Why SteamOS goes Arch; and why the legal world doesn’t works well with modularity.
What OS is Steam Deck running?
SteamOS 3.0, a new version of SteamOS based on Arch Linux.
Will people be able to install Windows, or other 3rd party content?
Yes. Steam Deck is a PC, and players will be able to install whatever they like, including other OSes.
opheliate: What was wrong with SteamOS being based on Debian? I’ve not used SteamOS myself, but I wasn’t aware there were problems in that regard.
Conan_Kudo: It's ancient and Valve had to do tons of backports to support it properly. I imagine they didn't like that very much.
desine: it’s not that Debian itself is ancient, it’s that they prioritize stability and thus older packages.
Arch is still a better choice because gaming is generally using cutting edge software.
Wowfunhappy: What does Valve have to backport? Surely games aren’t targeting super new libraries?
Jnr: 3d graphics libraries, drivers, input libraries, etc.
It is a nightmare getting the latest versions for those on Debian/Ubuntu.
Valve is pushing Linux gaming forward a lot and recent package versions are required in order to run games well.
Basic contract law prevents lawyers from composing contracts out of interchangeable parts.
legal principles prevent lawyers from ripping a section out of one contract and adding it to another without fear of unintended side effects.
other provisions of the destination contract can implicitly change the effect of the borrowed section
The borrowed section can implicitly change the effect of other sections in the destination contract
Even if new and old sections do not share defined terms or cross-references in common, side effects can cross the whitespace between neatly isolated chunks of contract.
Nearly everything made efficiently is made of parts that can be swapped out in that way.
A contract should be read as a whole, with no provision considered in isolation.
no provision is meaningless.
Interpret each provision consistently with the overall scheme or plan of the agreement.
When parties enter multiple written agreements at the same time and for the same purpose, construe them together.
When a generality follows a list of specifics, construe the generality to include only items of the same type as the specifics.
The inclusion of one item implies the exclusion of others.
Specific terms govern general terms.
Give a word used in multiple provisions the same meaning throughout.
Some of these maxims are exactly what we’d tell courts to do if we wanted to prevent lawyers from drafting modular contracts.
we seem less prepared to anticipate issues that don’t correspond to easy-to-find cross-references or defined term usage.
When it comes to terms that aren’t Defined Terms or shared concepts, or vague lawyer-math like “pro rata” we’re rolling dice.
it’s established practice to override, or opt out of, at least some modularity inhibiting maxims that turn out to be little more than default rules.
“headings don’t count” provisions that write headings out of the four corners of a contract.
“product of negotiation” clauses.
explicit precedence hierarchies among related documents and related provisions
Runs like “including, but not limited to” abound,
some practitioners even make a single clarification that applies throughout each agreement.
We all use contrived defined terms where the same word would be clear in context in plain English, but interpreted to have the same meaning throughout at law.
Could a contract state unequivocally that each section is to be interpreted, to the fullest possible extent, without implicit reference to any other sections or documents?
How to go about writing such provisions?
The relevant rules of law are dusty-volume common law in many states
the language used in key state-court opinions differs among jurisdictions.
Identifying each one in a contract might provide incredibly tedious