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SubjectRe: Games
From: Linus Torvalds <>
>> On Tue, 4 Jun 1996, root wrote:
>>> least make it a module option. The fact remains, if linux is to be
>>> supported by game developers it needs to have the basic video support
>>> required.
>> Ok, here's the fundamental point I was trying to make: Do we want, as
>> a design goal, for Linux to be an OS for game developers? Is "supported
>> by game developers" really a goal for Linux/UNIX?
> Actually, I'd say YES here..
> I consider games pretty important - we don't want to get snotty
> and tell people about "real work" - we want to have the best
> all-round OS available, and that definitely does mean games too..
> In short, I'd _love_ to have lots of good games, and I was
> _really_ happy when DOOM was made available for linux.
> We _do_ want exactly the kinds of applications Win95 has, and
> that certainly includes games, even though I consider the "real"
> applications like Applixware even more important.
>> Now, if we can make Linux a great game platform WITHOUT compromising
>> these goals, then fine. However, at least Linus and some others don't
>> seem to think that's possible.
> Here you're touching on one of the problems. It's pretty hard to
> support games in a _good_ manner without just giving up the whole
> machine. And I have to admit that I tend to use the fast machines
> where a game under X is perfectly reasonable. I'm not talking
> "solitaire" here, I'm talking raw action, 3D stuff, "a better DOOM
> than DOOM" too.
> However, we do have one thing going for us: technology. Machines
> aren't getting slower, and I doubt that the _real_ problem with
> games under Linux is the fact that you should use X to write them.
> The _real_ problem is that most of the developers are under DOS -
> THAT is why there are more and better games for DOS, not because
> Linux lacks anything in this area.
> In short, I'm definitely NOT arguing against games. But we need
> to be very careful about what we do about graphics, and that's
> why I've been calling for X rather than any other solution.
> Because X is a viable option even in the long run, while I don't
> see any other "standards" emerge (note that "standards" are not
> just pieces of paper: the BEST standards are the de-facto standards
> that never were paper in the first place, but somebody just went
> out and did it, and it was so good that it _became_ a standard).
> The GGI stuff might well become a standard that is worth supporting.
> It just isn't that yet..

One really important standard is the Borland BGI graphics.
It may be easier to put that on top of GGI than on top of X.

I've heard that the really high-end CAD and rendering software
for the SGI bypasses X to get at the video hardware directly.
It seems SGI found a performance problem with X. (Someone here
said the X protocol becomes a severe bottleneck on high-end
graphics hardware, but I'd heard about the CAD a long time ago.)

BTW, can we do something about the keyboard? If SAK can't be in
version 2.0, then make raw keyboard mode for the superuser only.
SAK also protects against trojan login prompts. I think the
current situation is dangerous.

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