[Linux-aus] Computer users and linux: moving upstream to software producers.

James Purser purserj at k-sit.com
Mon Feb 12 13:34:11 UTC 2007

On Mon, 2007-02-12 at 09:37 +1100, Janeene Beeforth wrote:
> While the debates about advertising/docos/etc have been interesting,
> there's one critical thing that I've always felt is being missed when
> discussing the potential migration of people from Windows to Linux - and
> that is whether the system is actually capable of running the particular
> software that the end user actually wants to run.
> At this stage, there's alternatives (and in many cases *very* good ones)
> for general run-of-the-mill tasks such as web, email, work processing,
> etc.
> A lot of people however don't get a computer *just* for general
> run-of-the-mill stuff - they get it 'cause they want to be able to do
> something more specific with it. A classic area in point would be computer
> gaming.
> This is where (through no fault of it's own) Linux falls down. In the
> majority of cases, games are produced for Windows only.
> Look further into the games development, and you find that the *tools*
> used to produce the games (stuff like havok, gamebryo, etc) will only
> produce games for Windows or Windows consoles. This means that the
> developers of the game get tied to a specific OS by the tools that they
> feel are required to be able to develop the game.
> While we've got things such as Wine to try and get this stuff working
> under linux it's still very hit and miss (again, through no fault of the
> wine guys). The perception amongst the users however is that 'linux is not
> able to run direct X' and therefore inferior (somehow the fact that direct
> X is owned, designed and undocumented by MS never seems to occur to them).
> If a person knows, or even *suspects* that by choosing Linux they will not
> be able to run the programs that they want to run - they're not going to
> seriously consider it as a choice. For most people, dual-booting is simply
> too complex.
> If we want people to feel that linux *is* a viable choice, we need the
> upstream software providers to seriously consider it a choice. They need
> the tools to produce the software, and to *know* that those tools are
> available, of production quality, and at least as easy to use as what they
> currently use.
> Getting together information about the tools that *can* be used to produce
> cross-platform (Linux/MAC/Win) games *of at least* the same standard as
> recent releases (shaders, physics, etc). For example, if you were to
> produce a game like Oblivion as a cross-platform game rather then
> Windows-only, what  tools are available to duplicate this development? Are
> there any tools that are currently missing?
> Educating the development companies in the use and potential benefits of
> these cross-platform tools - getting them to move *away* from lock-in
> libraries such as direct X - can flow the benefits down the chain to give
> end users a *real* choice.
> Cheers,
> Janeene.

Hi Janeene,

The problem we have is pretty chicken and eggish. The Games companies
won't produce for Linux (with the odd exception like ID and Epic) until
they see a market, and a market won't develop until the Games companies
start to build for linux.

There is however a growing community of games developers within the FOSS
community itself. 

<Blatant Plug Warning>
I'll be looking at that this week with the Gaming Round Table on Open
Source On The Air.
</Blatant Plug Warning>

James Purser
Open Source On The Air
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: This is a digitally signed message part
Url : http://lists.linux.org.au/pipermail/linux-aus/attachments/20070212/6be94b72/attachment-0001.pgp 

More information about the linux-aus mailing list