Re: [Gimp-developer] Gimp on Steam

On  6.3.2014 at 1:59 PM Alexandre Prokoudine wrote:
To reiterate... To the best of my understanding there is no long-term
strategy for involvement with Steam whatsoever, other than "it would
be cool, eh?" which is no strategy at all. Hence any voting or similar
activities, in  my opinion, make very little sense, until this
conversation  is reasonably formalized,  with advantages and
disadvantages listed to be judged on. I've witnessed at least three
IRC discussions on the topic and  they never led to any decisions,
just a lot of hot air, and man/hours wasted.

I fully agree with you.

Here are my pros and cons:

- more users,
- more creative possible applications for GIMP,
- we are early enough on the Steam platform to say we haven't missed that,
- automatic update.

- Steam is mainly a gaming platform. Thus in future GIMP will quite
probably be considered a toy. This doesn't match to our product vision
to be a high-end graphics software.
- We have been only a few developers for years and still are.
- There are so many other open tasks, like high bit image editing,
improving performance and usability, adding useful features etc.
Better doing one thing right that starting a thousand things and
leaving them unfinished. What we don't miss on the Steam platform will
we lose on our current platforms where our target users are.

To me none of the Pros is really a Wow!-argument. For the automatic
update we can also learn from the Mozilla people and their automatic
browser updates. Even our Jenkins offers the possibilities to deliver
updates often and with some coding automatically.

In my opinion there's more to this than throwing a build over the wall. We should also consider:
1. What's the concrete benefit we offer our target users with this step?
2. Are so many users of our target audience (intensive GIMP users) using
the Steam platform to make the efforts worth it?
3. Who will support GIMP on Steam, i.e. implements platform specific
features, writes documentation, tests, cares for the bugs, fixes them
and cares for the Steam community? Who will deliver further builds when
the current volunteer discontinues his/her builds?
4. How will we deal with feature requests to support gamer hardware?
Who will care for it?
5. Steam is a commercial platform. When creating an account the users
contract a subscription with Valve. Valve is a company and sells/rents
software and somewhere the money has to come from. Do we want to offer
GIMP for money? If yes, at what price? How will we spend that money?
Who will pay the taxes for the revenues?
6. How can we hedge the risk that Valve could start delivering GIMP with
adware or similar stuff harming GIMP's reputation? (I remember the recent Sourceforge issue). 7. @Boudewijn: You Krita people brought Krita to Steam and might have asked yourselves similar questions before: What else should we consider?

To me personally it is the same whether we deliver GIMP solely on an
open or proprietary channel. I consider the other questions more serious. If we don't want to be seen as simpletons, who
enthusiastically start one thing and then fail with flying colours, we
should think first.

To discuss the platform topic as a whole I've put it on Schumaml's LGM
meeting's agenda.

TL;DR: This is a big step that needs more consideration than throwing
a build over the wall. To me it doesn't really offer a benefit.

Kind regards,


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