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Re: Reasons not to fear Linux game development

> I wrote down some stuff.. it would probably fit best in the LGA part of the
> site. I'd like comments on grammar, spelling etc first though. Someone else
> can probably add some points and/or rewrite these in a more professional
> way.

I added some comments and additional info below. 

> Reasons not to fear Linux game development:
> (aimed at commercial developers)
> * Fast growing user install base
> Relatively recent projects such as <KDE> and <Gnome> are bringing Linux to
> the desktop. Although the install base of Linux cannot be measured precisely
> because the OS is freely available, estimations vary from anywhere between 5
> and 10 million users. A growing number, only surpassed by Windows and MacOS
> in size and unmatched in growth rate. A <survey (link needs to be resolved

You can use this link as a reasonable sizing up of the Linux market: 

> at /.)> concluded that the growth of Linux in 1998 was 238% and it is
> unlikely to stop growing with all the momentum it has been getting lately.
> * There IS money in Linux
> Because most programs for Linux are available for free just like the OS
> itself, many developers conclude there is no money in the platform. However,
> there is a huge lack of quality games for Linux. 

a Lack of Games... PERIOD.  

Linux is also a premier development platform for developing and deploying
network game solutions. 

> It might be true that open
> source developed application can reach and surpass the quality of commercial
> ones, this has not been the case for games. There are virtually no high
> quality games for Linux at the moment and thus there is a huge opportunity
> here.

It is true that open source applications have surpassed commercial ones in
many areas, however this had not been true with games thus far.  However,
with more commercial vendors supporting and deploying their applications
on Linux, this is changing.  These companies have ported their database 
applications: Oracle, IBM, Sybase, Informix.  Corel's WordPerfect is also
supported by Linux.  Now that MAJOR appliactions have been ported, the
rest will follow.  

Some notoriously famous games have been ported to Linux.  Doom, Quake,
Quake II, and Ultima Online all work with Linux.  As the Linux desktop
market grows, so will the user base.  

It is true that the server market has been stronger in that past, but
current trends in Linux are leaning towards a strong client solution as
well with developments of desktops such as KDE and GNOME. 

> It is also not true that all Linux users refuse to pay for software: many of
> them use commercial distributions. The idealism that all software should be
> bundled with its source code and should be allowed to be freely copied can
> never be forced upon a vendor and does not apply to the majority of desktop
> users: they are not fanatics refusing to run any propriairty software.

History proves that people will pay for good software.  It is not
neccesary to release source code and is solely up to the vendor to do so
if they wish.  However, you can still make money by giving away your
software and distributing your source code.  Companies such as Red Hat,
Corel, Cygnus, and the company formerly known as Netscape have all
been successful with the open source model. 

<note on the linux market> 

You can have faith in an open source operating system.  Some people might
say that Linux and other open source software is 'unstable' or capable of
being 'compromised.'  This is not true.  The fact that all of the source
is available means that it will be scrutinized by everyone.  This ensures
that the application will not be released until it is ready.  One might
ask why they would develop for something in which they --don't-- have the
source code. 

 -- Use these added ramblings as you see fit.  Hope this is helpful. 
    I can possibly dredge up more examples of companies that are 
    using Linux.. Digital Domain --the Titanic, pepsi commercials, CNN,
    The National Weather Service, NASA, the Department of Defense, the
    Army -- military intelligence librettos of death (these things 
    are really cool actually..), Fermi labs -- splitting atoms, the IRS,
    Turner Broadcasting, Cisco, Sun, Starbucks, etc... 

-michael maher