Steam users rejoice! This morning Valve announced their plans to make updates and patches smaller than ever, allowing faster downloads and more painless downloading. Also included in Steam update: more games via a shiny new publishing schema. All made possible through the power of hypertext.
By utilizing HTTP, Steam will skirt ISP caps on bandwidth while allowing for firewalls to be easily bypassed. Patching finally caught up this morning as well, with a new system that compares the old and new versions of games before installing just the new information. So, you know, like a real patch instead of an entirely new game (in practice). Even more useful is the implementation of a download scheduling system, a move that also includes download priority and bandwidth settings for absolute control.
Publishing will now be easier as well, with Valve officially stating that the new system
“[Will] simplify the process of both publishing and updating a game on Steam, [so] it takes the partner and us less time to ship each product, so we can ship more stuff to more users.”
Finishing the exciting announcements, a typically cagey announcement that DotA 2 would be coming soon finished the good news. Unfortunately, the new system has only been implemented for high def video downloads, but Valve has assured its users that content and updates will be doled out over time.