Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Chicken or the Egg for Eve Online on Linux?

Sad news was released yesterday regarding CCP's discontinuation of development for a Linux client. Though I haven't played Eve Online in quite a while, I am a very enthusiastic Linux user. so whenever I hear about, or read about circumstance such as this it makes me a bit sad. I have felt for a long time that one of the greatest strengths in the Linux community is also one of its greatest weaknesses. Though Linus disagrees with me, recently stating multiple distributions were absolutely essential, I would rather see more people working on less, than more, open source technologies. In my view what has held back Linux from taking over the "desktop" is that we as a development community are too spread out. In a commercial company, like Microsoft, development is tightly controlled and directed. Not so in most open source projects, where developmental energy is fragmented across multiple duplicate projects.

While CCP will instead let Linux support come from Codeweavers, that is really a workaround and can never be as fast as a native client. It's why I play WoW on Windows, and leads to opinions in public at large that Linux is not a good alternative to Windows. It's a vicious circle that is true in a sense because clearly the development that is needed to truly make Linux a desktop rival to Microsoft Windows is not being done fast enough. Yet it's false in a sense because Linux is very much a better operating system than "Windows". CCP's announcement is just another admission that we as a development community are letting opportunities slip through our fingers.