D-Fend Reloaded (DOSBox frontend)

General information and assistance with DOSBox.

Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby Alexander » 2008-1-09 @ 16:52

Hi Banjo,
I have just updated the demo package on the server: The two configuration bugs are fixed, the profiles now have icons and of course your Second Reality icon is included. (Thank you for the icon by the way.)
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Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby Neville » 2008-1-11 @ 16:11

Hello again.

First of all, I'm finally releasing the latest version of the Spanish LANG file. I preferred to wait a few days to make sure I didn't left anything out. I've translated the newer additions, such as shortcut keys, and did some more tuning and cleaning. You can get the latest and hopefully final version here, until Alexander packs it together with next versions of D-Fend reloaded.

Next, I found a couple of things I think they need to be changed:

a) The frontend comes with a set of default profiles, such as "Complex DOS games" or "Complex DOS games with 3D". It's great idea, but I think at least these two should be set with "auto" cycles instead of the current "3000", which is a rather low value. I've found the "auto" option to work better than any fixed ammount of cycles with CPU hungry games.

b) This could be related to my videocard / drivers: Everytime I run D-Fend Reloaded it starts in a window. I prefer programs in the foreground to run maximized, so I modified the shortcut to run the program maximized. But then it looks weird, with a grey area in the right:

Image

It doesn't look like that if I run the program as set by default, and then I maximize it. It's a very minor issue, but i find it odd.
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Spanish.zip
Spanish LANG file for DFR. Hopefully, final version.
(6.25 KiB) Downloaded 899 times
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Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby Banjo » 2008-1-12 @ 08:30

Hi Alexander!

The new extras package now installs Second Reality properly, although I still needed to "fix" the program file line for VGA Copy myself after installing.

I know you're aware of the modem problems (ie. stuff like INN that works in DosBox doesn't work the same when started from D-Fend Reloaded), but I noticed that this extends to serial port access too... a program I use DosBox for at work can access com1 fine, but the same settings in D-Fend Reloaded fail to recognize the port. I only mention this since I am guessing this problem is serial related in D-Fend Reloaded, and applies to modems, directserial, etc.

Glad the icon was ok... here's one for OpenGEM as well if you want it!

Keep up the great work, mate!

Cheers,
Banjo
Attachments
Banjo's OpenGEM Icon.zip
Banjo's icon for OpenGEM for use in Windows and D-Fend Reloaded.
(2.72 KiB) Downloaded 932 times
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Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby Alexander » 2008-1-12 @ 19:42

Hi Neville, Hi Banjo !

Spanish language file

First of all, thank you for the new langauge file. If will include it in the next release.

Templates

In the two template profiles "Complex DOS games" and "Complex DOS games with 3D" the CPU cycles were set to 20000 and 45000 (at least in my installation). 3000 would really be a very low value. But anyway both values will be changed to "auto" in the next release.

The template profiles were only meant as suggestions. If anybody thinks to have better template profiles, I will of course like to include them. Btw: The Links shown under "Old games" in the "Help" menu can be edited via the "Links.txt" file in the program directory, they are not hardcoded in the program. So if anybody has better or until now missing links, I would like to update these links to.

Problems when starting maximized

I can't reproduce this problem here. If I choose "Start maximized" for the D-Fend Reloaded link in the start menu, it starts maximized and everything looks ok. I know in later days the Delphi VCL library had some problems with starting programs maximized. (The program took the full screen size, like it was maximized, but it was still in "normal" mode and for example could be moved.) But in the newer Delphi versions this seams to be fixed.

I have added some "Update all controls beause window size has changed" code in the OnShow procedure, perhaps this will help you.

Demo applications package

Thank you Banjo. I don't know how I have managed to still miss the error in the VGA Copy profile. While I am typing I am uploading a corrected package (which will also include your new Icon, thank you for this).

The next version of D-Fend Reloaded will also have an icon for the "DOSBox DOS" default profile.

Serial port settings

In the current version of D-Fend Reloaded (and in all older versions too) there is a big error in the serial port settings: D-Fend Reloaded simply don't writes the serial port settings in the DOSBox config file, so any settings can't work.

In the current version as a workaround you can write in the "Custom settings" section:

[serial]
serial1=...

This bug will of course be fixed in the next version. And additionally there will be a nice dialog for setting up the serial ports.

Image

Next release

The next release of D-Fend Reloaded will have the version number 0.2.0 so there will me new features and not only bug fixes. Originally I planed to finish the next release in february or march. But I think you don't like to wait so long for the bug fixes, so I have moved some thinks from the 0.2 todo to the 0.3 todo. If I have enough time, I hope I will be able to release 0.2 before end of january.
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Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby Neville » 2008-1-12 @ 20:06

Will that serial port dialog window need to be tranlated as well? If so, I can add a text file with the translation tomorrow, so you don't have to wait for me to update the LANG file again.

As for the "maximize" issue, is only a minor problem, but thanks to take a look at that.
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Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby Banjo » 2008-1-13 @ 12:54

Thanks, Alexander!

I'm really looking forward to the update... the new dialog window for ports/modems/etc. looks neat (am I right in assuming the stuff on the right hand side changes depending on if you select mode, serial, etc (ie. it will let you specify realport, delays, etc. if set to serial, listen pot if set to modem, etc)?

If you're interested... two things as suggestions for a future version (not major, so only if you like the ida and only if it's not too much work)...

When right-clicking on an entry/icon, are either of the two options possible to be added?

1) View Manual (the Open DataFolder does this ok, but it would be neat if I could open the pdf or txt manual directly, even if it just let you specify a file and relied totally on your file associations to open it).

2) Right-click option to "create installer" to speed up making an individual installer for that one single game/program/item.

Like I said, VERY much not major requirements (just little ideas I had) that can wait or not even be added, but thought I'd mention them anyway, to see what you thought.

In any case, thanks heaps for all your hard work on this... VERY much appreciated!

D-Fend Reloaded now has full control of my DosBox/DOS game folders and settings, and it's even easier and cooler than when I was just using D-Fend. Awesome work, mate!

Of course, DosBox itself is truly awesome too... easily the best piece of software IMO ever made! :D

Cheers,
Banjo
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Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby Alexander » 2008-1-13 @ 22:18

Hi Neville,

sorry, of course the serial port dialog will need to be translated. If you want to translate it for me, I will be very glad. Together with some other new things there will be about 30 new language strings in version 0.2. I have mad a separate list of all new strings so you don't need to search for untranslated strings. I will post this list here as soon as I have all things together for version 0.2.

As the last step for version 0.2 I will make an update installation package so everybody don't need to download the complete package for every new version. So you have enough time to translage the new strings, if you like to, before I release the new version.

I have found the maximize problem in some other Delphi program I have written. (And it appears also sometimes in the Delphi IDE.) For this other program I have found a workaround. I have integrated this workaround in D-Fend Reloaded, too. Because I still can't reproduce the problem in D-Fend Reloaded, I don't know if it works, but I hope so.

Hi Banjo,

yes, the right side changes depending on the selection on the left side. Because for nullmodem there are the most settings, I have choosen this type for the screenshot.

Today I have added the two context menu items "Open file in data folder" and "Make installer package". I haven't added a new profile record for the "Open file in data folder" function because for some games there might be more than one interessting file so somebody cound say "Why not making a second menu item 'Open file in data folder (2)' ?" and so on. Instead of this "Open file in data folder" lists the the files in the data folder (and its subdirectories) as submenus:

Image

Have you (or anybody else who is reading this) tested the serial port workaround (using the "custom settings" sheet) ? Two big points on my "version 0.2 todo" are testing serial port and IPX settings. But if you can tell me the serial port (using the workaround) and IPX are working, I can leave out there two points and 0.2 will be finished by the end of next week.
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Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby Neville » 2008-1-13 @ 22:34

Alexander wrote:Hi Neville,

sorry, of course the serial port dialog will need to be translated. If you want to translate it for me, I will be very glad. Together with some other new things there will be about 30 new language strings in version 0.2. I have mad a separate list of all new strings so you don't need to search for untranslated strings. I will post this list here as soon as I have all things together for version 0.2.



I'll be glad to translate the new strings. Having done already the bulk of the job, it will only take me a few minutes.
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Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby revsmitty » 2008-1-14 @ 01:33

For being a long time d-fend user. I'm glad to see that it as been reinvented. :) I might have a unique issue and hopefully you will be able to correct it. I run D-Fend and DOSBox from a portable USB drive and I can not set an actual Path to the file names since the drive letter can change for everything machine I plug the drive into to. Appears I can not use a path like \VirtualHD but have to use a path like T:\VirtualHD for D-fend Reloaded to work. Unfortunately, I need to set the path the way to all the programs, DOSBox, etc.. for it to work in my configuration. Any suggestions? I really would like to migrate from the old version :)

-Thanks
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Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby Banjo » 2008-1-14 @ 02:07

Alexander.... your solution to the "data folder" idea is exactly what I was thinking of last night, actually, when I noticed how the DosBox readme was accessed from D-Fend Reloaded... I love the idea of the multiple option menu as in the screenshot! Great stuff!

I haven't tested the serial port workaround yet, because the only program I use that needs it is at work, but will give it a shot tomorrow and let you know.

Thanks heaps for adding the installer option, too... after spending over an hour getting "ST TNG A Final Unity" to run correctly last night, I want to say thanks again for he awesomeness of being able to make installers for later use! :)

I didn't notice until you pointed it out, but being able to customize the links menu item is a fantastic option! So far, the only place "missing" from it IMO is Vogons (as a game info site maybe?).

Oh, one quick thing... when setting a drive, if I set a CD drive to "Activate I/O Controls"... should it then say "Yes" under "I/O Control" in the menu list? Because no matter what I set, it alwasy says "No".

Revsmitty... were you entering /VirtualHD or ./VirtualHD as the folder to mount? I haven't tested, but I know the latter is what I use (just a quick thought... Alexander will be more help, I'm sure!).

Cheers,
Banjo
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Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby revsmitty » 2008-1-14 @ 02:42

Thanks for the suggestion. The pathway doesn't work for the DOSBox executable in that format. It appears to keep searching for it and finds it direct path. Doesn't appears to work for the drive mount. Also, doesn't appear to work for the path of the executable.

Does the drive mount point and executables all have to reside within the same directory structure of the D-Fend reloaded? I haven't used the default settings but I can start copying stuff over to test it. :) I might just give that a try when I get another free moment anyhow.

Edit: Actually, I'm going ahead now and reconfiguring it. :)
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Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby Banjo » 2008-1-14 @ 07:50

Hi Alexander!

Just thought I'd mention, I just found my first "annoying" bug in D-Fend Reloaded (by that, I mean something that actually stops me doing what I need to do, rather than just some little typo or minor bug).

That is, when I want to play a multi-cd game, I normally mount all the images and then use control-F4 to switch between them. However, I couldn't find a way in D-Fend Reloaded to mount the images that way. Fine, I said, and just entered them manually via the autoexec setup, like I used to in custom dosbox configs, like so:

imgmount D d:\dos\virtualhd\mnemonic\cds\johnnymnemoniccd1.iso d:\dos\virtualhd\mnemonic\cds\johnnymnemoniccd2.iso -t cdrom

... the problem I discovered is that for some reason, D-Fend Reloaded seems to truncate or "word wrap" entries in the autoexec section, so in the above examples, because the imgmount command flows into another line (due to longer file names) it fails to mount properly (hard to explain, but should be evident what I mean if you try it).

When I renamed the directories and iso files to short names (so there was no "word wrap" in the prof file, it worked fine.

That is...

imgmount D d:\dos\virtualhd\jm\cd\jm1.iso d:\dos\virtualhd\jm\cd\jm2.iso -t cdrom

... works perfectly!

Is it possible this "word wrap" is a bug that can be fixed?

And can the ISO Image section of the Drives dialog be modified to allow things like:

.\VirtualHD\JM\CD\JM2.iso .\VirtualHD\JM\CD\JM1.iso

... to enable multiple image loading/switching? (that fails to mount right now when I try it).

Cheers,
Banjo
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Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby MiniMax » 2008-1-14 @ 09:37

About the imgmount command: Be aware that DOSBox has an internal limit around some 134 characters on the command line. So long mount paths are known to cause problems.

One work-around (on Windows) is to use the SUBST command to create a virtual drive, e.g.
Code: Select all
C:> SUBST V: "C:\Documents and Settings\MiniMax\My Documents\DOSBox stuff"

and then refer to G:\ instead of the long path.
Last edited by MiniMax on 2008-1-14 @ 09:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby Qbix » 2008-1-14 @ 09:41

i think the 134 limit is actually a dos limit then a dosbox specific limit. Something with the size of the arguments that are stored somewhere before starting an executable.
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Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby MiniMax » 2008-1-14 @ 09:42

revsmitty wrote:I run D-Fend and DOSBox from a portable USB drive and I can not set an actual Path to the file names since the drive letter can change for everything machine I plug the drive into to.

Maybe try the SUBST work-around?
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Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby Alexander » 2008-1-14 @ 11:25

New fixed bugs and remaining todos

First of all some bugs I have fixed:
  • I/O control always says "No" in the profile editor. The I/O control value was correctly stored and given to DOSBox, only the "No" in the dialog was wrong.
  • The edit fields on the autoexec and the custom settings sheets of the profile editor used WordWrap=True. Of course this is not good and has been corrected.
And I have added the vogons to the default links collection, good idea.

The last two points on my 0.2 todo are:
  • Multi CD images in mount dialog
  • Update installer (less than a MB instead of 10 MB for the full installer)

I am not sure if the multi CD images option will need some new language strings, so I do not post the language file now. But I will post it here, as soon as this last thing is ready.

If I have enough time this week and no new bugs are found, I hope to be able to release 0.2 before the end of this week.

D-Fend Reloaed on an USB stick

D-Fend Reloaded can run from USB sticks. Therefore you should choose the installation type "USB stick installation". If you use a zip package, you can activate the USB stick mode by writing "PORTABLEMODE" in the DFend.dat in the programm directory (only this line, remove all other lines). For choosing the operation mode see also the Readme_OperationMode.txt in the program directory.

In the portable mode the directories shown in the "General" sheet of the setup dialog and the DOSBox directory are stored relatively to the program directory. (Although they are shown as absolute pathes in the dialog.) So VirtualHD need to be a subdirectory of the D-Fend Reloaded program directory and everything will be fine.

If you have this situation:

T:\D-Fend Reloaded
T:\VirtualHD

D-Fend Reloaded will not know which effect a changing of "T:\D-Fend Reloaded" will have on "T:\VirtualHD". But if VirtualHD and DOSBox are subdirectories of D-Fend Reloaded, you can move this folder anywhere and it will work. (Even moving from "T:\D-Fend Reloaded" to "C:\Users\me\Desktop\DOSPrograms" will work. So not only the driveletter can change but also the whole directory.)

Long command lines

At the moment D-Fend Reloaded translates the records from the "drives" sheet of the profile editor to "mount ..." and "imgmount ..." commands in the [autoexec] section of the DOSBox config file. I have searched in the readme and the Wiki for other ways but haven't found any. Is there any alternative way to define mounts ? Perhaps a conf section I don't know of ? (A conf section would also have the advantage of not having this 134 chars limitation.) If not, I think this could be a good thing for one of the next DOSBox versions.
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Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby Qbix » 2008-1-14 @ 12:06

imgmount can work with localpaths as well:
mount y "very long path to where all the isos are stored"
imgmount d y:\iso1 y:\iso2 etc etc
mount -u y
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Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby Banjo » 2008-1-14 @ 13:01

Alexander, you're a legend! Thanks for fixing those bugs (especially the word wrap one that really threw me for a few minutes trying to figure it out)! I've had DosBox be a pain with long paths before (the limit is normally fine, unless you're trying to mount 4+ cd images!), but not to the extent I was finding under D-Fend Reloaded... I'm happy to know I'll be able to use sensible but not TINY folder names when the update arrives.

Multiple images mountable in D-Fend Reloaded's Drive options, however, will simply rock and make things so much easier!

Incidentally, even though this probably isn't the right place, I just wanted to also throw out an extra huge thanks to the major gurus here at VOGONS (such as MiniMax and Qbix), who over the years have been a huge help to me without even knowing it, whenever I came to look up a topic in the forum! :)

Cheers,
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Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby MiniMax » 2008-1-14 @ 15:26

Happy customers are always welcome :)
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Re: D-Fend Reloaded (new frontend)

Postby IIGS_User » 2008-1-14 @ 15:49

Alexander wrote:Is there any alternative way to define mounts ? Perhaps a conf section I don't know of ?

There is, is it the -c parameter at DOSBox start:
The command line will look like:
Code: Select all
DOSBox.exe -c "mount c "Pathtofolder" -t xxx"


The minus point with this way is: The DOSBox start command line will be extended, and there is a host os limitation, too. If the command line is too long, it will be snipped.

I wouldn't recommend it.
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