concerned, this model is a very practical approach that only helps Free Software ideals - it really maked no difference to me whether or not they merge the code back into the wine tree officially, because they do it themselves! All the winex code is just Wine + DirectX API's - so one can just use WineX instead of Wine - unless you are wanting to port a commercial directx application over to linux using wine - but who cares about that or would even want to buy something like that. The one thing I am interested in here, is will it be possible now for Xwindows programmers to utilize DirectX in Linux natively, w/o using Wine emulation?
  • 3 of the games in the top 25 of their voting section are already available on Linux (Quake 3, Unreal Tournament, Tribes 2). So let me get this straight, people will pay for a $5 a month subscription to this thing, but they won't shell out $10 for a linux version of Quake 3 [ebgames.com]?
  • This whole licensing thing goes back to the arguments a few months back about software freedom==GPL or software freedom==free to choose licence. I heavily lean towards the latter.

    Don't get me wrong, I love open source software, use it every day of my life, and I'm starting to dabble in development. And when I do, everything I do will be GPLd. I get really annoyed by companies ripping off GPLd software.

    But... As an awful lot of commercial firms are showing, it's very, very hard to make money out of GPLd software. As long as this firm are within the legal limits of the GPL as regards to the modifications they're making to WINE, I say all power to them. Let the market judge whether they should succeed or not.

    As to how useful this is... Several people have discussed doubt about the fact that DirectX is a moving target. Well, given the slowness inherent in even the best-written software emulation, I suspect that won't be a problem; ultra-new games are going to be a bit too slow to play, anyway. However, I have a massive library of DirectX games I'd love to unlock that would be very playable. In fact, I've been looking long and hard at DosEMU lately, and I suspect it's probably now easier to make really old DOS games work under Linux that under Win2k.

  • Hey, I think it is a great idea. I've been waiting for a company to do a little from column A, a little from column B in an intelligent way for a long time. Companies have been acting in such a one-sided way for so long that we forget that they do kinda have to make some money. I definately like this approach. If the technology penetrates the market enough, they will do the socially responsible thing. Software being OS gets more important (never mind more effective) as the technology depentrates deeper into the market. Plus, companies have to have ways of protecting their licences when they release their products OS, so it makes sense that they would want some capital before going OS.
  • by metacosm ( 45796 ) on Sunday October 14, 2001 @10:01AM (#2426890)
    I hate to be the voice of reason, but these are the same type of numbers that lots of the dot bomb's used to validate their (now failed) business models.

    Dot bombs were often quoted as saying stuff like "if we just get 25% of the market, *only* 15,000 subscribers we will ..."

    They expect to get 20,000 linux users to subscribe to a monthly service instead of dual booting. Personally I would rather pay for win98 once rather than pay a monthly fee for what is probably going to be a worse product.

    It will probably be worse because they have to keep the API up to date against a fast moving target (direct X), and all this is entirely pointless if X and GNU/Linux doesn't keep up with the latest and greatest hardware that gamers crave.

    I personally think Loki had the right idea, but they learned that people would rather just dual boot, it is simple, clean and flexable. Dual booting allows you to play WHATEVER windows games you want!
  • SDL: An Alternative (Score:3, Informative)

    by aking137 ( 266199 ) on Sunday October 14, 2001 @10:04AM (#2426895)
    As this page [libsdl.org], which includes many demos from Loki [lokigames.com], proves, SDL [libsdl.org] is at least one, fairly easy to learn, free alternative to DirectX. Do we really need DirectX that badly?
  • Make a bootable CD-ROM with Win32 kernel. Run the game directly from the CD, and write a small hardware config file to the hard drive (where Linux is still safely installed). Saved games could be stored there as well.

    I have GPL'ed this idea. Enjoy.
  • These people are so bloody backwards as to think that near perfect direct x api emulation will gain us native applications. Why this is, I do not know. After having spoken with their coders at LWCE, I doubt they understand what a native binary is, let alone how they can compare api emulation to native binaries. The worst part is when they tell me that SDL is so similar, when it's not. SDL [libsdl.org] isn't emulating any behaviour, it is an API. It may be similar in some respects to DirectX, but it is not letting you use non-native binaries in Linux. People who want to support microsoft emulation have tried before, succeded in emulation, and then promptly failed as nobody wrote native applications for their operating system (OS/2 anybody?). If you want Linux gaming through companies like Loki [lokigames.com] (who produce native games) to fail, buy whatever these jokers are going to sell you.

    If you want Linux to succede as a desktop so we can be finally free of the shackles we support when we buy into propietary API's like DirectX, and become the gaming platform of choice, buy native games from online stores like tuxgames [tuxgames.com]. Do not spend one dime on what isn't native and you won't be funding the market speak of sales figures against a Linux desktop.
  • Ultimately, the solution to this is to write it yourself if you don't like they way they do business, which is what open source is all about. I'd personally like to see two projects doing Direct* support, so you could choose between them. Competition is good for consumers. :)

  • Paid?!?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by truesaer ( 135079 ) on Sunday October 14, 2001 @10:20AM (#2426950) Homepage
    I'm not sure how I feel about this


    Oh, come now. People deserve to be paid. If you don't want to pay $5 a month, you don't have to....If $5 a month is worth it to you to play DirectX games with WINE, then great, go for it!


    People don't have some kind of obligation to give away their code open source. Many do, out of the goodness of their heart. These people are willing to do so, but they want some kind of compensation. I think this is a good thing....one big problem with OSS is that it is too reliant on volunteers and others who don't have a real stake in getting the job done. Thats why so many projects never get off the ground, never work, or never get finished.


    Hopefully, with some kind of monetary compensation, it will provide more of an assurance that this project would be taken to completion (if such a thing truly exists in software). And it sounds like very useful software, so lets cross our fingers.


    I know thinking that someone deserves money for their work is evil, so feel free to mod this down...

    • Hello Mr. Kneejerk (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Chris Burke ( 6130 )
      Sure, they have a right to _want_ to be paid, but they don't have the right _to_ get paid. That's up to us, and whether we decide to give them money. If we don't like the way it looks, we don't give them money. That's the way it is supposed to work.

      The feeling is not about them getting paid, but about the method they are going about it and whether it is something we think is worth what they are asking.

      There are lots of issues with their plan, as have been elucidated in other posts. Note that one of the concerns is _not_ someone wanting to get paid for their work. But hey, thanks for assuming it was!
    • $5 per month is still cheaper than upgrading to a new Windows OS every 2 years.
  • I honestly don't think it's possible to make an income from open source. By charging for it, it eliminates the whole idea of "free source code".

    If one wants to contribute to the community, then do it on a part-time basis. Do not base your entire life on an open source project. Get a paying job, and work to enhance the community in your spare time.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14, 2001 @10:32AM (#2426986)
    The real problem for these guys is that their planned revenue is by far to little. 20.000 * 5 only makes them $100.000 a month.

    This may sound much to a private person but there is just no way in hell that they are going to be able to developing something as huge and fastmoving as DX for only 100.000 a month. It's doomed to fail. They need a larger userbase than 20.000 or charge more than 5 dollars a month.

    The problem for many dot-coms and open source companies is that the people starting and running them just don't understand what kind of money it takes to run even a small company.

    In a typical small company without heavy marketing costs and such things the cost for a employee is abour twice his or her salary. Sickness, vacations, training, taxes etc etc makes this the typical number.

    Lets be as optimistic as possible to try to give them a chance at all. Lets say they will be able to do this with only 20 developers (say 10 people developing new versions and 10 supporting the current one). Lets say each developer has a salary of only 4.000 dollars a month (very low developer salary in the US). This makes the monthly costs for the developers 4.000(salary)x2(typical employee cost)x20(number of developers). This makes a monthly cost of 160.000 USD. Our budget is already blown away.

    Now, you will need some more people, some administrative people, a webadim, a secretary, some project leaders, some people writing documentation and yes, you will need law people :(. Lets be optimistic again and say we will do with only 10 people for all this. Now we have a monthly cost of 4.000x2x30=240.000 USD.

    However, you have to be a magician to get good software developers anywhere in the US/Europe/Canada for only 4.000 a month. And pulling a project like this with only 20 developers would be a amazing archivement.

    To be realistic I think they need atleast 400.000 USD a month to have a chance at all of succeding in the long run.

    I really wish them the best but they will have a tough time pulling this off.
    • ...there is just no way in hell that they are going to be able to developing something as huge and fastmoving as DX for only 100.000 a month.

      You're missing some obvious points. The Wine project is doing a reasonable job chasing DirectX with almost no support right now. It's not perfect, and there is alot of work to do, but there is a strong foundation. There are DirectX games working right now under Wine. Transgaming isn't starting from scratch, they're starting with the Wine project's excellent code base.

      By contributing work back to the Wine project, other people will have incentive to help maintain their additions.

      Furthermore, they're not trying to support every game all at once, part of what you get for subscribing is a vote in which games are supported next. Supporting every game and all of DirectX is a huge task. Adding support for one game at a time is much more reasonable.

      Given these more reasonable requirements, I think you could be successful with fewer than 20 developers. If they're careful in picking reasonable projects, a game a month would seem reasonable. If you've got a small team working for the love of the effort, you won't need much of a support staff. Sure, they'll be a bit more disorganized, and would have problems scaling up, but it's worked for dozens of garage startups before. For $100,000 a month, you get 12 full time staff (Assuming $48,000 salary and that much again in overhead.) Eight skilled, smart programmers working for the love of the project and 4 administrative staff should be able to get a great deal done.

      You're suspicious of being able to get skill programmers for $4,000 a month. I think you underestimate the draw of open source and game programming. I know skilled game programmers working for that right now. They accept the low wages in exchange for working on their love, games. Ditto for open source, lots of programmers would be willing to take a salary cut if they knew their work would eventually be open source. I know I could collect a half dozen highly skilled programmers to work on this for $48,000 a year.

      Of course, all of the above is my theory. Can it really work? I don't know. I certainly hope it does.

  • X-Box --Let me explain how this relates--

    By creating a home video game console *and*, at the same time, facilitating the process of porting from said console to the PC (or vice-versa), Microsoft has created a mechanism by which video game companies may increase profit.

    It is no surprise that successful home video games are ported to PC's, or PC games ported to video game consoles. It is done because there is money to be made.

    The only reason why companies do not port EVERY game to EVERY platform is due to the cost of the port itself.

    What does this have to do with this linux porting group? Well, pretty soon nearly all video games will be X-Box/PC based. This means that the development environment will become increasingly similar, and pretty much all PC games will be on the X-Box. If these guys work on an X-Box emulator early on, porting will be simplified (cheaper!).
    • Personally for cross-platform, I'd prefer Gamecube, which uses OpenGL IIRC. OpenGL would allow a Gamecube, Mac, and Windows (and of course Linux, FreeBSD, BeOS, etc, etc, but other developers don't care to much about those now) ports.
      Of course the the windowing API would likely be different, unless GameCube uses GLUT, which I doubt, but OpenGL is MUCH more cross-platform than is DirectX. I'd have thought Nintendo might have went that avenue of promotion after MS did.
      Of course PC->Console ports usually aren't as good because of the lack of a keyboard/mouse, maybe promoting the ease of porting isn't the best idea afterall! :)
  • Profit is NOT EVIL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brijam ( 242526 ) on Sunday October 14, 2001 @11:15AM (#2427200) Homepage
    People who complain about paying for software and yet demand perfect bug free constantly updated programs ALWAYS seem to forget a critical detail:

    Most people still have to work to support themselves.

    Any 'pro-bono' effort by an individual or team will always have to take a back seat to earning a living.

    Most free software advocates forget this. These idealistic profit-bashers are also rampant in the OSS community, and it may well lead to its downfall. Several fine companies have died because not enough people have ponied up cash to support them. How many of you are using store-bought distros?

    Anyone who thinks that updated DirectX compatibility can be provided that keeps up with the frenzied pace of the game industry and STILL be free is smoking crack.

    A subscription model like the one Transgaming is suggesting strikes me as a perfect solution. If enough people are willing to pay a certain amount per month to play DirectX games under Linux, the people involved don't have to seek other ways of sustaining themselves.

    I for one am going to support these guys, because I believe that the main reason most people stick with Windows because of the games.
    • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Sunday October 14, 2001 @02:04PM (#2427860) Homepage
      These idealistic profit-bashers are also rampant in the OSS community

      Where, exactly, are you getting this? I haven't seen a single post in this thread that suggests that they shouldn't get paid for their work. I've seen a lot suggesting that maybe it's not worth it to us to pay for their work, or that their model won't succede in the long run... But no "profit-bashers". In fact, I've NEVER seen such a thing. Though I have seen a lot of people react as though someone was saying profit was evil... But they never really were saying that.

      But oh well.
  • $60/year for a subscription to Transgaming...

    Or once every two years I can go buy the latest OS upgrade from Microsoft for $99.

    Once you throw in the purchase of a RedHat or SuSE distribution once a year on top of that transgaming subscription... the Microsoft solution is looking pretty damn cheap by comparison.

    I'll be the first to admit that the Linux gift culture cannot be sustained long term due to the growing complexities of the software world. but I don't know that this new idea is a viable solution compared to the regular commercial software market. I'd say go back to the drawing board and work on the idea...

    • The Linux gift culture cannot be sustained by interests desiring to make money from proprietary (i.e. non-gift) software. It can, however, last bloody forever on the rest of us. There are enough programmers who do this in their free time and enough large companies which are beginning to rely on Linux (IBM, anyone?) to keep it alive and well for a foreseeable eternity.

      The thing is, for any company which produces OSes, supporting a kernel hacker or ten is cheap compared to the old OS development they did. And for a programmer, coding is fun. Most any company (the Beast is probably different) is happy to let its employees work on Open Source/Free Software projects at home, away from work. These two factors are all we need for Linux (and every other free/open system) to survive.

      How can it die, when you have the code on your machine? How can it die, when I can modify it to suit my needs? How can it die, when you can add support for a needed driver? How can it die, when I would die before putting Windows on my box? How can it die, when any tech worth his weight in sand recognises its technical superiority? How can it die, when any MBA worth his weight in gold recognises its benefits to the enterprise?

      Short answer: it can't.

  • by HanzoSan ( 251665 ) on Sunday October 14, 2001 @11:33AM (#2427276) Homepage Journal


    If transgaming is profitable, then everyone in open source can follow a similar model, and Open source will once and for all be proven profitable.

    If transgaming fails, it will go the other way around.

    I think slashdot could take a tip from transgaming, I'd pay $1 a year to access one of my favorite websites. I'd pay $5 a month to have games on linux.

    Selling services instead of information may be the key to profitability for the new economy, the GNU economy.

    I plan to support transgaming, I have my $5 ready.

    I expect everyone here using linux to support them because the success or failure of open source in the minds of the public rests on transgamings shoulders.
    • Fixed prices, subscription quotas, and the threat of withholding (effectively destroying) finished work?

      It's complex, inflexible, and requires too much administration and too large a commitment. Can you see yourself signing up for donation subscriptions to support a hundred software projects? Surely you benefit from the efforts of at least that many.

      I believe that the best solution is the simplest: just give money to people who have made the stuff you like, don't make them screw around with their own weird variant to make it sound like something other than donation. Don't withhold money from one that is already profitable by the donations of others; huge profits mean that others will be attracted to compete in the area, that's how capitalism allocates resources efficiently over the long term.

      If you do that, then people can just get down to the work of figuring out what you want, and making it, knowing from past experience that you can be trusted to make such efforts profitable without coersion.
  • Posted by CmdrTaco himself back in January [slashdot.org]. Has anything new been brought to the table about this? No. Come on, people. Just because news is a bit slow doesn't mean we have to resort to digging up old news.
  • Open Source Philosophy:
    [...]
    We are licensing some of our 3D code under the Aladdin Free Public License, which restricts certain forms of commercial redistribution.

    So, their "Open Source Philosophy" is not to be an Open Source project. Until they have 20000 (!) subscribers. Then, well, they'll think about it.

    It's fine if they don't want to be open source, but I think they shouldn't pretend (by putting a big bold title 'Open Source Philosophy' and then mention in the 3rd paragraph they'll be using the AFPL, and then you have to click a link to find out that the AFPL is not Open Source).

  • Since this is effectively a closed-source project until they get their money, it's work sizing up their work against others'.

    Do VMWare, etc even work for 3D? With reasonable performance on a hot system, and with 3D acceleration?


  • It's a great! thing that interest in Linux/UNIX for gaming continues to build. That's what Joe Six-Pack needs in place before switching to Linux or resorting to a PS2.

    What does concern me is the involvement of an emulator to run those games. Those APIs will continue to change, anyway, and if the porting of these apps would prioritize direct interfaces to the OS's graphics software, rather than through emulating windows it would achieve broader goals.

    • Better performance -- more marketable;
    • Larger effort for the development community to strive for an API under *n*x that's superior to DirectX;
    • Less dependence on windows technologies during development; eventually, independence.

    I'm sure there are some technically sound reasons for developing DirectX under Wine, and support any development in *n*x gaming, regardless. I'd just think an OpenGL that kicks the snot out of DirectX would send a much more productive and telling message....

  • Really, what's to stop Linux from using Microsoft's own philosophy against it? Absorb DirectX into Linux, then make it perform even better under Linux than it ever did under Windows. That's sure to get the attention of at least the game developers and hardcore gamers.

    "Fight fire with fire," as they say. I frankly don't have much interest in establishing Linux as a gaming and desktop OS, but I'm surprised at how the people that do care often end up handicapping their efforts under some deluded notion of maintaining OS "purity". Look, there is no such thing as "purity" when it comes to Linux, because its open source nature means that it is always changing. This "impurity" is in fact one of Linux's greatest strengths; it gives it an unparalled capacity to easily absorb new ideas and methods into itself. This advantage should be utilized to the fullest.
  • Look to OS/2 ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geirt ( 55254 ) on Sunday October 14, 2001 @04:15PM (#2428189)

    I think it is a bad idea to try to make Linux run Windows executables. IBM made this mistake with OS/2. OS/2 ran Windows applications almost as good (some say even better than) on native Windows. The result was that programmers wrote applications for Windows only, they ran after all on OS/2 also. Little native OS/2 software was written.

    Microsoft made Windows a moving target (and it still is ...), making it impossible for IBM to have the Windows emulation work in OS/2 for every respin of Windows. The rest is history, please don't let this happen once again with Linux.

    • Re:Look to OS/2 ... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by steveha ( 103154 )
      OS/2 ran Windows applications almost as good (some say even better than) on native Windows. The result was that programmers wrote applications for Windows only, they ran after all on OS/2 also. Little native OS/2 software was written.

      Okay, it's true that little native software for OS/2 was written. But it's not because of Windows compatibility!

      Yes, OS/2 had a great Win16 layer. But it was never compatible with Win32, and Win32 was where the real action was. All the best PC software was released for Win32, and OS/2 couldn't run it, so most companies viewed OS/2 as a non-starter. Thus the installed base of OS/2 was small, so no one wanted to write for it.

      It didn't help that IBM wanted to charge lots of money for development kits for OS/2. I think they eventually figured out that it is a bad idea to discourage people from wanting to develop for your OS, and stopped charging so much for the SDK, but by then it was too late.

      If a business adopted Win95 or WinNT, they could run DOS applications, Win16 applications, or Win32 applications -- and if they were running NT, they could even run old OS/2 applications. If a business adopted OS/2, they could run native OS/2 applications, and Win16 applications, but no Win32. The choice was clear, especially since applications like Lotus 123/G (the version for OS/2 Presentation Manager) were bloated and slow, while the versions for Win32 were better.

      Heck, the first adopters of Windows 3.0 often used it as a super-DesqView, to multitask lots of DOS applications, and sometimes run a Windows app or two. Then they could gradually transition over to more and more Windows apps.

      It's always a good thing to run more software on your system. It lowers the barriers for customers to use your system.

      The other major problem with OS/2 was that the API for native OS/2 Presentation Manager apps was so different from the API for Windows. I heard that Microsoft wanted to make the two APIs more similar, but IBM felt that the OS/2 PM API was better, and thus it was worth it being different. Well, you couldn't just make a few changes to your app and recompile; you had to substantially re-write your app if you wanted to make it a native OS/2 app. For a small market, it wasn't worth the effort. Microsoft never did make a native version of Word for OS/2; the OS/2 PM version of Word was the Windows version compiled and linked with a compatibility layer something like WINE, called WLO (Windows Libraries for OS/2). WLO apps were slower and consumed more memory than native OS/2 apps, but again it just wasn't worth the effort for Microsoft to make a true native version for the small OS/2 market.

      If the DirectX thing works out on Linux, developers of DirectX games could potentially recompile their games to make them native to Linux. This would be a huge win for us. Anything that lowers the barriers for development is a good thing. Then, in a perfect world, the developer might re-write parts of the game to use native Linux system calls instead of the Transgaming DirectX layer; it's easier to port your app one little piece at a time, and eventually you have a completely native app.

      It's always good to have more compatibility.

      steveha
  • Outside of licensing issues (which I could care less about -- if they could somehow magically get most of my games to work in Linux, I'd switch over from XP immediately) my concerns is if they'll have coverage for the various incarnations of DirectX 8. That's a pretty good API. Particularly, support for things like pixel shaders and programmable elements on nVidia cards -- things that OpenGL have a hard time doing, if at all -- would be welcome. I could do without some of DirectX's foibles (CPU cycles, anyone?) but the API as it stands is pretty impressive.

I haven't lost my mind -- it's backed up on tape somewhere.

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