Browser Improvements for Garry's Mod
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About Garry's Mod:
Built on a modified version of Valve's Source engine, Garry's Mod (or GMod for short) is a physics sandbox game. One of the great strengths of Garry's Mod is that it is incredibly modder friendly. This has lead to a thriving community that is always coming up with new addons and gamemode for everyone to enjoy.
The Problem: gui.OpenURL() now only allows Steam Group URL's
On the night of July 18th, 2017 a silent (without notice) update was pushed to Garry's Mod that removed the ability for servers to open any URL, that is not a Steam Group, on a client's Steam overlay browser. Until now, servers were able to send players to their required content, donation pages, forums, and other community related links, on an updated, modern web browser. With the removal of this essential feature, players are now required to either copy a link in-game and open their own web browser out of game, or use an extremely outdated, non-updated, ancient in-game web browser that some websites do not work with at all. This change has infuriated the Garry's Mod community as it was the only option for developers when players needed to access a Steam integrated website without hassle.
Garry's Mod developers/modders were furious to hear that this change occurred without notice. Many addons and servers relied on this feature that was hindered and rendered almost useless last Wednesday, thoughtlessly.
There are a few solutions that could be made possible to fix this unbearable issue. The first possible solution is for the Garry's Mod developers to contact Valve and demand that a patch be made to render the Steam protocol commands useless or usable with consent on the Steam Overlay browser. Second solution, implement CEF and CEF panels/functions on the main branch of Garry's Mod. Third solution, change gui.OpenURL() to open URL's in an external browser that is not Steam Overlay's (If possible, provide user-warning before opening URL). Fourth solution, revert the gui.OpenURL() change while a more sensible solution is thought out.
Why this Must Change:
Garry's Mod servers relied on this feature, that is now hindered, to allow players to access community content with ease. This function was especially useful for Steam integrated websites such as donation pages for communities or server content. With the current Garry's Mod browser options, websites such as PayPal, which almost every server uses as a gateway for donations, and other modern sites won't display properly because the browser is unsupported and old. Some servers are going to struggle to stay up and running because this feature was changed negatively without warning.
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