Eevee Nov 7, 2012 @ 1:35pm
Some observations, mainly about UI and window management
Fantastic work so far, and infinite thanks for treating us as a real platform! I hope there's a halo effect of perceived legitimacy from this.

I'm not actually in the beta, but perhaps some of this will be helpful nonetheless. :) Running Arch 64-bit with KDE, on a GTX 460 with blob drivers.

  • Chat windows with activity don't set the URGENT hint (i.e., flash in the taskbar). I do have the right knob twiddled in settings.

  • All Steam windows have the same window title, "Steam", regardless of what actually shows in their titlebars.

  • Steam notifications appear on the bottom-right of my right monitor, instead of above the panel which resides entirely on my left monitor.

  • There is no Steam tray icon, which is a tad problematic when Steam starts without showing its main window. So far I've been clicking a "friend online" notification to get to it.

    (WORKAROUND: Launch steam with `steam://open/games` instead of `steam://open/store`.)

  • Numpad Enter doesn't send a message in chat windows. It doesn't seem to work in dialogs, either, but I don't know if that's the particular key or a lack of default button.

  • Tooltips seem to be entirely separate windows. I have a desktop effect that dims inactive windows, so this results in the main Steam window flickering between dim and lit as I mouseover games or users or anything else that produces tooltips. (This effect comes with both KDE and Compiz, so I'm not doing anything particularly outlandish here.) Menus have the same issue.

  • Fonts look a little out of place. Based on some commentary on the Arch package, I assume they're fonts that ship with Windows? Using my desktop settings would be polite and appreciated. :)

  • Having said that, I just tabbed back to Steam and now most prose in the Library is suddenly showing in my default monospace font. Haha, what. This has happened once or twice since, too; not sure when or why.

  • This inverted backwards mouse cursor is super weird. I get my regular pointing-finger cursor when hovering a link, but never my regular default cursor.

  • Steam is no longer running, but the wacky mouse cursor keeps appearing very briefly, e.g. after I click a menu-button in Firefox until I move the mouse again.

    (WORKAROUND: Set a default cursor theme for Gnome. See the Arch wiki[wiki.archlinux.org].)

  • Something weird is going on with focus; I've had windows raise themselves (yeargh! please just set URGENT hint) and remove focus from wherever I was typing, yet the interrupting window didn't seem to receive keypresses either until I clicked on it.

  • I "downloaded" Braid several times, and each time ended up with a completely empty install directory. Couple other Humble Bundle games had this same problem, but Aquaria downloaded and ran just fine.

  • Team Fortress 2 doesn't appear in my library at all, even though I've owned it since beta.

  • Few lingering references to Windows things that don't make any sense for Linux: "Enable DirectWrite" in Settings > Interface, offering to add shortcuts to my "start menu" when installing a game (or even my desktop, which doesn't so much exist in KDE 4, and which appears on a game's context menu too).

  • The default audio input device is "PulseAudio Default", but I don't have PulseAudio installed. stderr gripes: "PulseAudio connect failed (used only for Mic Volume Control) with error: Access denied"

  • As mentioned on the HN thread, creating four lingering things in my home directory is a bit excessive. Ideally Steam should follow the xdg guidelines.

  • There's a large drop-shadow at the top of the Library, which looks lower than it's meant to be and makes the name of the first game a little hard to read.

  • Videos in the embedded browser insist I need Flash, which Adobe is no longer developing for Linux. Time for <video> at last?

Also, screen handling reeeeally sucks. As mentioned elsewhere, Steam windows all appear in the center of my entire desktop area, which means they end up straddling both of my monitors. But when I tried Aquaria, the game changed my resolution to 800×600 on only one monitor, which turned my right monitor off entirely and jammed all the windows that were on it, across every workspace, onto my left monitor. A few windows were even shoved most of the way off the left edge.

I know this is the status quo on Windows and up to the individual games rather than Valve, but a good many Linux users are really picky about their window management, and having a program change my screen resolution and monitor layout without so much as asking comes across as extremely rude. The default res was hilariously low, anyway, so it's not like I was saved a trip to the video options. Please just use a window like everything else.

For what it's worth, Big Picture (which works beautifully) adapted to the native res of my left monitor without affecting my right one at all, which is as it should be. Mad props.
Last edited by Eevee; Nov 12, 2012 @ 5:19pm
Showing 1-15 of 16 comments
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MyLittleProject Nov 7, 2012 @ 1:46pm 
I'm glad to read a thought-through post here, and these sound like a fair bunch of "main issues". I am personally having an issue with the notification system by itself. Linux systems have built-in notification systems, and Steam having its own makes it look like it just isn't a native Linux application. It just doesn't "behave Linux", you know?

Besides that, I'm quite glad we're having Steam on Linux and I'm glad to hear the initial client seems to be working pretty well (haven't really been able to test, as I'm not in the Beta, but yeah...)
nineinchnick Nov 7, 2012 @ 2:10pm 
I second all of that plus not working maximize button, to sum things up.
Also, the build in browser engine (webkit is it?) is a little weird, drop down are not working and cursor is actually drawn a bit lower that were it clicks. Also, flash on TF2 page is not playing, but some other games pages got working movies
.
I'm on same Arch x86_64 (3.6.6-ck) using xfce4.

About games from HB, it seems some of them just weren't uploaded or were partially uploaded, CaveStory+ got the content but is missing the binary.
Last edited by nineinchnick; Nov 7, 2012 @ 2:12pm
Eevee Nov 7, 2012 @ 2:52pm 
Yeah, I just bumbled across this list of Linux Steam games on reddit; looks like quite a few of them just don't have any content yet.
pd12 Nov 10, 2012 @ 9:02pm 
also on KDE using Ubuntu12.04 so experiencing similar problems. (Notifications not integrated into Desktop Environments and window titles being ones that stand out to the end user the most).

That said, the client runs pretty well, and haven't had a chance to test with multiple monitors.

Big Picture mode for some reason decides to use up an entire thread or half a core (with hyperthreading). As soon as I exit big picture mode, MainThrd stops maxing out the thread and goes back to normal levels (<60% of a thread or 15% across the 4 threads on my i5-520M and GT330M setup).
Hirato Kirata Nov 10, 2012 @ 10:20pm 
Everything the OP said, I'd also like to add.

  • The notifications grab focus when spawned. Really annoying when I'm busy typing something.
    I'd like to note that Linux notifications can contain images, formated text, be interacted with (even contain multiple buttons!) and probably more.
  • The notifications are drawn on the bottom right of my workspace, this means they are drawn ON TOP of the panel, not above it, as mentioned by the OP.
  • The 'x' button on the main steam window only minimises the window - it should close it.
  • Using alt-F4 to close the main steam window forces steam to exit. As does forcing borders on (via alt-f3) and clicking 'x' in the titlebar.

Big Picture Mode is really nice though, performance is a bit sluggish, but it's really nice. Just has a nasty habit of closing when I press Enter, I'm guessing ALT gets stuck in the 'down' position when I alt-tab out.
Just for the record, you should probably avoid using ALT as a modifier to begin with.
CowedOffACliff Nov 11, 2012 @ 12:40am 
A random comment on Numpad Enter

I wonder if Linux does something unusual when handling that particular key, like sending a different key input code than other operating systems do. I noticed the other day that there's a bug listed in the Minecraft bug tracker where the Numpad Enter key doesn't work under Linux.
Ram-Z Nov 11, 2012 @ 12:58am 
Great summary, I'd like to emphasize that window management should really be left to the whatever WM one is using.

@Eevee: To open the Steam main window you can run "steam steam://open/games" in a terminal. That is, after you've replaced "pidof" with "pgrep -f" in ~/.steam/root/steam.sh, if you don't have pidof installed.

@H8Win8: The keypad enter has a different KEYCODE than Enter, if you catch keycodes to register key presses, they don't react the same.

@Hirato Kirata: Pressing 'x' minimizes Steam to the taskbar, which is what I expect, this should be configurable though.
Hirato Kirata Nov 11, 2012 @ 5:55am 
Originally posted by Ram-Z:
@Hirato Kirata: Pressing 'x' minimizes Steam to the taskbar, which is what I expect, this should be configurable though.

if I wanted the main steam window to minimise, I'd press the "minimise" button, not close/exit.
If I press close/exit, I expect the window to go away and not get minimised to the task bar, this behaviour is wrong and unexpected.

Not to mention, this is inconsistent with their Windows build which closes the window, and allows you to being it back up via a systray icon. Speaking of which, where is the systray icon?
I want it to work like their Windows build, like Clementine or Amarok, or maybe Konversation, or even Pidgin. All of these have lingering systray icons when the main window is closed.
Last edited by Hirato Kirata; Nov 11, 2012 @ 5:56am
Ram-Z Nov 11, 2012 @ 1:08pm 
Systray is what I meant, I always get those confused. :/

Then we agree and you should disregard my comment ;)
mikeym Nov 11, 2012 @ 1:18pm 
Originally posted by Ram-Z:
Speaking of which, where is the systray icon?

I guess the Systray icon is absent because it's been developed for unity which doesn't really have a systray any more. it will be trying to integrate with the unity bar I'd bet.
Eevee Nov 12, 2012 @ 5:16pm 
Apparently the cursor leakage is due to Steam's changing the cursor theme and Gnome not setting a default, or something. https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Steam#Mouse_Cursor_Overwritten_.28Gnome_Specific.29

Originally posted by Ram-Z:
Great summary, I'd like to emphasize that window management should really be left to the whatever WM one is using.
Absolutely. And my fonts should be my fonts, and my cursor should be my cursor, and so forth. :)

Originally posted by Ram-Z:
@Eevee: To open the Steam main window you can run "steam steam://open/games" in a terminal.
Odd; I've been using `steam://open/store`, but that doesn't show the main window. Targeting the games tab does indeed show the main window, both on first run and when Steam is already running.
Colgy Nov 12, 2012 @ 6:18pm 
Another thing I would like to add. The window positions of the all the windows are unmoveable for me running 64-bit Arch with awesomeWM. If I try to move the windows, they immediately snap back to their original spot. Same goes for resizing windows.

Turning the workspace in awesome from free floating window mode to tiled mode just makes the windows completely spaz out in a constant fight for size/shape/location.
CowedOffACliff Nov 12, 2012 @ 7:27pm 
Originally posted by Ram-Z:
Great summary, I'd like to emphasize that window management should really be left to the whatever WM one is using.

@H8Win8: The keypad enter has a different KEYCODE than Enter, if you catch keycodes to register key presses, they don't react the same.

This is what I was getting at.
I had a feeling there was a difference between the two keys, and the difference does make sense.
Vulpree Nov 29, 2012 @ 1:12am 
So, just to add a bit to this that I've noticed/has irked me:

  • Window controls position not acknowledged.
  • Global menu not acknowledged.
  • Window controls in the wrong order.
  • Everything mentioned originally is still an issue.
  • Errors given to me when trying to run TF2 were helpful only to Google. (I'm assuming this will be improved over time.)
  • GENERAL STEAM ISSUE: Listing games that aren't installable can be confusing. (FTL popped up in my list and when attempting to install, got a blank directory. Semi-related to one of the original points.)
  • Just to reiterate: This is clearly a Windows port. All the UI strings need to be looked over. Very confusing what option will do what equivalent.
  • Windows are only expandable from two corners for some reason.
  • UNTIY-ONLY IDEA: Enabling "Always open a new chat window rather than a tab" option is optimal given the spread function on clicking the app icon will let you quickly go directly to each user's chat window.
  • CMJK characters don't show. (Probably an Ubuntu issue, possibly font related as Steam doesn't seem to be acknowleding my font as the original post mentioned.)
  • Had to bring up the Steam overlay to alt+tab (nit-picky, but still annoying.)
  • Telling what the focused window is is extremely difficult. I have several open windows for the client right now and was trying to hit enter to get to this line and couldn't figure out why it stopped working. turns out it was because I had the wrong window selected. Needs more differentiation.

Dunno if devs are eyeballing this thread, but it felt more of general discussion item than something to dedicate an entire issue post to.

ADDENDUM: Steam doesn't appear to be cleaning up app links after I "uninstall" them.
Last edited by Vulpree; Nov 29, 2012 @ 1:25am
Karl Yeurl Nov 29, 2012 @ 1:29am 
Originally posted by Colgy:
Another thing I would like to add. The window positions of the all the windows are unmoveable for me running 64-bit Arch with awesomeWM. If I try to move the windows, they immediately snap back to their original spot. Same goes for resizing windows.

Turning the workspace in awesome from free floating window mode to tiled mode just makes the windows completely spaz out in a constant fight for size/shape/location.
I'm running the exact same configuration and do not have that issue. I can freely resize the main window.

However, when using non-floating mode and opening another window (terminal, Chromium…), Steam tries to take more space than it should, which sometimes causes some part of the screen to flicker (it switches between Steam and the other window).
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Date Posted: Nov 7, 2012 @ 1:35pm
Posts: 16