Monopoly platforms and running demos

category: general [glöplog]
Since DirectX (and thereby Windows XP and XBox as byproducts), Microsoft has decided what users can run.

Microsoft wasn't first. Before that, consoles limited what could be run by users AND developers. For retro consoles, though, recent piracy has unlocked the ability for users to run anything because there is no OS dependency.

Apple was also not first, but responded in a big way with the Apple app store monopoly. Quite possibly you need a handwritten letter from whoever runs the company to run an app on IOS. Certainly users can't.

And Sony, who once had an interesting platform in the PS2.

How must this affect the Demoscene? Well, it has.

I know, I know. The Demoscene doesn't care anymore. Bring on the comments. Just a note: I'm more jaded than you. I'll just upload a Youtube, copy some random file on my SSD, name it conventionally, attach NFO and say it's a release. Easy.

My question is, do we accept an artificial techno-monopoly or do we crack it?

Again, don't look at me. Look at someone who cares. Nobody cares about running demos in the Demoscene anymore, so who will be the first?

Will the poor sods who care about Windows demos be ready for Win 10S?
added on the 2020-08-22 00:42:01 by Photon Photon
Have you been drinking?
added on the 2020-08-22 00:55:42 by Gargaj Gargaj
PCs are a problematic choice as demo platform, but people are aware of that, and nobody is forced to use them. The PS2 was used as a demo platform after it had been cracked. I honestly don't see a problem. Are you calling for an open demo platform? A demo OS for PCs? I am all for it, bring it on! Until then I'm using Amigas for demomaking. Poor sods indeed who are using Windows, but nobody forces them...
added on the 2020-08-22 02:41:12 by bifat bifat
Not sure if you have plenty of opportunities regarding what OS to run on (classic) Amiga hardware either.
added on the 2020-08-22 02:49:27 by break break
The fine part is that you don't really need an OS to run great demos on the Amiga... the OS is more in the way than helpful...
added on the 2020-08-22 02:51:56 by bifat bifat
Haven't developed anything on Windows, so I'd like to hear more about what and how DirectX actually limits
You can always code demos on Linux. Maybe you'd code the first relevant Linux production.
added on the 2020-08-22 12:29:14 by Preacher Preacher
so, it's DirectX's fault that the majority of demosceners are too lazy to download, unzip and run a demo suboptimally on some mid-range GPU while you can watch it with one click on youtube? Also, i think the majority of demoscene prods on PC are still done with OpenGL rather than DirectX :P
the demoscene exists on other platforms too you know.
added on the 2020-08-22 13:35:28 by spiny spiny
Looks like Windows 10 S will be optional, and it will be upgrade-able to remove the restrictions anyway.

Photon, you are lamenting something which you're hardly using these days anyway. So who is the "poor sod" now?
added on the 2020-08-22 19:15:47 by fizzer fizzer
It just became clear to me that on future OSes users will not be able to run demos, but only the apps approved by a monopoly app store.

Probably on some of the relatively new platforms, the same people who make demos also provide a way for users to run them, but that this will not be possible on most modern platforms after some auto-updating. At one point the feature of the OS to download any program and run it will be removed.

My thought was then what would happen to the Demoscene, if we have to trust to captures and can't run the demo and experience it ourselves. I'm assuming we own differing and overlapping "devices". Of these, some support running a demo and some don't.

Sorry if I pre-empted hurtful comments on this forum. It seems if you care about something here, sometimes you get those, or loads of comments about how nothing matters. Do we care about this, or do we let it happen and make prods that can't be run in a year or two?
added on the 2020-08-22 23:42:29 by Photon Photon
How are you so sure that it will come to that?
added on the 2020-08-22 23:57:38 by fizzer fizzer
I find it disturbing how much your view on the demoscene is limited to recent or future platforms. But ok, you are totally right, of course "regular" people won't be able to run "custom" executables on future commercial mainstream OSes anymore. Captain Obvious told me so about ten years ago. You can still exit the "safe mode" on some, or seek a more apt OS. And you are probably right in that PC demo connoisseurs should start thinking about a long-term solution. Will it be possible to run a 2010 PC demo on any "regular PC" in 2030? I don't know.
added on the 2020-08-23 00:43:57 by bifat bifat
a bigger concern is the upending 'consoles will become render farm streaming boxes' once they figure all the latencies out rather than having the actual hardware onboard to render shit real-time. obviously that'll transform GPUs in PCs into developer gear rather than consumer gear eventually as well and that'll be a lot shittier for hobbyist graphics as a whole
Captain obvious foresees that Mac Arm will not be a particularly popular demo platform: https://lapcatsoftware.com/articles/unsigned.html
added on the 2020-08-23 09:17:11 by El Topo El Topo
It just became clear to me that on future OSes users will not be able to run demos, but only the apps approved by a monopoly app store.

did the demo gods appear to you in the form of a burning bush or something and tell you this?

I assume you're just trolling by now, but it would be interesting to see you explain -why- you think this is at all likely.
added on the 2020-08-23 13:47:30 by spiny spiny
a bigger concern is the upending 'consoles will become render farm streaming boxes' once they figure all the latencies out rather than having the actual hardware onboard to render shit real-time

no it's actually brilliant for the demoscene! we just have to make demos that run on an amazon ec2 instance (finally the more or less fixed hardware platform so many wanted!) and output a HLS stream live for the democompo, and a video for youtube for the people at home.
that's progress, man.
added on the 2020-08-23 14:12:32 by smash smash
I assume you're just trolling by now, but it would be interesting to see you explain -why- you think this is at all likely.
Did you read my link? Running unsigned code on Mac Arm will become impossible by the looks of it.
added on the 2020-08-23 15:23:01 by El Topo El Topo
While there has been some heated discussions about what exactly makes something a demo, I don't think anyone has stated that executables have to be unsigned.
added on the 2020-08-23 15:53:56 by absence absence
There are trends in multiple directions.

Apple is certainly on the only-run-signed-software bandwagon. It has been this way all the time for iOS, and it looks like it's going in the same direction for MacOS.

Microsoft is a different story. While Windows does warn about unsigned executables, it also has a strong tradition of backwards compatibility. It's one of the selling points of Windows that it can still run decades-old software.

As for the web, it also looks like its openness isn't going away anytime soon, at least as long as you do innocuous things like graphics and sound.

The strategic decisions for these platforms are generally not taken with the demoscene in mind. Even then, there are several demosceners employed across the big tech companies, and I have seen it happen more than once that these people pulled internal strings to rectify a situation where some decision inadvertently made things difficult for the demoscene in some way (or threatened to do so).

All in all, I wouldn't worry too much about our continued ability to run demos on whatever hardware we want to run it on.

And what has DirectX got to do with anything, btw?
added on the 2020-08-23 16:36:51 by Blueberry Blueberry
There always was freedom of creativity in computing - you had to have your basic interpreter on every 8 bit computer - that's what computers are for. Absolute closure to "apps" won't happen IMO. It is like that on specialised devices - phones, consoles. But as long as there are Personal Computers there will be something turing complete on them to do with it whatever you want. Maybe not on bare metal level though.
added on the 2020-08-23 18:09:09 by rutra80 rutra80
as long as your platform gets a hold of at least 3 of the 4 railroads and a hotel on Tennessee Avenue, it's all good!
regarding signing on apple silicon macs, from apple:

New in macOS 11 on Apple silicon Mac computers, and starting in the next macOS Big Sur 11 beta, the operating system will enforce that any executable must be signed with a valid signature before it’s allowed to run. There isn’t a specific identity requirement for this signature: a simple ad-hoc signature issued locally is sufficient, which includes signatures which are now generated automatically by the linker. This new behavior doesn’t change the long-established policy that our users and developers can run arbitrary code on their Macs, and is designed to simplify the execution policies on Apple silicon Mac computers and enable the system to better detect code modifications.
The answer is clearly to distribute demos in sourcecode form then.
added on the 2020-08-23 21:14:24 by fizzer fizzer
If it does not cost money to me, I'm happy to sign any executable I code before distributing it. Anyways, I should appear in the credits ;)
added on the 2020-08-23 21:50:04 by Soundy Soundy