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Valve Offers Free Subscription To Debian Developers: Paying It Forward

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 23, 2014 @09:24PM (#46052769)

    "Valve Software, the makers of Steam OS, is already winning praise from the larger free and open source community â" mainly because of their pro-community approach"

    Love to see how the new SlashAds is going...

  • A wise move.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dega704 (1454673) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @09:28PM (#46052797)
    Not just because this builds rapport with the community, but also because debian developers playing lots of Valve games will be debian developers with lots of firsthand exposure to any bugs or areas that could be improved; and the best work often comes from someone scratching a personal itch. Valve plays the game well (no pun intended).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 23, 2014 @09:32PM (#46052815)

    So a proprietary software company perhaps best known for their DRM system is "winning praise" from the "larger free and open source community"? Really?

    And now Debian developers (who ostensibly care about software freedom) are being "rewarded" with some proprietary software at no charge. Stay classy, Valve.

  • WHINE WHINE WHINE I DIDN'T GET ANY WHINE WHINE WHINE

    This is news because it is someone giving free stuff to open source developers!

    Solely as a thank you for being developers that helped them succeed.

  • by dcooper_db9 (1044858) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @10:10PM (#46053019)

    Somehow I lost my rating points between loading the page and reading your post. Sorry I couldn't mod you up.

    In the future we're going to have locked down devices running proprietary drivers, with proprietary apps and DRM'd content. But it'll run on open-source software. And the community is happy because "we finally got the manufacturers to write drivers for Linux".

    And the free game was nice too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 23, 2014 @10:40PM (#46053167)

    "...winning praise from the larger free and open source community"

    OK, I use Linux foremost because it's open source. I use Linux also due the excellent GNU userland. That being said, why the hell should the open source community praise Valve for bringing proprietrary software to its most famous platform? If I wanted to use Steam, I would have left used my laptop's Windows key to install to my desktop. The fact is that an addition of proprietary software to a largely open ecosystem is not a benefit, but a threat. If Valve drives more people to Linux, it will only be under a banner proclaiming to developers that proprietary software is OK. Mind you, I think it is ethically OK, but it's not what I want, nor, do I believe, it is what the "larger free and open source community" wants. This statement that the FOSS is praising Valve sends out the message that the FOSS community wants another Windows or Mac OS, i.e. another operating system with a great amount of support by proprietary software vendors. That is not what the FOSS community is about.

  • Freeware with DRM (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 23, 2014 @10:50PM (#46053209)

    Closed source software with phone-home DRM. This is the antithesis of what Debian stands for. Maybe offer them a free trial of MS Office while you're at it?

  • by Microlith (54737) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @11:37PM (#46053469)

    why the hell should the open source community praise Valve for bringing proprietrary software to its most famous platform?

    Because if anything is going to bring users to Linux it'll be games. Games are what tie me to Windows, and I'd be more interested in testing Wine on my existing library if I can get my newest games out of the (proverbial) box on Linux.

    The fact is that an addition of proprietary software to a largely open ecosystem is not a benefit, but a threat.

    Not as much of a threat as Microsoft's exclusive ownership of the PC gaming world.

    This statement that the FOSS is praising Valve sends out the message that the FOSS community wants another Windows or Mac OS, i.e. another operating system with a great amount of support by proprietary software vendors. That is not what the FOSS community is about.

    Please stop talking as if the "FOSS community" was a unified front. I would love to move to a FOSS operating system if I could still play my proprietary games on it. Valve may actually give me a chance.

  • Re:OK... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bug1 (96678) on Friday January 24, 2014 @12:07AM (#46053637)

    Games are one of the oldest and most powerful learning systems we have. Computer games obviously lose the physical benefit of RL game,s but they still have mental benefits.

    They can teach Logic, promote social skills (as compared to TV), and can be good emotionally just ot blow of some steam.

    I understand the drama with debian and non-free games, but surely you can seperate the two concepts.

  • by raymorris (2726007) on Friday January 24, 2014 @12:09AM (#46053645)

    Thanks for contributing! I've contributed very little code directly to Debian, but it may well be like some open source projects where developers are expected to spend ten times as much time on a feature than it takes to submit a patch.

    In Moodle, for example, I added a feature that took about two hours to develop a working patch. Just before submitting the patch, I became an official developer. Seven MONTHS later I was done with that two hour patch. First, I needed to document the proposal for the new feature, then get (documented) community feedback. I had to apply a huge list of style rules to the patch, covering things like variable naming standards, whitespace, etc. Then I needed the component owner to review it. He pointed out that while it complied with the CURRENT standards, it didn't use the newly developed APIs that were chosen for the upcoming release. I recoded it to use the upcoming standards, and some design changes the component owner wanted. This process involved rebasing against master at several times - any time someone else needed to look at it. The new feature required very minor tweaks to some existing classes. Since I had touched those classes, I needed to update those old classes to the new coding standards as well. Then the integrator pointed out I was missing the suites of unit tests, etc.

    In all, a two hour patch submission turns out to be 80 hours when you do all of the "official developer" stuff like unit tests and all. So that's one distinction between a developer, who is on the hook for all of that stuff vs. a contributor who graciously submits code.

    Please understand I'm in no way devaluing any contributions. For most open source projects, I contribute patches only. I now have a new appreciation for the committed developers who do the grinding work required to have my code integrated into a high quality project.

    Ps - a LOT of what I mentioned above are tasks a non-programmer or newbie programmer can help with, if anyone is looking for ways to contribute to projects you enjoy or are interested in.

  • Re:OK... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Friday January 24, 2014 @12:20AM (#46053687) Journal

    This is something that personally bugs the shit out of me.....tell me EXACTLY how YOUR freedom is being blocked by having CHOICE in the matter? Nobody is holding a gun to your head, nobody is making you use non free anything, so why should those that want it have to jump through flaming fucking hoops just because it doesn't follow YOUR personal feelings on the subject?

    Why is those that are supposedly "for" freedom damned near ALWAYS translate to "free to be like me and do what I like?".

  • Re:OK... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gbjbaanb (229885) on Friday January 24, 2014 @04:36AM (#46054351)

    You are not free to enslave people, deny education to women as the Taliban wants to do, recklessly endanger property and lives, litter, trespass, and so on.

    actually you are. You can do all of those things - there isn't anyone actively stopping you; there's no Tom Cruise watching everything you do and jumping in just before you do it; there's no robot 'guardian' following you around ready to zap you the moment it thinks you're going to do something bad.

    Of course, society is also free to to lock you away, and/or otherwise punish you to ensure you don't do it again, or attempt to persuade you not to do it again once you're released.

    That's what freedom is all about - the ability to make your own choices and not have someone decide for you, but it also doesn't mean there's no responsibility for your actions either.

  • Re:OK... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by serviscope_minor (664417) on Friday January 24, 2014 @01:29PM (#46057965) Journal

    I am disagreeing with him trying to force / coerce other people into agreeing with him.

    Well, then you're an idiot because you're disagreeing with him over something he doesn't do.

    He does not try to coerce or force, he tries to persuade. Massive difference.

    As for the complete bullshit about RMS using non-free software, no shit he had to build the first toolchain from non-free compilers et al. they won't spring up from nothing.

    He could have bootstrapped, should he have chosen to. You know, you used to be able to buy Z80 systems where you could key in machine code on the front panel. I've actually used one.

    He could have gone that route. It would have been much more painful and slower but it would have been possible. He chose to use a more expedient route.

    Yet after that I know for a fact he has said, in the last decade no less - on multiple occasions, that he would rather use crippled hardware rather than use non-free drivers that are available gratis from manufacturers.

    Yes, and? He's not forcing you to do the same.

    He also said everyone should do the same, stating it in plain and unambiguous language no less.

    Yes and? He's not forcing you to do the same. I think everyone SHOULD buy free range produce. I will argue (like RMS) why it's the ethical choice. I will state clearly and unambiguously that OI think you should live your life ethically.

    Those are opinions which we both have a right to (as you so graciously conceed). What use are opinions if one is not going to voice them?

    He's not forcing you to do anything.

    So yes, his viewpoints are quite well known on the issues of non-free software - if it isn't open, do without.

    Except again you misrepresent him with subtelty. I get the feeling you are not interested in an honest discussion.

    You flipped smoothly from "crippled" to "doing without". The big distinction is you can work with crippled stuff but not with nonexistent stuff.

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