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Native "Steam Daemon" next to a FOSS GUI ? #171

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tr37ion opened this Issue Dec 20, 2012 · 11 comments

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tr37ion commented Dec 20, 2012

There is one question in my mind since you brought Steam to Linux:

Can you please separate Steam core features into a separate (binary) Steam Daemon and make the Steam GUI fully open source (except the whole web part)?

That way the GUI can be fully FOSS and the core features were developed by Valve exclusively. FOSS developers can easily access the Steam daemon via an API. This would probably shrink the Linux Steam client to a smaller size and all UI related issues will be fixed by the FOSS community natively.

Moreover, Valve can benefit from this move by working just on the core Steam features without worrying about many GUI issues. I'm sure, the FOSS community will develop amazing new UIs for different desktop environments without hurting your brand. Furthermore, this would accelerate the marketing of Steam for Linux even more, because installing or porting it to different Linux environments is easy. Involving the community in the development process would lead to a higher acceptance, too.

Seriously, please let us know if this is an idea you could think of. If it's technically too complicated, could you please also respond with your thoughts on this?

Please ...

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mdaffin commented Dec 20, 2012

I would also like to see this. It would allow native clients to be written with different toolkit and look like a native application.

Good idea, FOSS developers most likely help fix integration issues.

scottlu commented Dec 21, 2012

That is an interesting idea.

And this opens the way for tons of widgets for Unity, Plasma, etc

It is already partly FOSS as Steam is build upon the https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Chromium_Embedded_Framework They already published their patches.

@WhiteWind actually, rudimentary widgets could already be made from the community xml feeds to launch games, display stats, etc.

That said, separating the server side from the client and providing an API would allow the Linux community to integrate Steam with the different distros, ensuring it becomes as widespread as possible.
Honestly, the main challenge is getting the games to work well with Linux; let the community build clients, and worry about desktop environnments, dependencies, and other distro idiosyncrasies...

tr37ion commented Dec 23, 2012

@barsanuphe Yes, this would give Valve more free resources in a longer run and the FOSS community would praise them for their openness and good implementation design.

Having said that, they could benefit from even more experienced Linux developers. This might lead to a FOSS challenge for the "Best FOSS Steam Client" design without hurting Valves server development. Furthermore, the software packaging issues will be maintained by the community. Development, implementation and bug fixing wouldn't be issues for Valve developers anymore.

In spite of that, the "Big Picture Mode" is Valves client design, as I don't think it makes sense to have several BPM designs next to each other. The classic Steam client with all its features would be FOSS.

From a marketing standpoint this might be a huge step forward. It would show that Valve is FOSS friendly with a strong commitment to the interests of the community.It's a true "win-win" situation on many sides. Besides this, this software architecture is very flexible usable on all POSIX OSs.

I just fear, that Valve won't do this, because they want to have the same codebase for Steam on all OSs. This reminds me of AMD and NVidia drivers and their growing size and complexity. I'm not sure if it's good to wait until Steam is a huge inflexible closed source package. In the longer run they would hugely benefit from a clear server/client architecture IMHO.

Agreed. Also, having a FOSS GUI would probably make it run better in tiling window managers. As it is now, all new windows are tiled, even dialogs. A QT or GTK interface would probably solve this.

Warning for personal preference, but I think the main reason that so many windows programs have their own custom UI is because the Windows UI simply...sucks. And, it is quite ugly, especially the older ones. On Linux, that is not the case. Many developers, and even normal users, have stunning themes both for GTK and QT. And having Steam follow these themes would be great, imo.

However, why don't we have both? Separate the GUI from the core, release the GUI as FOSS, and we could have a native Steam UI, a QT UI and a GTK UI. Given the huge interest for Steam on Linux, I believe it would be done within a month.

@triage-valve triage-valve was assigned Jan 10, 2013

vorot93 commented Jan 28, 2013

Can't wait for FOSS GUI based on the new QtWebKit 5 with KDE integration!

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MrSchism commented Jan 28, 2013

There hasn't been anything officially stated in regards to this, so far as I've seen.

@MrSchism @mdaffin Just wondering if there has been an update on this in the past 4-5 years. Thanks.

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