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Typical linux newbie problems (or why Xonotic needs to be on Steam ASAP)

#1
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I imagine this is a typical story for the new influx of people using Linux due to all the new games available on Steam:

http://www.reddit.com/r/linux_gaming/com...untu_1404/

For an experienced Linux user it seems like a minimal issue, but I am quite sure that this is only the tip of the iceberg and most new people simply delete Xonotic again because they can get it to run.

And this is why Xonotic should really try to get on Steam ASAP Sad
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#2
(03-28-2015, 03:53 PM)poVoq Wrote: And this is why Xonotic should really try to get on Steam ASAP Sad

I can't agree with that. Steam is not a miraculous piece of software that will cure all your linux-related problems. Do you think that linux-based OS were unusable before Steam came along?

What we (and Desura) really need is to be present in the different Linux distros' package repositories. Steam doesn't even bother. There is work underway for us to have Debian support, which means DPKG packages. From that point, Ubuntu is the next logical step as it's Debian-based.

Another thing we really need is a readme file. With just a few kilobytes of text, we could have cleared that user's confusion. There is no way I would direct a user to installing Steam in order to ease an installation that is already as straightforward as it gets.

EDIT: Case in point, kon14's suggestion is to execute the binary directly, which is not the right way to do it. One should instead launch either xonotic-linux-glx or xonotic-linux-sdl (the shell scripts), which select the architecture automatically. We really need a readme file. Can someone let this user know? I don't reddit.

EDIT2: That user says that somehow shell scripts don't execute, even when they are marked as executable? Something's broken with their distro, then.
[Image:http://i.imgur.com/4XODR.png]640K ought to be enough for anybody.
     ― Linux Torvalds
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#3
I think it would help a lot if the file names and directory structure were more intuitive.
The root directory should only contain the most necessary files, and the filenames could be more self-explanatory, something like this:

root/
  • COPYING
  • (README)
  • xonotic-linux-glx.sh
  • xonotic-linux-sdl.sh
  • xonotic-osx
  • xonotic-windows.exe

root/bin/
  • xonotic-linux32-glx
  • xonotic-linux32-sdl
  • xonotic-linux64-glx
  • xonotic-linux64-sdl
  • ...

root/server/
  • xonotic-server-linux.sh
  • xonotic-server-osx
  • xonotic-server-windows.exe
  • ...

EDIT: I just noticed that currently the script to run the server (/server/server_linux.sh) is one directory level deeper than the binary (/xonotic-linux32-dedicated), which is quite strange indeed.
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#4
Sure inclusion into distribution repositories would help, but these tend to be quickly outdated and most new Linux users seem to more or less exclusively use Steam for their Linux gaming needs. Once you have that running, all you would need to do is press play to enjoy a round of Xonotic, which is IMHO what "regular" users expect these days.
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#5
(03-29-2015, 03:00 AM)Mr. Bougo Wrote: I can't agree with that. Steam is not a miraculous piece of software that will cure all your linux-related problems. Do you think that linux-based OS were unusable before Steam came along?

What Steam does do is provide users and potential players with a central location to find their games. I'm not a huge fan of Steam myself, but one can't argue that it is a huge market for games (even free-to-play ones).

I will also say this; that reddit post sounds like some newbie whose problems are deeper than "How do I run Xonotic?". This is a problem with people new to Linux as an OS and new to how Linux devs distribute their code. While it does say something about Xonotic's method of delivery, one post on reddit from someone who is obviously completely new to Linux isn't indicative of a big problem on Xonotic's side.

As a civil engineer once told me "You can't out engineer the nut behind the wheel".
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