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subw
11-04-2005, 03:49 AM
Hi!
I think it would be great if Lightwave would be available on Linux (SuSE and Redhead). Many big studios like Sony Pictures Imageworks and Pixar use Linux for 3D.
If someone does neither want to use Windows nor pay the price for a decent Mac, he would definately like to use Linux.

Maya and Softimage, for example, are available on Linux, too.

Phil
11-04-2005, 05:17 AM
This has been brought up numerous times. The only option to get LW on linux at the moment is to employ a dongle crack and then run using Wine (no later than January 30 2005 at the time of writing).

The issue with Wine results from a stupid (IMO) decision to alter the way that child windows are handled in applications. As such, OpenGL viewports (and thereby pretty much all of LW's UI) are mangled in later releases. I reported this as bug 2398 for Wine; they are beginning to look at fixing it, but there is no fix yet. Somewhat frustrating, especially if you cannot find a package of this release for your distribution - you will have to compile it from source in that case.

LW 7.x and 8.x actually run really well on Wine. NewTek know this - I've dropped them enough emails about it over the last couple of years. Email from NT I have received also suggests that they have internally assessed this on more than one occasion. So why don't we have LW+Wine (even as an unsupported product)?

The main reason seems to be that they are irrationally attached to that ****ed dongle. This causes the issues for getting unpatched LW running under Wine. You need to remove the dongle dependency from the LW program files for Wine to be able to run LW in anything other than 'Discovery Mode'. It depends on your point of view over this side of things. NT don't seem to be making any effort to help their customers, so if you really want LW on linux then I consider them to be rather forcing your hand. It doesn't seem like anything will be changing for 9.0 either.

My frustration over this is that the move to Win64 gave them a prime opportunity to do away with the dongle and allow them to use Wine to also simultaneously provide LW on linux. That they haven't, despite their knowledge that LW runs on Wine, makes me want to scream. It's boneheaded, but it's their product and they obviously are happy to leave linux to their competitors. XSI Foundation will hoover up anyone willing to pay cash for 3D software on linux - NT only have themselves to blame for the sales that they will lose. Having written such nice, clean platform independent internal code, they seem to be willing to ignore the advantage that this is now giving them. Baffling.

I dropped NT a note many moons ago to suggest that, if they didn't want to incur the support and QA costs of delivering a 'supported' product on linux, they should consider a partnership with a company like CodeWeavers. They are fulltime Wine developers with a commercially supported product. Pay them to make the product work and both companies can benefit. By doing this, the customers are also able to use (reasonably new) versions of Photoshop, etc. as well. CodeWeavers would handle any Wine issues & the current NT Win32 support team would handle the LW bugs - no additional training on either side.

I have pretty much given up with NewTek even considering, let alone actually providing, a solution in a timely manner. That leaves two options :

1) Continue to upgrade LW for Win32 and then hunt down dongle cracks. If NT don't seem to care, why should you?

2) Consider XSI Foundation or its competitors and then drop NewTek a note to tell them exactly why your $ aren't in their bank account.

Anything else appears to be wasted time and effort. If option 2 is viable for you, it probably has greater impact than 1.

Karmacop
11-05-2005, 11:06 PM
The dongle is not a problem, and to tihnk that it's useless is short sighted. As far as i know there are dongle drivers for Linux, so if it was ported (even a simple wine port) then there shouldn't be a problem.

Phil
11-07-2005, 07:40 AM
That isn't the case. Yes, there are native drivers, but Wine cannot use them because LW is looking for the Windows drivers; there is no way to alter this. From what I understand, it is very difficult to square this circle.

Wine does not support drivers either, so attempting to install/use the Windows drivers won't get you very far. You are back to having to use a dongle crack with Wine. NewTek remains unable to take advantage of any market of any size on linux. Purely because of the dongle...that's the whole reason that I consider it a boneheaded design decision. A portable and realistic alternative (which I suggested to them and never heard back about) would be :

License the software against a hash value made up from the user's data. Name/address/etc. compiled into a long and unique string. This string, combined with a license key, would work in exactly the same way as the current dongle system, but without the need for a lump of plastic and system drivers. Basic cryptography and very easy to implement. It doesn't need to be invasive, is as portable (physically) as the dongle and has no reason to be any less (in)secure than the current approach.
If you need to supply a dongle ID for existing plugins, one can be generated easily from the pair of files (hash and perhaps the license key) by LW. Since plugins generally retrieve the dongle ID from LW, there is still no need for the dongle driver. Those that don't will require an update, but it's a trivial change to query the encrypted file and generate a seed for a license key to be (re)issued for those plugins.

There is no privacy issue because the string is encrypted and shouldn't leave the user's machine in any case. If it does, then it is identifiable so a user can be traced. If the user resells the product, they withhold both files and inform NT that they are reselling the package and supply the serial number so the NT database can be updated and the license transferred.

I still really don't see the point of the dongle. It does not deter concerted piracy and any other form of piracy is unlikely to have an effect on NewTek's financial state. The dongle is a very simple bit of technology that is easily circumvented. However, firms have to carefully control their software usage, if they don't, an audit and punishment process occur - NewTek and any other vendors get their money.
Granted, hobbiests may resort to copied, cracked software, but are unlikely to turn en masse so shouldn't be a (serious) threat to revenue either. So from whom is the dongle providing protection? I just cannot see the argument, especially given the drop in the price of the software and the increased %ge of the dongle as part of that price. Ben Vost replied elsewhere that it provides a control mechanism for 3rd party (plugin) vendors, but that is only the case because LW provides the dongle data for them. As an abstracted mechanism, though, it could provide any kind of data to plugins for them to validate a license against.

Hey - it's NT's product - and it's their responsibility. I am not going to lose sleep over this, although am irritated about it. I just attempted to show them just how easy & cheap it was going to be to offer some kind of product in this market, complete with a form of protection if they felt that was needed. A product I would be very happy to pay for - even if they were not going to 'support' it (at least in the early days). Until then, I have to feel grateful for dongle cracks and that XSI Foundation affordable enough for me to take a look at.

tektonik
11-07-2005, 09:12 AM
i would bet that you can rule out maya on linux in a few versions time...
U know being an autodesk company and all :)

Karmacop
11-07-2005, 11:20 PM
That isn't the case. Yes, there are native drivers, but Wine cannot use them because LW is looking for the Windows drivers; there is no way to alter this. From what I understand, it is very difficult to square this circle.

I thought (and I could be very wrong) that there was a way to use wine to essentially compile your windows programs into an executable linux file? If that is truen, then I'm saying to use that ability but support the Linux dongle drivers. This probably isn't possible though.



License the software against a hash value made up from the user's data. Name/address/etc. compiled into a long and unique string. This string, combined with a license key, would work in exactly the same way as the current dongle system, but without the need for a lump of plastic and system drivers. Basic cryptography and very easy to implement. It doesn't need to be invasive, is as portable (physically) as the dongle and has no reason to be any less (in)secure than the current approach.

It sounds as if what you want to do is give the user a public and private key, which gives no security at all. Can you explain how this would work better, or an example of this being used elsewhere?

Lynx3d
11-08-2005, 12:55 PM
Yea i don't get it either how Phil would replace the dongle...
the dongle ensures (or at least it tries to) that LW can only be used on one system at a time, some funky hash values and keys are just information that you can copy wherever you want and thus use LW wherever you want at the same time.

There is no mechanism to ensure this independant of hardware, you need something like the MAC address of your NIC (Maya), a TPM (apparently Intel Macs will have one...DRM soon is everywhere i'm afraid) etc.