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Old 05-15-2009, 10:43 PM   #1
yharrothar
 
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Steam needs Webkit

IE sucks. It's slow, and not crossplatform. Webkit (the same super fast engine that powers Chrome and Safari) is crossplatform and awesomely fast (if you've ever used Chrome or Safari you know how much faster is is compared to IE!), and it's not hard to implement: http://princeofcode.com/awesomium.php

I was able to create my own browser, complete with tabbed browsing, and all of the other basics you can expect from a browser using Awesomium in one night. I'm a newbie coder in comparison to people working for Valve, so in my opinion there's no reason why we can't get a better rendering engine for Steam very soon if we all support them making it better.

If you care about the future of making Steam crossplatform and way faster, support this thread.

Let's make it happen. Post in this thread, and tell people about it. Hopefully someone from Valve will get to reading it some time.

If you would like to demo what would happen if Steam moved to Webkit, go download the Chrome browser and browse around on steampowered.com, then go to Steam and do the same. IE is oh so very painful.

Bump this thread every once in a while if you care.

Last edited by DoubleD: 05-16-2009 at 06:44 AM. Reason: Hard to read
 
Old 05-15-2009, 10:53 PM   #2
pixelante15
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmccaskey
This comes up frequently, so I'll address it again.

First, we use IE today because it's available by default on all Windows installs and it's relatively easy to embed. There are no major problems with it when used inside the Steam client, but there are some limitations it imposes on us when used inside our game engines or inside the in-game Steam overlay.

For the future we are certainly considering other options. While the IE control pretty much works fine in the Steam client itself, we would potentially be able to make the in-engine and in-game overlay versions of the HTML control work faster/better with a new control. The IE control pretty much assumes it's being embedded in a desktop window and gives developers no real control over rendering. As such we end up copying the entire window contents to a bitmap and rendering that to a texture in-game/overlay. If we had a control based on one of the open-source browser engines we'd most likely be able to hook in at a lower level and do finer grained rendering in-engine/overlay. However, switching to one of the open-source renders presents a variety of new problems as well, and it definitely means a considerable amount of new development work. As such it becomes a priorities exercise where we have to decide how important making improvements to the HTML control is vs other work we could be doing.

If we ever do switch away from IE it would mean bundling the code for the other rendering engine (Gecko/WebKit/whatever) with Steam itself. We wouldn't ever end up with a situation where we were dependent on Firefox or Safari or such being installed on a users computer, and we wouldn't end up with a situation where what you had installed determined what Steam used internally. That type of setup just involves too many different configurations and code paths to support. To make things reasonable for us to support everyone will most likely always have to use whatever browser is shipped with Steam, for now that's the embedded IE setup.
Quote above is what valve thinks about using something other than IE, currently
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:03 PM   #3
yharrothar
 
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Then let's put some pressure on Valve to making the switch sooner rather than never. Awesomium is the perfect choice for Valve as it already makes it easy for developers to embed web-content in their applications, and it's powered by Google Chrome's port of WebKit (including the Skia renderer and V8 JS engine). It can be used to replace Steam's main browser, and the browse available in the overlay.

http://princeofcode.com/awesomium.php
 
Old 05-15-2009, 11:07 PM   #4
FISKER_Q
 
 
 
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Why?

Is Steam cross-platform?
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:10 PM   #5
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ie is fine
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:20 PM   #6
yharrothar
 
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Originally Posted by james_2k View Post
ie is fine
I'm sure you said that about Windows 98 too.

FISKER_Q, Steam's reliance on IE is what's holding it back from being able to be ported to Mac. Believe it or not many games are made crossplatform, and the Mac audience is very worth supporting: http://blog.wolfire.com/2008/12/why-...s-x-and-linux/
 
Old 05-15-2009, 11:23 PM   #7
B0FH
 
 
 
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I'd rather not have steam bloated with redundant tech right now.

HOWEVER if VALVe ever decide to take Steam to other platforms, then yes using a rendering engine other than Trident would be easier than trying to get Trident ported to *NIX/etc.

Until that day though, no browser wars required - Trident's given status on all installs were Steam finds itself allows Steam to be smaller, lightweight, and the Ronseal of delivery platforms
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:30 PM   #8
FISKER_Q
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yharrothar View Post
I'm sure you said that about Windows 98 too.

FISKER_Q, Steam's reliance on IE is what's holding it back from being able to be ported to Mac. Believe it or not many games are made crossplatform, and the Mac audience is very worth supporting: http://blog.wolfire.com/2008/12/why-...s-x-and-linux/
No Valve not making Steam for mac is what's holding it back from being ported to Mac.

So again, why is this relevant? If Valve chooses to expand Steam to Mac, or Linux, then they'll have to use a new rendering engine, and then they will implement a new one.
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yharrothar View Post
I'm sure you said that about Windows 98 too.

FISKER_Q, Steam's reliance on IE is what's holding it back from being able to be ported to Mac. Believe it or not many games are made crossplatform, and the Mac audience is very worth supporting: http://blog.wolfire.com/2008/12/why-...s-x-and-linux/
nope. try again
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:35 PM   #10
yharrothar
 
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B0FH, IE (most people are familiar with calling IE's Trident rendering engine by IE even if it's not correct) is ugly, bloated software causing Steam to be slower than it should be. With Webkit it will be much faster, and the extra space needed is about 10mb. We routinely download games several gb in size so I don't see why this extra size would be a problem, especially considering how it will dramatically improve Steam's performance. Webkit is proven to be a faster and more accurate and overall a better rendering engine.
 
Old 05-15-2009, 11:37 PM   #11
yharrothar
 
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Originally Posted by FISKER_Q View Post
No Valve not making Steam for mac is what's holding it back from being ported to Mac.
What's holding it back then?

Making cross platform software is easy. Once you rely on code that is bound to only one OS it becomes a liability.

Again, I'll post this link: http://blog.wolfire.com/2008/12/why-...s-x-and-linux/

The sooner Steam supports the Mac OS and distributing Mac games the more money for Valve.
 
Old 05-16-2009, 12:11 AM   #12
FISKER_Q
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yharrothar View Post
What's holding it back then?

Making cross platform software is easy. Once you rely on code that is bound to only one OS it becomes a liability.

Again, I'll post this link: http://blog.wolfire.com/2008/12/why-...s-x-and-linux/

The sooner Steam supports the Mac OS and distributing Mac games the more money for Valve.
Whether or not it's easy isn't relevant.

Valve has decided to only support the Windows platform for the time being, for whatever reason that may be.

As Valve has decided to only support the Windows platform, there is no reason to move to a new renderer as the provided browser control in Windows is sufficient for their needs.

If at some point they feel the need to support other platforms, they'll have to either make their own rendering engine, or use a new one like webkit.

Story over.

Last edited by FISKER_Q: 05-16-2009 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 05-16-2009, 01:31 AM   #13
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FISKER_Q, do you use IE as your primary web-browser? You probably use something else faster and better (unless you are a sadomasochist of just ignorant of what's available). I'm impatient,I hate waiting on things to load, and IE's rendering engine takes painfully and noticeably forever. I hate the feeling of browsing sites using their engine. It's plain pig disgusting.

You're arguing for them to keep IE's rendering engine just because they can. I'm saying that it would be better if they moved to better technology, because upgrading for the better is always good. Making their own rendering engine is just plain dumb when engines like Webkit exist and are trivial to implement. FFS, I've made my own Steam clone just for coding practice and fun, and all it's missing is the server architecture backend. This work of concept is using XML and I have my own interpretor so I didn't have to write my own engine, but this method doesn't support all of the cool stuff that modern rendering engines support, but I could still easily implement Webkit into my existing proof of concept, and I should just to show how superior it is to the user experience. It's not "story over" that's just dumb. Enjoy your Windows 98.

Customer experience is important. Businesses that care about the customer experience excel. You don't see this and your posts are not helping the discussion.

Implementing WebKit using http://princeofcode.com/awesomium.php is trivial. There's no reason to argue against using it because if the Steam engineers really sat down and implemented it we would all get a new updated version of Steam that is super fast and super smooth: not slow and clunky like it is now.

Also, Valve should care about supporting Mac, and I'll advocate that they should get into get and do it finally as much as I want, thanks.
 
Old 05-16-2009, 01:55 AM   #14
FISKER_Q
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yharrothar View Post
FISKER_Q, do you use IE as your primary web-browser? You probably use something else faster and better (unless you are a sadomasochist of just ignorant of what's available). I'm impatient,I hate waiting on things to load, and IE's rendering engine takes painfully and noticeably forever. I hate the feeling of browsing sites using their engine. It's plain pig disgusting.

You're arguing for them to keep IE's rendering engine just because they can. I'm saying that it would be better if they moved to better technology, because upgrading for the better is always good. Making their own rendering engine is just plain dumb when engines like Webkit exist and are trivial to implement. FFS, I've made my own Steam clone just for coding practice and fun, and all it's missing is the server architecture backend. This work of concept is using XML and I have my own interpretor so I didn't have to write my own engine, but this method doesn't support all of the cool stuff that modern rendering engines support, but I could still easily implement Webkit into my existing proof of concept, and I should just to show how superior it is to the user experience. It's not "story over" that's just dumb. Enjoy your Windows 98.

Customer experience is important. Businesses that care about the customer experience excel. You don't see this and your posts are not helping the discussion.

Implementing WebKit using http://princeofcode.com/awesomium.php is trivial. There's no reason to argue against using it because if the Steam engineers really sat down and implemented it we would all get a new updated version of Steam that is super fast and super smooth: not slow and clunky like it is now.

Also, Valve should care about supporting Mac, and I'll advocate that they should get into get and do it finally as much as I want, thanks.
Speed isn't everything for everyone, some users prefer Internet Explorer, others prefer Firefox, others prefer a totally different browser.

This isn't about keeping the renderer because they can, it's about keeping the renderer because it's not nessecary to get a new one.

The in-game overlay isn't a webbrowser, and it isn't supposed to compete with other browsers, it does it job, and that's what matters. Implementing a new renderer which may cause additional problems is not something done without consideration.
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Old 05-16-2009, 02:40 AM   #15
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FISKER_Q, guess what? The beta version of Steam includes a web-browser in the overlay, and unlike the browser in Steam it can connect to other sites besides Steampowered.com allowing users to search Google or check their e-mail quickly in the overlay, but it's still using IE's rendering engine, which sucks. =)

IE sucks. It's really not smart to prefer it, and I really hope I'm not the only one who cares about speed, or gets sick when they use IE. Not to mention that developing web-sites so they work with IE is a because IE refuses to follow web standards, and until recently didn't even support 24-bit PNG files correctly. Horrible disaster. It wasn't necessary for you to upgrade from Windows 98, right? Oh, you're still using it because it's good enough for you?

I prefer Chrome, and it's based on WebKit. It's blazing fast. Amazingly fast. Other browsers, such as IE, do not compare. It even leaves Firefox in the dust. ;D
 
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