First post, by rcblanke
Seems like a lot of people are thinkin' about DOSBox front-ends, lately.
Looking at myself, I've been using D-Fend with great pleasure for over 1 and a half years. Unfortunately, I started noticing a couple of shortcomings and bugs in D-Fend as time went by.
So, coincidentally, only a couple of weeks ago, I decided to build a Java front-end myself, using the proven interface of D-Fend as a basis.
The font-end, which I have dubbed DBGL (DOSBox Game Launcher) so far, is by no means finished. It is a work in progress and lacking many features, but the core is working, and I think the product is somewhat usable as it is. Please bear in mind that the interface is still quite rough around the edges.
To name a few of its features:
* D-Fend profiles importing
* multiple dosbox versions support, so you can select any pre-configured version to use _per profile_
* template support (like D-Fend)
* 2 URLs supported per profile
* booter games support
* basic zipfile support (using a dosbox version that has physfs integrated, for example Ykhwong's)
* can easily handle 1000+ profiles (for those interested: DBGL uses the Java hsqldb database engine, and SWT for the GUI)
* use with DOSBox v0.70, v0.65 or CVS
DBGL can optionally use the DOSBox feature 'Multiple Config Files' to use incremental config files. What this means, is that your game profile only stores the _differences_ compared to the main dosbox.conf file. Then, suppose you want to switch all profiles from output=surface to output=opengl, you only have to alter the main dosbox.conf setting to instantaneously alter all corresponding child profiles.
Just extract the DBGL archive to any dir and run the dbgl.bat file. Please note that you MUST have the Java Runtime Environment 1.5 installed, it will not work without the JRE1.5, or with an older version. Moreover, java.exe should be in your path. See http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index.jsp
The zip contains DBGL with some pre-configured templates and a DOSBox build which has Multiple Config Files support, so you can try that out.
Since the front-end was written in Java, it should be relatively easy to port to another platform. If anybody is interested in another build, I'll try to make one soon. Anyways, I'm releasing the sourcecode for the entire thingy as well, so please feel free to hack away.
Of course, bug-reports and/or suggestions are very welcome. Please let me know what you think!
P.S. If anyone can think of a less lousy name for this little toy, do not hesitate, share the thought!
DBGL is available at