ANN: RobyDosBox 0.2 Released

Schedules and announcements about program releases.

ANN: RobyDosBox 0.2 Released

Postby Qbix » 2005-4-04 @ 19:10

Ferreri Alessio has created a new frontend: RobyDosBox.
It's a minimalistic frontend.
You can download it from
http://dosbox.sourceforge.net/download.php?main=1
under tools


Feel free to try it and post comments here.
Last edited by Qbix on 2005-4-11 @ 18:28, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Qbix
DOSBox Author
 
Posts: 9765
Joined: 2002-11-27 @ 14:50
Location: Fryslan

Re: ANN: RobyDosBox 0.1 Released

Postby C13 » 2005-4-04 @ 21:30

Hello there, i'm the creator of the program.

Some news about the new version that i'm working on.

1) Sound configuration (Rate, etc..)
2) Scale configuration
3) .dosbox extension that can allow the user to start a determined program within dosbox from within the Windows Shell, all with a simple double click.
4) Graphics change for the front-end using some free component founded on the net ;)

If you have any suggestion, critic or bug founded, just tell me on this topic. :)

Stay tuned, i think that i'll make the new version available for the end of the week or in less time (i hope :D)
C13
Newbie
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 2005-4-04 @ 21:22

Re: ANN: RobyDosBox 0.1 Released

Postby `Moe` » 2005-4-05 @ 00:09

I like your program very much - it's simple, and there are _not_ many options, that's the best I've ever seen.

As you say, sound rate is important. There are several config settings, and to have one single slider or dropdown to choose between 16000/22050/24000/32000/44100/48000 kHz sampling rate (for all of them at once) would be great, as sound sampling rate can have a huge effect on dosbox speed.

Perhaps you can also add output= settings, as some users encounter bugs with the default "surface", and there isn't a single setting that's good for everyone. But really, to have as few options as bearable is what I like about your current version. Perhaps output= settings could be hidden like ems= and xms= behind some "Troubleshooting" button, while frameskip, cycles and sound rates could be hidden behind a "performance tuning" button, so users instantly know when they would need advanced options.

BTW, as defaults I have found 22050 kHz and 15000 cycles with dynamic core make a good start for many games and give decent compatibility. Most users should be able to use such settings (probably from 1GHz on upwards)

But these are just my humble suggestions, please treat them only as such - it's unlikely I'll use your program. I might install it on friends' PCs - it's really hard to explain d-fend to many of them, too complex.
User avatar
`Moe`
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1169
Joined: 2004-4-29 @ 01:06
Location: Oldenburg, Germany

Re: ANN: RobyDosBox 0.1 Released

Postby C13 » 2005-4-05 @ 05:30

Very thanks for your suggestion, i'm working right now for a new disposal of the options, and for a new way to explain every options to everyone.

Yes, i'm working also for a Expert area for who is already expert and want more configuration options like ems, xms or other.

Another thing, i'm working on a new format (.dosbox) that will allow to run a program in dosbox from within the windows shell just with a double click. The .dosbox format will be a archive format just like zip or rar, and it will contain the configuration and the program files selected by the user. What did you thing about this?
C13
Newbie
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 2005-4-04 @ 21:22

Re: ANN: RobyDosBox 0.1 Released

Postby eL_PuSHeR » 2005-4-05 @ 10:10

C13 Welcome to the forum! I do not usually use Front-ends but I have tested yours and I liked it.

C13 wrote:Another thing, i'm working on a new format (.dosbox) that will allow to run a program in dosbox from within the windows shell just with a double click. The .dosbox format will be a archive format just like zip or rar, and it will contain the configuration and the program files selected by the user. What did you thing about this?


It seems like a good idea for newbies. But leave it OPTIONAL. I don't like to have my folders cluttered.

As for 'Moe' suggestions, I find them very interesting. OMG, I regularly run DOSBox at 44100Hz for sound sampling rate because I don't like how internal speaker sound at 22050Hz. But I agree that increasing quality of samples is just a CPU hog. 99% of games wouldn't go beyond 11025Hz anyway.
User avatar
eL_PuSHeR
Moderator
 
Posts: 6315
Joined: 2003-6-20 @ 16:39

Re: ANN: RobyDosBox 0.1 Released

Postby C13 » 2005-4-05 @ 11:30

Thanks for your welcome.

I will integrate with the installshield an optional component for this feature, but it will not be integrated as default. (you can select it from the custom installation panel)
I've completed all the feature requested (sound and scaler and some other), and i've fixed the bugs reported, now i'm working on this new feature. If i have time i can make the new version available from tonight.

So Stay tuned ;)

(when i'm done making the new version i'll registrate for a project on sourceforge and i'll publish the sourcecode freely)
C13
Newbie
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 2005-4-04 @ 21:22

Re: ANN: RobyDosBox 0.1 Released

Postby `Moe` » 2005-4-05 @ 12:25

I'm using dosbox on linux, and I have written a bunch of scripts that do what you seem to have in mind with your dosbox-archive-format. Perhaps you like some ideas of my system, so let me explain:

Games are plain archives. I use 7-zip (http://www.7-zip.org, free open source) since it has superior compression ratio and is free (as in speech and beer), and is lately getting multiplatform as well.

Inside such archives, there is just the game, plus some control files starting with a colon. (":" is a valid character for filenames on linux) That makes it easy to spot those control files, and since the colon is not valid in DOS, dosbox games can't possibly access them.

The control files are only a few:

":dosbox.conf" contains dosbox settings, but only those that must be changed from my self-chosen defaults. Sometimes it's a single line "core=normal", sometimes it's "cycles=3000" to slow down the game. The point is to have a default config that works well with most games, and store just the problematic settings inside the game archive. That way, I can run the same file on a slow or a fast machine, a windows or linux box, one with hardware MIDI or softsynth, and so on. That default dosbox.conf also mounts the current (also called "working") directory as drive C and the CD-ROM as drive D.

":tools" contains additional tools that can be run. A map editor, a cheat program, or the sound setup, for example. Each program one line, Name first, then a tab, then the DOS command line to start it.

Finally, there is "!start.bat", which must be accessible from DOS, that's why the name starts with "!" instead of ":". For most games, it's just one line: the name of the game's main executable. Sometimes, however, there is more to be done. One game needs a CD image, another one may have some config prompts at startup which I want to skip automatically (see my ADDKEY patch on sourceforge if you like that idea), one might need cwsdpmi loaded first, and so on.

The default dosbox.conf does mounting, as I already said, and then calls !start.bat - no deep magic, but works like a charm.

I plan adding a screen shot in there as well, for the GUI menu.

The menu extracts such a game when it is started, and when the game exits, it searches the game dir for modified files. It compares the time stamp to the time when the game was started, all files modified after that are considered savegames and are zipped up in an extra archive (so you don't have to recompress all 100MB of System Shock over and over again ;) ). Of course, when such a savegame-archive exists, it will be extracted when that game is run next time.

I'd love to show what I've done, but it only works with KDE (on linux, freebsd and other unixens).
User avatar
`Moe`
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1169
Joined: 2004-4-29 @ 01:06
Location: Oldenburg, Germany

Re: ANN: RobyDosBox 0.1 Released

Postby C13 » 2005-4-05 @ 13:03

really nice idea, but i've in mind another thing.

Well, it's really simple and can help many people.

The .conf file of dosbox can be exported from my app as .dosbox and then can be run by shell all without opening my application just like an executable (the shell open my application that recognize this request and send the information to the real Dosbox all without the user notice).

This is very useful. For example, a user can't find a way to start it's favourite game, he ask on the forum and someone gives him a .dosbox file and he can finally play the game.

Naturally the .dosbox format can be modified from inside the program if the user want.
C13
Newbie
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 2005-4-04 @ 21:22

Re: ANN: RobyDosBox 0.1 Released

Postby `Moe` » 2005-4-06 @ 00:41

That won't work. A full dosbox.conf is not transferrable. Things like cycles, output, mixer rate, scaler and other options must be tuned differently for each machine. That's why my scripts only store key settings, i.e. those settings that make a crucial difference, like "ems=false" or similar. When the given program is started, the scripts read my machine's default dosbox.conf, change the few settings from the game archive and run dosbox with the resulting config.
Just an example: If I happen to have the wrong video driver loaded, a dosbox.conf with "output=opengl" will crash my machine. Yet, other people only ever get decent performance with opengl. Likewise, cycle settings is usually a machine-dependent thing: my box runs almost all games with at least 35000 cycles fine. Most users will probably not be able to run a dosbox.conf from me.
User avatar
`Moe`
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1169
Joined: 2004-4-29 @ 01:06
Location: Oldenburg, Germany

Re: ANN: RobyDosBox 0.1 Released

Postby C13 » 2005-4-06 @ 04:59

I have seen that for the 99% of the game and for 99% of machine can be run with a default configuration. I have at home 3 Machine :

1) Pentium 3 1133 Mhz (Nvidia TNT2)
2) Pentium 4 Mobile 2400 Mhz (Radeon 9100 IGP)
3) Athlon64 3200+@4000+ (2.6 Ghz) (Radeon 9600)

And with a default configuration made by me, i can run almost every old game that i have (i have more than 300 old games).
I agree with you that in this way the Athlon64 don't use all its power but every game seems playable without problem even on the P3. o_
C13
Newbie
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 2005-4-04 @ 21:22

Re: ANN: RobyDosBox 0.1 Released

Postby `Moe` » 2005-4-06 @ 09:40

Yeah, but there's a difference. You say users should share their configs. Those configs will most probably not stick to the safe defaults but use whatever their box is capable of doing. That's asking for trouble, IMHO. It's not that difficult to read one file with partial settings and one file with the user's favourite config and merge those two.
User avatar
`Moe`
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1169
Joined: 2004-4-29 @ 01:06
Location: Oldenburg, Germany

Re: ANN: RobyDosBox 0.1 Released

Postby C13 » 2005-4-07 @ 15:59

well, the 0.2 version with bugfixes and the shell extension is completed, we have only to wait the beta tester checking.

Now i'm working on the 0.3 version. These are the major changes that i'll make (maybe some of them will move on the future version) :

1) Configuration corruption detection (if the configuration file was deleted or damaged)
2) Optional Expert area for advanced settings
3) Importing and Modifying tecnique for .dosbox file in the front-end.
4) Dynamic front-end who is capable of trasforming itself on the user need (showing or hiding some feature)
5) An automatic Updater for getting all the updates right from my server.
6) An Configuration storeplace (client-server) who will give the user the chance to download some TESTED configuration for the game on a determined machine. All the users will be able to post their configuration, but there will be a moderator who will accept or reject the configuration on the database.
C13
Newbie
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 2005-4-04 @ 21:22

Re: ANN: RobyDosBox 0.1 Released

Postby C13 » 2005-4-08 @ 12:00

The new version is out, you can get it from the dosbox homepage.
C13
Newbie
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 2005-4-04 @ 21:22

Re: ANN: RobyDosBox 0.1 Released

Postby user222 » 2005-4-08 @ 16:21

C13, why are you using an installer? Does it really need one? Why not just put RobyDosBox in a ZIP file?
user222
Member
 
Posts: 107
Joined: 2005-1-20 @ 12:47

Re: ANN: RobyDosBox 0.1 Released

Postby C13 » 2005-4-08 @ 16:40

yes, the 0.2 version need an installer for creating the shell extension on the system. (and then removing it at the uninstall)
C13
Newbie
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 2005-4-04 @ 21:22

Re: ANN: RobyDosBox 0.1 Released

Postby C13 » 2005-4-10 @ 20:16

new update from the development

1) Upgraded and modified the graphic of the program (now it's pretty nice :D)
2) Added the Configuration Corruption Detection
3) Added the importing of configuration
4) Modified the Front-End to be dynamic, the user now can move the panel, rearrange, hide, show, and manipulate all the front-end. :)

Now i'm working on a automatic updater and then i'll search for bugs, some visual enhancement and maybe i can make a new release.

Stay Tuned ;)
C13
Newbie
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 2005-4-04 @ 21:22

Re: ANN: RobyDosBox 0.1 Released

Postby eL_PuSHeR » 2005-4-10 @ 20:23

Hey Qbix!

Why not changing topic title to reflect latest version. It can be misleading. :cool:
User avatar
eL_PuSHeR
Moderator
 
Posts: 6315
Joined: 2003-6-20 @ 16:39

Re: ANN: RobyDosBox 0.1 Released

Postby C13 » 2005-4-10 @ 20:25

Here's some screenshot of the development

Here

Here's another screenshot after i've played with some configuration.

Here
C13
Newbie
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 2005-4-04 @ 21:22

Re: ANN: RobyDosBox 0.1 Released

Postby eL_PuSHeR » 2005-4-10 @ 20:31

Wow. Seems very nice. Good work! :cool:
User avatar
eL_PuSHeR
Moderator
 
Posts: 6315
Joined: 2003-6-20 @ 16:39

Re: ANN: RobyDosBox 0.2 Released

Postby C13 » 2005-4-11 @ 16:40

New update from the development

1) Completed the Automatic Update System.
2) Fixed some bugs.
3) Improved the graphics.

we are near to another release. :)
C13
Newbie
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 2005-4-04 @ 21:22

Next

Return to Release Announcements

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests