Re: [Gimp-developer] Gimp on Steam

On Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 7:59 AM, Alexandre Prokoudine <
alexandre prokoudine gmail com> wrote:

TL;DR: there is no consensus on Steam yet.

For myself, at least, that's promising.  I was willing to drop the subject
entirely with no further discussion based on your feedback response.  I
don't follow IRC as much as the mailing list so I could only take your
message at face value.

To the best of my understanding there is no long-term strategy for
involvement with Steam whatsoever

Agreed.  At this point it was just a proposal I think.  A quote from your
earlier message.

the core team's opinion currently is that supporting a proprietary software
delivery platform doesn't feel right.

I'm curious to hear Simon's opinions since he openly admitted he was one of
the "against" parties.  Generally, I understand how any free developer
would feel about a proprietary distribution platform.  However, I also see
Steam filling a need (in my mind) for automatically updating the software
on Windows and Mac clients.  From my perspective it's just another
repository and so long as it doesn't infringe on the project rights or the
GPL I see no reason why the full stack of delivery must be completely open
source.  I think, that is impossible.  There's always proprietary software
in the full stack of delivery (even if it's low level below the Kernel).
So for myself it's not as much of an issue that Steam be required to open
source their platform for software delivery.  I simply see it as another

Re: Alexandre pros/cons

What sort of pros and cons list would be desired.  I realize that's a very
open ended question but a start somewhere for building such a list would be
useful.  So far I can think of the following:


   - Not a required form of software delivery, only optional.  Users can
   still obtain their GIMP software from the normal channels.
   - Automatic software updates when new releases are released (this one is
   extremely minor considering the rate at which GIMP stable is released).
   Automatic updates can be turned off.
   - Available for Mac, Windows, and Linux (however I think it should only
   be maintained for Windows and maybe Mac?).  Linux already has centralized
   software delivery through package managers which I think would be preferred.
   - GPL friendly.  Applications can be delivered without the requirement
   of remaining within the Steam platform (i.e. it can be moved out of steam
   and still "work") or even require Steam to be running for launch.  This
   would need to be implemented as a DRM free application for the "it can be
   moved out of steam and still 'work'" ability.  GPL and assorted licenses as
   well as links to the source code should be provided with the binaries.  The
   Steam TOS does not infringe on the GPL *from my reading* unlike other
   companies which will not be named.  Being DRM free unlimited copies of the
   binaries are allowed.
   - Exposure to 5 million+ active users on a daily basis with little to no
   marketing effort. source -
   - *Optional* Steam Cloud for saving GIMP profile information, plugins,
   and settings to the cloud.  When a user re-installs GIMP or installs it
   using the same method on another computer their settings can be transferred
   automatically and regularly synced on multiple machines.
   - *I imagine* news updates in Steam can be linked to the GIMP news feed.


   - Steam tracks usage statistics.  One metric I can tell is that they
   track how long you use an application (I enjoy this statistic personally).
   The Steam interface reports back your usage.  There are options to disable
   this.  I have listed this as a con because some of our privacy oriented
   members may not like this so this should be explicitly mentioned.  Beyond
   that I have no idea what else they track (e.g. system calls or who knows).
   - Steam is proprietary software.  There's no way to verify the
   aforementioned cons.
   - Binary only distribution of GIMP however links can be provided to the
   project website and to the source code.  Any modified source code for
   accommodating the Steam platform (unlikely there will be any modifications)
   will require source to be released as per the GPL.

It is also worth mentioning that I already run GIMP with Steam.  Steam
supports non-steam delivered applications to be launched from their
interface however you don't get tracking or usage statistics.  I also can't
install GIMP through Steam currently.

Hopefully, others will add on to that pros/cons list so that core devs can
make an informed decision.  I include Alexandre as a core member of the
project personally due to his contributions on the mailing list and


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