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cogadh: We all know DOSBox and ScummVM run in Linux, however, just providing a zip is not necessarily going to cut it. Several of the DOSBox titles that GOG sells have a custom configured version of DOSBox and use fixes that are not present in the "stock" DOSBox (probably the source of those issues you mention). GOG would need to provide that same kind of packaged install they already provide for Windows, and that's assuming that the fixes they use even work in the Linux version of DOSBox.
Dubious, any patches GOG has made to stock dosbox have been contributed upstream. Otherwise they would need to maintain publicly available source code for all their modifications by the terms of the GPL (maybe such a site exist and I've missed it in the fine print, but I don't think so). The config files GOG ships work. As I said I've always used Linux / stock dosbox to run these games and any problems I've hit have been common problems brought up in the forums.

You also forget that I've been trying to propose a bare minimal solution, not an ideal one. My counter to every one of these 'but what about these cases scenarios' is going to be 'skip them and move on'. Zip is FAR from ideal, but it's easy, even for Windows folk.
Post edited June 15, 2012 by TheCycoONE
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TheCycoONE: Dubious, any patches GOG has made to stock dosbox have been contributed upstream. Otherwise they would need to maintain publicly available source code for all their modifications by the terms of the GPL (maybe such a site exist and I've missed it in the fine print, but I don't think so). The config files GOG ships work. As I said I've always used Linux / stock dosbox to run these games and any problems I've hit have been common problems brought up in the forums.

You also forget that I've been trying to propose a bare minimal solution, not an ideal one. My counter to every one of these 'but what about these cases scenarios' is going to be 'skip them and move on'. Zip is FAR from ideal, but it's easy, even for Windows folk.
Not dubious at all, GOG has fully admitted that they do this and there has been some rather irate feedback about whether or not GOG is feeding those fixes back per the terms of the GPL.

The problem with your solution is a bare minimum fix is not going to cut it. It may work for you and even some of the more savvy Linux users, but GOG needs to provide something better than the usual "good enough for now" solution that most people provide for Linux. They need to provide something at least as good as what they already do for Windows, otherwise it damages their brand. You may be willing to accept taking extra steps and jumping through a few hoops to get your games running, but the whole point of GOG is to remove that barrier to gaming. That's what has made them such a success with classic games to begin with, to do less with Linux would be a massive step backwards.
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cogadh: The problem with your solution is a bare minimum fix is not going to cut it. It may work for you and even some of the more savvy Linux users, but GOG needs to provide something better than the usual "good enough for now" solution that most people provide for Linux. They need to provide something at least as good as what they already do for Windows, otherwise it damages their brand. You may be willing to accept taking extra steps and jumping through a few hoops to get your games running, but the whole point of GOG is to remove that barrier to gaming. That's what has made them such a success with classic games to begin with, to do less with Linux would be a massive step backwards.
I already addressed the brand damage issue... this topic seems to be going in circles.
There is an easy way for middle ground here. GOG can prepare the game with custom config files as one zip package, and Windows installer with the DOSBox/ScummVM as a second exe package. (And say nothing about Linux or etc.). Windows users will simply download both, run the installer which will take care of the whole thing. Linux/Mac users can for example get only the game + configs package, and tweak their DOSBoxes as they wish. (Porting windows config of Dosbox to Linux shouldn't be too hard, mostly changing paths and etc.).

Regarding the GPL - it doesn't sound good at all that GOG would distribute(!) modified versions of DOSBox without providing the source code of modifications to the public. It's a clear violation of GPL and GOG surely should be aware of this. The best approach for such things is submitting patches upstream, which GOG presumably does.

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cogadh: That's what has made them such a success with classic games to begin with, to do less with Linux would be a massive step backwards.
I think this was already argued long enough in this thread, that for Linux any gaming addition is a step forward, even if it's not perfect. But that remains a matter of subjective opinion, and something that GOG eventually decide for themselves.
Post edited June 15, 2012 by shmerl
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shmerl: I think this was already argued long enough in this thread, that for Linux any gaming addition is a step forward, even if it's not perfect. But that remains a matter of subjective opinion, and something that GOG eventually decide for themselves.
For Linux it would be a step forward, but we are not talking about what is best for Linux, we are talking about what is best for GOG. I think that's where a lot of this is going in circles. Some are arguing purely from the perspective that anything is better than nothing for Linux, but that doesn't mean it is the best thing for GOG. This is a business, not an open source hobby project. The same standards that apply to your traditional non-professional Linux project do not apply here. They not only have a reputation to maintain, but they also have set a standard of quality that they must maintain. That's not really a matter of opinion, it's a matter of common business practice.

A clarification on the GPL thing: GOG has mentioned the custom work they have done with DOSBox as one of the reasons they don't update DOSBox in their installer packages. This of course brought up criticism about the GPL requirements not being met (if GOG is updating DOSBox and meeting their GPL requirements, then shouldn't newer versions of DOSBox work by default?), but GOG has never confirmed or denied that they are not following the GPL. Frankly, it would really surprise me if they weren't, but then, if they are, why don't newer version of DOSBox work and what is happening to their custom code?
Post edited June 15, 2012 by cogadh
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shmerl: There is an easy way for middle ground here. GOG can prepare the game with custom config files as one zip package, and Windows installer with the DOSBox/ScummVM as a second exe package. (And say nothing about Linux or etc.).
As mentioned earlier, it's simply not a matter of technical issues with getting at the game files; it's also highly likely that it's an issue of having the rights to distribute the files on a specific platform. Whether a .zip with a bunch of files in it is platform-specific is irrelevant; if GOG just released a .zip file and a whole bunch of people started installing the games on their Linux/Mac machines, what if the publishers/developers then pressed for more money for those other installed copies?

Furthermore, if and when Linux and Mac support come to GOG, history tells us that they won't settle for a half-assed solution. They'll want to go all the way (or try their best at doing so) or else it wouldn't be worth doing at all.
Post edited June 15, 2012 by rampancy
GOG Game Service May Come To Linux

The person who wrote for a long time about Steam possibly, at some point in time coming to Linux wrote the following:
However, a few days ago I did receive some information that it will look increasingly likely that a native Linux client for the GOG.com game service will happen.
I wonder if he refers to TETs responses in this thread...
Post edited June 16, 2012 by johkra
Finally. I had to bother Michael at least six times over three weeks or so and now he's finally released an article on this request. I hope this helps gain even more votes. I am rather grateful and very happy that he's finally reported on this. Hopefully GOG will succumb to the pressure soon. Much like Gaming on Linux, Eurogamer Germany gave this request a mention as well! The more awareness, the better.
Post edited June 16, 2012 by Future_Suture
You know, if you supported Ubuntu and Fedora you'd end up hitting support for most other platforms. I believe in the end though you're misconstruing what users are asking for: Games that would already work on Linux (due to the fact that distros include fully compatible versions of DOSBox and ScummVM) should have some Linux installation option.

A lot of companies do this via a simple .run file that either installs at a specified location or in /opt.

Additionally Linux users ask that any application that has a Linux port already (which is more titles than you might think), should have these binaries/installation files uploaded to GOG.com.

Honestly I haven't purchased games from GOG in months because a lot of the software being released has Linux versions that aren't available if I purchase from this site.

Also: If you DO decide to get into the realm of somehow porting applications with no Linux versions to the platform, for older games where this would in no way be possible otherwise you might want to contact Codeweavers. They can build specifically tailored versions of Wine which allow Windows applications to run flawlessly on Linux (at cost). Assuming you can get the rights to do so. Of course this would be a cheap way to port CDProjekt releases to other platforms (assuming you don't use cross platform libraries such as SDL and don't feel like you want to expend the manpower).

I'd also like to point out that despite Linux users only having a narrow slice of the market (although it keeps growing), they tend to be the kinds of people interested in buying games. Sales numbers for products that treat Linux as a first class OS tend to be good (if memory serves).
Post edited June 16, 2012 by Mblackwell1024
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johkra: GOG Game Service May Come To Linux

The person who wrote for a long time about Steam possibly, at some point in time coming to Linux wrote the following:

However, a few days ago I did receive some information that it will look increasingly likely that a native Linux client for the GOG.com game service will happen.

I wonder if he refers to TETs responses in this thread...
Right now GOG is offered for Microsoft Windows.
uhhh.... no? GOG sells Windows, DOS, ScummVM, etc games via Windows installers. GOG itself, as a service, is offered through HTML. o_o
However, a few days ago I did receive some information that it will look increasingly likely that a native Linux client for the GOG.com game service will happen.
Native Linux client? GOG.com game service? I'm sorry, I was just glancing at whatever it is you linked to here, but whoever this individual is, while they appear to be "important" enough to be privy to such information for reasons I can't be bothered to research, more notably, they seem to be awfully confused. GOG is clearly not a subject they're familiar with. GOG offers some great free games, nearly all of which run very nicely in Linux (Treasure Adventure Game being the exception, had no luck with that one), and, in fact, aside from the installers which are very Wine-friendly, all six of the other free games run natively through DOSBox and ScummVM, so hopefully they'll remedy this sooner rather than later. ;)

All the same, it's always nice to see somebody interested in Linux support.
Post edited June 16, 2012 by Skunk
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Mblackwell1024: Additionally Linux users ask that any application that has a Linux port already (which is more titles than you might think), should have these binaries/installation files uploaded to GOG.com.
You can look at previous posts by both myself and cogadh for reasons why that would not be a likely thing that we'll see in the near future - at least, not for their classic titles. As for their indie releases, why wouldn't you just buy them from the developer?

Also: If you DO decide to get into the realm of somehow porting applications with no Linux versions to the platform, for older games where this would in no way be possible otherwise you might want to contact Codeweavers.
If GOG does end up using WINE, it'll likely be analogous to their Mac port of The Witcher, which was the original Windows game packaged in a WINE wrapper. CrossOver would be a good company to deal with, but what's the point of dealing with them when WINE is already freely available?
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Skunk: Native Linux client? GOG.com game service?
It's likely a reference to the GOG Downloader. They're likely working on a native Linux version of that app, which makes sense if they're planning on adding Linux support soon.

Edit: Oops, quoting errors.
Post edited June 16, 2012 by rampancy
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Mblackwell1024: Additionally Linux users ask that any application that has a Linux port already (which is more titles than you might think), should have these binaries/installation files uploaded to GOG.com.
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rampancy: You can look at previous posts by both myself and cogadh for reasons why that would not be a likely thing that we'll see in the near future - at least, not for their classic titles. As for their indie releases, why wouldn't you just buy them from the developer?
To have all our eggs in our preferred basket, instead of spreading them around from developer to developer. Right now if my house burns down I can log into GOG and redownload almost every digitally purchased game I own. I don't have to remember what I bought, who I bought if from, or if I have the right to redownload them, or if they are selling DRM free. GOG has done a great job of providing that level of confidence and I KNOW if I buy things from everyone that is selling something there is going to be some instance of me loosing something, or forgetting a password, or a company going under, or some kind of something I'd rather not have to deal with.
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rampancy: It's likely a reference to the GOG Downloader. They're likely working on a native Linux version of that app, which makes sense if they're planning on adding Linux support soon.
People use that?!
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Mblackwell1024: Also: If you DO decide to get into the realm of somehow porting applications with no Linux versions to the platform, for older games where this would in no way be possible otherwise you might want to contact Codeweavers.
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rampancy: If GOG does end up using WINE, it'll likely be analogous to their Mac port of The Witcher, which was the original Windows game packaged in a WINE wrapper. CrossOver would be a good company to deal with, but what's the point of dealing with them when WINE is already freely available?
Because Crossover has out-of-tree patches and hacks and provides support as well as guaranteeing compatibility? The same reasons you work with any third party really.

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rampancy: You can look at previous posts by both myself and cogadh for reasons why that would not be a likely thing that we'll see in the near future - at least, not for their classic titles. As for their indie releases, why wouldn't you just buy them from the developer?
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gooberking: To have all our eggs in our preferred basket, instead of spreading them around from developer to developer. Right now if my house burns down I can log into GOG and redownload almost every digitally purchased game I own. I don't have to remember what I bought, who I bought if from, or if I have the right to redownload them, or if they are selling DRM free. GOG has done a great job of providing that level of confidence and I KNOW if I buy things from everyone that is selling something there is going to be some instance of me loosing something, or forgetting a password, or a company going under, or some kind of something I'd rather not have to deal with.
Yes exactly.
Post edited June 16, 2012 by Mblackwell1024
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rampancy: As mentioned earlier, it's simply not a matter of technical issues with getting at the game files; it's also highly likely that it's an issue of having the rights to distribute the files on a specific platform. Whether a .zip with a bunch of files in it is platform-specific is irrelevant; if GOG just released a .zip file and a whole bunch of people started installing the games on their Linux/Mac machines, what if the publishers/developers then pressed for more money for those other installed copies?
I'm actually confused about this part. What is a legal definition of a "release for certain platform" when we are talking about old DOS games? I don't see any difference (legal wise), between Linux user installing the Windows package through Wine and taking files out to run the game with DOSBox/ScummVM, and the same user doing it simply with ZIP package of the game. It's a question of convenience for those who don't need Windows installer overhead.
Post edited June 16, 2012 by shmerl