DOSBox Game Launcher (DOSBox Frontend)

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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby DosFreak » 2006-8-24 @ 14:34

Yeah, the original Fallout CD has both DOS/Windows ver.

The DOS ver runs like shite but it's a good test for DosBox.
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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby Bouchacha » 2006-8-24 @ 17:43

btw rcblanke, what's your paypal address? :wink:
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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby rcblanke » 2006-8-30 @ 20:54

Hi everybody,

DBGL has a new home: http://home.quicknet.nl/qn/prive/blankendaalr/dbgl

v0.41 has seen the light:
* Fixed lots of Linux bugs, most of them related to pathname translation ('/' vs. '\')
* Added support for case-sensitive filenames (Linux)
* Added auto-mount feature and implemented smart driveletter selection in the drive-mounting dialog
* Implemented basic support to 'autodetect' special DOSBox features such as 'timesynched'. Those options will be enabled in the profile-editing dialog if and only if the option is actually available for the selected DOSBox version.

Check it out, especially the Linux users since a whole lot of issues should be resolved.

Regards,
Ronald
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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby ykhwong » 2006-8-30 @ 21:42

Good.

I wrote some lines for dbgl.bat.
It will check if java s/w is installed and if jar file exists.
After running dbgl.bat, the log window will get automatically minimized if the family of operating system is winnt.

Code: Select all
@echo off
cls
set dbgl_os=win9x
set dbgl_error=none
if not exist dbgl.jar goto error1
if "%OS%" == "Windows_NT" set dbgl_os=winnt
if %dbgl_os% == winnt if not exist %SystemRoot%\system32\java.exe goto error2
if %dbgl_os% == winnt goto winnt

if %dbgl_os% == win9x if not exist %SystemRoot%\system\java.exe goto error2
if %dbgl_os% == win9x goto win9x

goto win9x

:winnt
start /min "Log window" java -Djava.library.path=lib -jar dbgl.jar
if %dbgl_error% == 2 goto winnt_javadn
goto done

:win9x
java -Djava.library.path=lib -jar dbgl.jar
if %dbgl_error% == 2 goto win9x_javadn
goto done

:error1
set dbgl_error=1
echo dbgl.jar not found.
pause >nul
goto done

:error2
set dbgl_error=2
echo JAVA not found.
echo Press any key to ignore this error.
pause >nul
if %dbgl_os%==winnt goto winnt
if %dbgl_os%==win9x goto win9x

:winnt_javadn
cls
echo If you still have problems running DOSBox Game Launcher,
echo press any key to download Java software.
pause >nul
start http://java.com/java/download/index.jsp
goto done

:win9x_javadn
cls
echo If you still have problems running DOSBox Game Launcher,
echo go to http://java.com/java/download/index.jsp to download Java software
pause >nul
goto done

:done
set dbgl_os=
set dbgl_error=
exit
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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby Spearhead » 2006-9-01 @ 13:38

@rcblanke: sounds great. I will definitely check out that release after i get back from my current holiday in Hungary, have no access to a Linux install here i'm afraid. Will be back September 11th
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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby rcblanke » 2006-9-04 @ 16:00

@ykhwong: Thanks for your script! Still, I think I will use the .exe packaging method h-a-l-9000 showed us earlier for his tunneling server Java app (http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?p=90264#89416) since this wrapper also checks the JVM version number (must be 1.5+) and autodetects the path to the JVM etc.

Meanwhile, in a secret lab :wink:, v0.42 is in progress, adding better support for patched DOSBox versions (Vasyl's svgachipset patch, Glide, vsync and more).

Bug-reports, anybody?
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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby rcblanke » 2006-9-12 @ 19:50

Hi everybody,

V0.42 is available :sweatdrop: at the usual location (see first post), jar update only:

- Added support for special DOSBox builds such as those from Ykhwong and Gulikoza, with experimental options like pixelshaders, multiple SVGA chipsets, Roland MT-32 emulation etc.
- Made 'Add/Edit DOSBox version'-dialog box more robust by checking executable and config file availability, and implemented automatic config file creation if necessary
- Running DOSBox will now change the current working directory to the associated DOSBox version location. This will make sure that DOSBox can find other related files where it expects them, like pixelshader(.fx) files and the like.
- Some code clean-up here and there

Please let me know if you find something broken or an important feature missing (that was not already mentioned in this thread)!

Regards,
Ronald
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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby steve14 » 2006-9-17 @ 09:17

Hmmm, your great DOSBox-Frontend seems to be for Windows only ... :oops:
Have you thought about a Linux version ? :happyhappy:

Bye,
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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby Spearhead » 2006-9-17 @ 10:00

@steve14: I think you should open your eyes and look again, there already is one...
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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby rcblanke » 2006-9-20 @ 20:54

Hello again,

v0.43 is up, highlights are:

* Added basic support for 'Windows system integration', meaning you can use the Windows Explorer, right-click on a game executable, and select Send To - DBGL to add the game to the profiles list (collector). To set it up:

1) Navigate to folder C:\Documents and Settings\<user-account>\SendTo
2) Right-click, choose New - Shortcut
3) Click Browse, navigate to the DGBL folder and choose 'add.bat'
4) Click Next, and type the name for the shortcut, for example 'DBGL'
5) Click Finish

* Made all selectboxes in the profile-editing screen configurable (Folken), that is, all these options can be found and edited in settings.conf (works similarly to D-Fends 'Change Dynamic Options', just no GUI yet).

* Some usability improvements here and there; For example, you can now right-click on list items for options.

Let me know how it's working for you fellows!

Ronald
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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby rcblanke » 2006-9-26 @ 07:24

v0.44 is up at the usual location:

* Implemented screenshot removal (right-click), F2 to edit profile (besides ctrl-enter) and made the various 'Browse..' buttons more intelligent by using a default directory when possible.
* Fixed some pathname casing issues, you may use mixed casing between executable and mounting location on Windows systems now. Also, batchfile CALLing was fixed, so that DOSBox correctly exits when you'd expect it.
* Fixed a couple of minor layout issues here and there.

byebye,
Ronald
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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby benkid77 » 2006-10-03 @ 22:41

Thanks rcblanke - this looks like a really good frontend.

I like the simplicity of the interface, once the app is all set up.

I've been using DOSBox for a while now, but haven't used a frontend before. Until now, I had been using about 3 different manually edited config files to play 90% of my games, with a couple of extra configs for 'awkward' games like "Elder scrolls: arena", "pinball dreams 2" etc..
I'd been using different Windows shortcuts to simply pass the various different config filenames to DOSBox as a command line parameter. This has worked well enough for me - until now.

Now, I just have too many DOS games and apps requiring different configs -and so I really do have to change the way I do things - and DBGL seems like the perfect solution.

So I've got it all up and running now, it's working well.
Inevitably, I have a few questions. Forgive me if any of these quesions have already been covered. I have briefly read this thread for the first time - but may possibly have missed some things. Also, I'm not yet an experienced user of any of the available DOSBox frontends.

1) I've now replaced the main DOSBox shortcut on my Windows desktop with a shortcut to the DBGL frontend. I'd now like to have a DBGL profile which just gets me into the DOSBox command prompt - without having to run a game executable from within DOSBox. This is really useful for me, so that I still don't have to have an additional seperate DOSBox shortcut on the desktop anymore.
(Sometimes I just want to test out a few newly obtained games manually - before I have setup profiles for them, using the DOSBox prompt directly)

I have now succesfully setup a DBGL profile called "DOSBox command prompt'', by firstly setting up a new profile pointing to a dummy 'test.bat' file - and then editing the produced profile text file manually using wordpad (It's in linux format) - to remove the line which executes "test.bat".

That's great - it now just gets me into the DOSBox prompt again, via your program. I was going to suggest maybe having a checkbox in DBGL - "Don't execute a program" - but it doesn't matter, apart from myself probably no-one else on here would want to do this?

2) I haven't found a way to pass the '-noconsole' flag to DOSBox from the frontend. I'm not sure - but I think ths is something that can't be configured from within dosbox.conf?
Would it be possible to have a textfield in DBGL to enter arbitrary command line parameters to be passed to the DOSBox executable?
Or, a 'noconsole' checkbox?

I don't need the '-noconsole' option most of the time - i.e. when running fullscreen games. But, I do sometimes run some games/apps in windowed mode - and it's nice to not have that extra console window present, which I don't use myself.

3) I make a new profile in DBGL, and then I set the cycles to 10000 in that profile. I look in DOSBox.conf and see, as I expect, cycles=10000. I then change the profile in DBGL to cycles=auto. I then look in dosbox.conf, and I see cycles=3000, rather than cycles=auto. I'm not sure if this is expected behaviour? I don't understand exactly how the program works, or exactly which config files it is changing - but I thought I would see 'cycles=auto' in dosbox.conf, rather than cycles=3000. I'm probably just misunderstanding how the program works though.

4) I'm currently running the DBGL with the "start /B" command, again so I don't get the JVM console window remaining on the screen. I have made a simple one line batch file which just runs your app without the java console window appearing - it's neat for people like myself who just like to have only one Window per application present on the screen and on the taskbar. In this case just the frontend gui, on it's own.

But, again maybe most other users don't mind the other window being there. (minimised or otherwise) And it's probably not wise to worry too much about quirks of launching java programs in a Windows environment - I wouldn't want all my comments to seem too Windows-centric, since it DBGL is clearly a platform-independent app. I do use Linux also, but I have to use Windows most of the time because of my work.

So the above are really just minor and probably insignifcant observations. But to summarise - DBGL is an excellent app so far, and I am already finding it incredibly useful. Thanks again.
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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby rcblanke » 2006-10-04 @ 20:07

Hi benkid77,

And thank you for your appreciation, your observations and suggestions. Here we go:

1) I see the issue here. You are right that it is currently impossible to store a profile without a game exe or image-file. What you CAN do, is start any configured DOSBox version in the list by just pressing [enter]. However, this will only use the DOSBox-version's dosbox.conf, so no custom settings can be made and used. Alternatively, you can create an empty donothing.bat and link that. I will certainly consider your suggestion to support something like non-executable profiles, might be handy indeed.

2) I'm working on -noconsole support as we speak, will be available in the next release (hopefully within a couple of days from now)!

3) To be totally honest; I'm surprised this hasn't been questioned earlier at all. I will try to explain the functionality:

A) dosbox.conf is never manipulated in any way by DBGL, except that DBGL has a button for launching a text-editor so you can manually edit the file. I think that changing the dosbox.conf settings is not recommended since its defaults are wisely chosen. Only system-specific settings - such as the output setting - should be changed from the default if that works better for a particular videodriver/platform combination.

B) profile information is stored in the various [ID].conf files in the dbgl ./profiles/ subdirectory. When using a multiple-configuration-files-supporting dosbox build (MCF) such as the one provided with dbgl, only _changes_ are stored in these .conf files. So, suppose you create a profile based on a MCF build and you only change the cycles value and store the profile, then only that specific cycles setting is stored in the .conf file (well, together with the autoexec section and captures setting, obviously). Upon running the profile, dosbox is started with dosbox.conf as its base settings file, together with [ID].conf which overrides the cycles setting and contains a set of autoexec commands to run the game.
On the other hand, if you should choose a non-MCF build such as the official DOSBox release v0.65, ALL settings are stored in the [ID].conf file and only that file is handed over to dosbox to lauch the game (this is what all other frontends do, AFAIK). So, in that case, dosbox.conf is only used to provide default values for the profile-editing dialog.

C) Templates are stored in ./templates/[ID].conf files and also only contain differences between your settings and the associated dosbox.conf settings. Changing the coupled dosbox version after first saving the template, will give correct but possibly unexpected results and is thus not recommended.

4) I think that using a console is indeed more appropriate for debugging purposes than for informing the user - since that is what the gui should be used for. Ykhwong supplied a custom-made batch file in this forum topic (scroll up a bit) for doing something similar; minimizing the console on startup. Your suggestion might be even better for end-users when the app is more-or-less stable. How exactly did you do it? I tried changing the dbgl.bat content to 'start /B java -Djava.library.path=lib -jar dbgl.jar' but that doesn't seem to work?!

Again, I'd like to thank you for your feedback and hope that more users share their (bad?) experience with DBGL, so that it can get better and better!

Regards,
Ronald
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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby benkid77 » 2006-10-04 @ 21:45

Hi Ronald,

Firstly, thanks very much for taking the time to read and investigate end-user's feedback, and for the swift response. I'm sure most users on here do really appreciate this, and I'm really grateful for your detailed and imformative reply.

Having now read through your post, I say I'm really glad that you will be adding 'noconsole' support in future versions - thanks for that, I suspect many users will use that feature.

Also, thanks for considering the idea of starting DOSBox without having to make it run an executable. Maybe I'm unusual in asking for that particular feature - I don't really know if anyone else on here would need it. So, even without any extra work on your part, you've already supplied a suggestion I can use, and for now I can just stick with the template I already edited using wordpad - so I'm really happy with it for now anyway. I'm sure much of your time is already spent on perhaps more important improvments that would be arguably useful to a larger number of users!

As for how DBGL stores dosbox settings - your thorough explanation makes sense to me now. I am using the multiconfigs CVS DOSBox version, and that's why merely the changes to the default dosbox.conf are being stored, rather than the entire file being manipulated directly, as I had originally wrongly thought.

Finally, the full command I currently use to launch DBGL is

cmd /c "start /b javaw -Djava.library.path=lib -jar dbgl.jar"

The above does produce a momentary cmd shell, but it flashes off the screen in a split-second, leaving just your GUI remaining on the screen, and in the task bar.

So thanks again - and as I say it's really great for the developer of a program to answer user's questions out of your own free time, and provide detailed replies, as I'm sure this will ultimately benefit many other users of your frontend, as other posters have already mentioned.

best regards,
benkid77
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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby rcblanke » 2006-10-08 @ 21:02

Hi everybody,

v0.45 is available, changes are:

* Implemented 'Desktop shortcut creation' for DBGL running on Windows, by popular demand.
* Updated internal DOSBox CVS build to oct. 5th. and HSQLDB to 1.8.0.7, Windows only for the moment.
* Added 'Settings' dialog box for running DOSBox in -noconsole mode (benkid77) and manipulating the 'Dynamic Options' (see comments for v0.43)
* Added support for extra joystick options as introduced in DOSBox 0.65b1 and Ykhwong's build
* Added so-called 'Grab' buttons for the game/setup and booter fields in order to fetch the currently selected mount location.
* Implemented shortcuts for profile favorite marking, and marking DOSBoxversions and Templates as default
* Changed drive-mounting logic a tiny bit; in case multiple mounting points match a chosen game exe path, the longest location is chosen, so that the corresponding drive is used inside DOSBox
* Disabled the Windows Java console by default (dbgl.bat), the old behaviour is still available for debugging purposes (dbglcons.bat).
* Some code-refactoring to keep it all maintainable

Questions, complaints, bugs, remarks and chocolatecookies are always welcome!

BTW, if anybody can point me to some information regarding desktop shortcut creation on a Linux/OSX environment, I'd appreciate it!

Ciao,
Ronald
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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby collector » 2006-10-09 @ 04:32

Trying to create a shortcut just crashes DBGL. Also, some options are not enabled, like overscan, even when using a build that supports it (ykhwong's)
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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby rcblanke » 2006-10-09 @ 08:57

Fixed the crashbug (forgot to update that darn manifest file :dead:, jar 0.46 is up, no source changes. Thanks for reporting this collector!

About the expirimental features such as overscan; what happens if you press 'Reload Settings' after selecting a dosbox version such as ykhwong's? That should reload the associated dosbox.conf, thereby detecting support for overscan, resulting in an enabled checkbox. Doesn't that work for you?
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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby collector » 2006-10-09 @ 18:06

OK, the shortcut creation now works. This front end looks like it might be turning into what I would use. One thing that I'd like is the option to save and use the conf file in the game's directory, not just the profiles folder of DBGL. Also, would it be possible to specify an icon during the shortcut creation process? Easy enough to do after the fact, but when you have as many games as I do...
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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby benkid77 » 2006-10-09 @ 20:12

rcblanke wrote:* Added 'Settings' dialog box for running DOSBox in -noconsole mode (benkid77) and manipulating the 'Dynamic Options' (see comments for v0.43)


Thanks rcblanke, much appreciated!

I'm shortly going to download the updated version, and start the task of getting all my game/app profiles set up. Once that's done it's going to really easy for me to run stuff, saving much time in the future.

I'll be able to use the DBGL/DOSBox combo in much the same way that I currently use WinUAE and other GUI based emulators for example. Truly great stuff :)
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Re: New DOSBox Frontend - DOSBox Game Launcher

Postby rcblanke » 2006-10-10 @ 21:32

collector wrote:...One thing that I'd like is the option to save and use the conf file in the game's directory, not just the profiles folder of DBGL...


Yes, more people have asked for this feature so I'm planning on implementing it. Unfortunately, this change requires a database structure change which I would like to avoid as much as possible in coming versions! Therefore, I'm asking your opinion about the approach I took so far:

The settings dialog will get three new options for setting default profile options (see screenshot). Those settings are also available in the 'add profile' window. Automatic is the current behaviour using a subdir inside DBGL and an ID for the config filename and captures path. Deselecting 'auto' makes the field under the checkbox editable. In case a user leaves the field nonauto and empty, the game's directory is used. In case the filename field is left empty, the title of the profile will be used (stripping special characters like /, *, ?, etc. to be able to store it on the filesystem).

Please let me know if I'm missing some (underlying) functionality. Also, if you can think of a way to improve the interface tell me, because frankly, I think it is not very intuitive at the moment but couldn't think of something better :disapproving:

Regards,
Ronald
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