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Valve's Newell Thinks PS3 Needs To Be "Open Like a Mac" 348

Eraesr writes "Apparently Valve boss Gabe Newell thinks the PS3 needs to be more of an open platform, drawing a comparison to Apple's Mac platform. In an interview with 5BY5.TV, he said he would like to see the PS3 be 'open like a Mac' instead of being 'more closed like a Gamecube.' 'Platform investments, like the Mac, are difficult because you have to be aware of what direction that platform is moving,' Newell said, referring to the firm's recent move onto Macs with its titles and distribution service Steam. 'We need to target platforms that do a better job of looking like where we want to be in a few years.'"
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Valve's Newell Thinks PS3 Needs To Be "Open Like a Mac"

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  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Informative)

    by EvanED ( 569694 ) <evaned@gmail. c o m> on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:04PM (#32299782)

    To be fair, the developer tools on the Mac are free, unlike Microsoft's developer tools...

    The Express Editions of Visual Studio are pretty darn usable; they're free. While what you said is not technically incorrect, it's also not being entirely honest IMO.

  • by DMUTPeregrine ( 612791 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:06PM (#32299806) Journal
    That and the Mac is pretty open. Darwin is open, and it's not restricted like an iPod/iPad or such. It's more open in many ways than Windows, though closed in some others (locked to apple hardware).
  • by dingen ( 958134 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:12PM (#32299896)

    Look at the iPhone.

    No, for a change, don't look at the iPhone. Look at what the man in the article is actually talking about: Mac OS X. Can you name one platform that is more open and runs commercial games?

  • by Wovel ( 964431 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:17PM (#32299976) Homepage

    Really, where did you buy it? How much did it cost.. Choosing to do a free release of an old game on alternate platform as an experiment is not quite the same thing...It would be like if Steam had only ported portal to OSX and gave it away. Actually know, it does not even quite reach that level.

  • by dingen ( 958134 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:28PM (#32300090)

    Open like a Mac? What does that mean? Its not like Apple is anymore open than MS is

    Actually, Apple is a lot [] more open than MS is.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:30PM (#32300102)
    Isn't that what the OSx86 project is doing? Also, part of it might be that Apple doesn't use a BIOS, they use Intel's EFI.
  • Mac!=iPhone/iPad (Score:5, Informative)

    by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:32PM (#32300136)

    Judging by the sheer number of responses so far, many people here can't tell the different between iPhone/iPad and Mac. They are both made by Apple. Macs run OS X which is based on BSD. Mac OS X is composed of Darwin sub-system, Aqua GUI, and other libraries. Darwin is open source and is available under a BSD type license. Aqua is proprietary. Mac OS X runs on a lot of open source software such as BIND, bash, openSSH, etc. The Mac versions are available freely at []

    The iPhone/iPad uses a variant of OS X. It is not open source and the release of Apps is tightly controlled. Developers are free to release to their own devices but must abide by Apple guidelines if they want to publish in the Apple Store.

    Valve is referring to Macs not iPhone/iPad.

  • by dingen ( 958134 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:32PM (#32300140)
    Because OS X isn't open source. Darwin is though and it runs fine on any IBM PC clone.
  • by dingen ( 958134 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:43PM (#32300262)
    It's not just Unix-parts that are open sourced by Apple. There's a lot more [].
  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:43PM (#32300264)

    Indeed, for 1 game I did do that. You probably downloaded patches for you version too.

    I still bought a game and use it on linux natively. The fact that the box only contained the resources and license changes nothing.

  • Re:Yeah (Score:3, Informative)

    by Low Ranked Craig ( 1327799 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:49PM (#32300328)
    It sucks, but you need to make your own natd.conf, kill the process and restart natd with your configuration: sudo /usr/sbin/natd -alias_address x.x.x.x -interface en0 -use_sockets -same_ports -unregistered_only -dynamic -clamp_mss -f /Users/username/natd.conf

    Obviously you'll need to put the whole thing into a script and run it after the system is up.

    Your mileage may vary...

  • by AresTheImpaler ( 570208 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:50PM (#32300340)

    If OS X is open source

    Not "if," OSX has a lot of open source in it. You can download the kernel (named Darwin) and some utilities from their open source website []. Another good web page with Apple's open source software information is [] . There you can see what project is being used by the different Apple applications or utilities.

    how come nobody's made some modifications to not check for Apple's BIOS

    Mac's do not use BIOS, they use EFI [].

    and then recompiled it to run on an IBM PC Clone?

    There are several websites out there with info and utilities to get OS X running on almost any PC out there (drivers can be a hassle tho). Apple has not done much to stop them, except of course of Psystar that was actually trying to run a business around cloning Macs. Try this one, I think it should send you in the right direction []

  • Re:Yeah (Score:2, Informative)

    by harlequinn ( 909271 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:10PM (#32300536)

    Nothing like a supporting someone who thinks OS X, which is a FreeBSD/NetBSD frankenstein, which are "UNIX-like" operating systems, is UNIX (when it's not). It has been certified as UNIX 03 compliant from 10.5 onwards. Before this certification OS X was also "UNIX-like" - which means it didn't comply to any standard and one might find their "UNIX knowledge" a little out of place in any of the UNIX-like variants.

  • Re:Yeah (Score:2, Informative)

    by Peach Rings ( 1782482 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:24PM (#32300676) Homepage

    It doesn't support case-sensitive HFS+, so for those of us who use a non-toy configuration,

    From []:
    HFSX is an extension to HFS Plus to allow additional features that are incompatible with HFS Plus. The only such feature currently defined is case-sensitive filenames. (Emphasis added).

    It's not supposed to be compatible. At all. This is like complaining about KDE not compiling properly with a "perfectly sane" configuration of Hurd running on ARM. Even Adobe's CS2 and CS3 applications don't run at all [] on an HFSX volume.

  • by macshit ( 157376 ) <snogglethorpe@[ ] ['gma' in gap]> on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:34PM (#32300788) Homepage

    It's open in many more ways than that... e.g. Apple wrote a BSD'd compiler for C like languages (clang) which for C and objective-c beats the pants of gcc in almost every way, and is getting *damn close* on the C++ front.

    Er, clang/llvm have some grand goals, but so far, they very clearly don't "beat the pants off gcc in almost every way."

    gcc optimizes better, has been ported far more widely, supports many more languages (and of course in cases like C++, is a much more complete compiler -- clang C++ support is still pretty basic), and of course is much more mature. One of clang/llvm's widely touted advantages -- faster compilation -- is shrinking as the compiler grows. clang/llvm's optimization will improve with time, but on the other hand, so will gcc's (the gcc devs are not just sitting around twiddling their thumbs).

    Here's a recent comparison of gcc 4.5 and llvm 2.7: []

    The main advantages of clang/llvm basically seem to be (1) more modular design, which hopefully makes them easier to work on, and makes them more suitable for non-traditional roles like run-time compilation of graphics shaders etc, and (2) the BSD license, which allows companies to make proprietary extensions to them, and which seems to be the main reason apple is backing them.

    Clang/llvm seem to be a nice modern design, and will no doubt provide some good competition for gcc in the future, but they're not quite there yet.

  • Re:Yeah (Score:5, Informative)

    by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @09:00PM (#32301484) Homepage Journal

    HFSX is an extension to HFS Plus to allow additional features that are incompatible with HFS Plus.

    You are completely misunderstanding that sentence. HFSX is incompatible with HFS+ because a filesystem B-tree sorts its keys in different ways depending on whether it is using case-sensitive or case-insensitive matching. As a result, at a volume format level, HFSX includes low-level changes that are incompatible with ancient tools that work with HFS+ volumes. If we were talking about a disk utility like DiskWarrior (which, incidentally, has supported HFSX since way back before it even became a GUI-selectable formatting option in the non-server version of Mac OS X)---an application that mucks around in the raw volume B-trees by accessing disk blocks directly, then yes, it would break when it encountered these volumes, and break massively. As a general rule, 99.99999% of application developers should not be anywhere near the low-level bits that the technote you referenced refers to.

    We're not talking about software that works with the volume format directly here. We're talking about software that opens files by passing hard-coded path names with incorrect case. Such apps also don't work when your home directory is:

    • On an NFS mount
    • On an AFP volume backed by a UNIX box
    • On an HFSX volume
    • On a UFS volume (in an older Mac OS X version where this was still supported for writing)

    And so on. That incompatibility list is only going to get longer as time moves forward. These days, case insensitive filesystems like HFS+ are the exception, not the rule.

    Moreover, Apple has never in any way even HINTED that not working on case-sensitive volumes is an acceptable practive, and even published Technote 2096 [] that basically says the precise opposite of what you're implying. Because the filesystem underlying iPhone OS is case sensitive, iPhone developers are strongly discouraged from building iPhone applications on case-insensitive HFS+ volumes. On case-insensitive volumes, the simulator can't catch bugs caused by case sensitivity mistakes, so when you finally get the app on an actual device and it fails miserably, you'll be scratching your head.

    In short, if your app doesn't work on case-sensitive volumes, now would be a good time to fix it, particularly if you want iPhone developers, web developers, etc. to use your software.

    This is like complaining about KDE not compiling properly with a "perfectly sane" configuration of Hurd running on ARM.

    No, this is like complaining about KDE running fine on an EXT3 volume, but crashing in bizarre, inexplicable ways when you migrate your system to EXT4. It's a sign that the developer couldn't be bothered to use correct capitalization in hard-coded filenames within their code. The ONLY relevant difference between case-sensitive and non-case-sensitive filesystems in Mac OS X is that if you write code that tries to load "~/Library/application support/whatever" instead of "~/Library/Application Support/Whatever", it will fail on the case-sensitive filesystem. The ONLY bugs it causes are entirely due to sloppy, bad coding on the part of the developer. Thus, software that won't work on HFSX volumes are like a giant shining beacon that screams "We don't know how to write software."

  • Re:Yeah (Score:3, Informative)

    by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @09:33PM (#32301678) Homepage Journal

    Case-sensitive HFS+ is discouraged.

    Show me where any Apple web page says that. It most certainly is not discouraged in any way, shape, or form.

    It's amusing that you dismiss those of us who run OS X in its default config (HFS+) as "toy" when you're trying to get a game to run.

    I can think of quite a few security bugs over the years in Apache that have been specific to case-insensitive filesystems, plus *countless* other bugs in web applications, etc. So my server is case-sensitive, and my laptop is also case-sensitive so that I never have to worry about creating case-sensitivity bugs when I create content to upload to my web server. And if I were writing iPhone software, it would be case sensitive for that reason, too (as iPhone OS uses a case-sensitive volume format exclusively).

    Sure, I could parcel out the content that has to be case sensitive into a disk image. I can also parcel off broken applications into a case-insensitive disk image, to some extent. It's still an unnecessary hassle that could be fixed by the app developer spending about an hour to run a few scripts, fix the problems that it reports, and then reconfigure at least one of their test machines to be case-sensitive.

  • Re:Well... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:48AM (#32302994)

    Here's what you can do with Express (plus or minus effort)
    +'s reflect effort required, often requiring downloads or undocumented tweaks

    +Build 32bit Win32 native apps
    ++Build MFC and AFX
    +++Build x64

    In fact the only two things that apparently I can't do with the free tools is build with OpenMP and and create the resources for MFC (but can be done with a third party app.)

    The OpenMP thing, given I don't think games are moving in that direction. It might be supported, but there's nothing in the IDE to even suggest OpenMP is there.

    MPC, ATL, and x64 can all be done if you download the right mixture of SDK's. Which is probably my most complaint about 2008 Express is that it CAN build these things, but it simply installs these things into the wrong locations so they don't work, or end up in the wrong parts of the registry.

    I had to download the Windows DDK to get the MFC things to rebuild half the stuff people made open source on windows since Express doesn't come with MFC.

    Express is "supposed to" make you use the managed C++ stuff, but it's a bit of a pain if you just want to do straight C. So much of Microsoft is spread across so many SDK's right now that I had to download no less than 3 (Platform, directX and DDK) to build something.

    Anyway MacOS on the other hand... one download or install unless you're building for the iPxx hardware, in which they're a separate SDK.

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.