VOGONS


First post, by Minuous

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There have been various ports of DOSBox to Amiga. But none of these ports have included the source code or any possibility of obtaining the source code.

www.os4depot.net/emulation/computer/dosbox.lha (DOSBox 0.65CVS for AmigaOS 4.x)

www.aminet.net/misc/emu/DOSBox_0.63_MOS.lha (DOSBox_0.63 for MorphOS)

www.aminet.net/misc/emu/DOSBox_68k.lha (DOSBox 0.58 for AmigaOS 3.x)

www.aminet.net/misc/emu/dosbox_aros-i386.lha (DOSBox 0.61 for AROS-x86)

It looks like these programmers are wilfully ignoring the GPL. The effect of this is that every new version must be completely "re-ported", which leads to the current situation where the ports are not updated, eg. DOSBox 0.58 is the latest for AmigaOS 3.x (the platform with the largest userbase)). If sources for that version were available, they could be easily merged with the core source so that the emulator remains up-to-date.

Using such old and buggy versions of DOSBox will tend to lower the general opinion on the quality of DOSBox, means users have to put up with bugs and limitations that have already been fixed in the core source, and may even lead users to believe that it is a non-free, closed-source emulator.

To summarize, this is a blatant violation of the GNU General Public Licence. I think the core source programmers deserve to be informed about this so that they can take further action.

Reply 2 of 19, by Freddo

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Minuous wrote:

The effect of this is that every new version must be completely "re-ported", which leads to the current situation where the ports are not updated, eg. DOSBox 0.58 is the latest for AmigaOS 3.x (the platform with the largest userbase)).

It's also the slowest platform where the fastest CPU is a 50mhz 68060. Porting DOSBox to such platform doesn't really make much sense. Unless you enjoy a lot of stuttering, of course.

Reply 3 of 19, by DosFreak

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Hey, batch files should run fine on it!

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Reply 5 of 19, by Qbix

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are you sure it aren't just simple compiles of the code ?
DOSBox is portable by design. It doesn't require much modification to get it running.
If you want to support all features that dosbox can have then you might need to do some porting. (like low level cdrom support/ serial passthrough). but if you have GCC and a port of SDL then dosbox could/should compile without any modification.

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Reply 6 of 19, by Dominus

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It's sadly a common Amiga porter way of doing things. With Exult we had the same problem, nudged the porter over to our team to add his changes to CVS. After he had done this he seemed to have lost interest and no more version of his port saw the light 🙁

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Reply 7 of 19, by Minuous

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Wow, fast replies around here 😀

>It's also the slowest platform where the fastest CPU is a 50mhz 68060. Porting DOSBox to such platform doesn't really make much sense. Unless you enjoy a lot of stuttering, of course.

That's for hardware Amigas, emulated Amigas can run much faster. And slow emulation is better than none. Not everything has to run at full speed, eg. applications.

>are you sure it aren't just simple compiles of the code ?
DOSBox is portable by design. It doesn't require much modification to get it running.

It's hard to tell with no source code. There must be some amount of Amiga-specific code in these ports surely.

>It's sadly a common Amiga porter way of doing things. With Exult we had the same problem, nudged the porter over to our team to add his changes to CVS. After he had done this he seemed to have lost interest and no more version of his port saw the light Sad

I've noticed this too. But it doesn't matter much if they lose interest, as long as the source is available, because the next coder can pick up where they left off, there can be a chain of people each building on the previous achievements, without having to reinvent the wheel each time.

Reply 8 of 19, by wd

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I don't think they have to provide sources accessible, they just have to
make them somehow accessible on demand. Ie. you contact the author
and ask him about it, then he has to mail/upload them.

Reply 9 of 19, by collector

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Minuous wrote:

That's for hardware Amigas, emulated Amigas can run much faster. And slow emulation is better than none.

Which begs the question, outside of just for sh*ts and giggles, why would you want to run an emulator inside an emulator? Why not the right port of DOSBox for the host system?

Reply 10 of 19, by DosFreak

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I see some people using DosBox inside of parallels so they can use dyanmic core.

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Reply 11 of 19, by `Moe`

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wd wrote:

I don't think they have to provide sources accessible, they just have to
make them somehow accessible on demand. Ie. you contact the author
and ask him about it, then he has to mail/upload them.

The GPL states this:

http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html wrote:
3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the […]
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3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:
a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer to distribute corresponding source code. (This alternative is allowed only for noncommercial distribution and only if you received the program in object code or executable form with such an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.)

Which means they must either ship binaries and sources together, or must supply a written offer for the source code. If you got such a written offer yourself, you may forward it.

In the age of the web, putting binaries and source into the same download seems stupid, so there is this clarification:

http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html wrote:

If distribution of executable or object code is made by offering access to copy from a designated place, then offering equivalent access to copy the source code from the same place counts as distribution of the source code, even though third parties are not compelled to copy the source along with the object code.

Which means it is not enough to point to the official download server plus patches. You have to host the source code yourself, in the same place as the binary download can be obtained.

This is something not commonly known (I wasn't aware until a few weeks ago), and often disregarded. I bet most (if not all) dosbox CVS build distributors (including myself) violate the GPL in this respect, since we don't host the source code ourselves. Before pointing our finger at other people, we should do it correctly ourselves 😉

Reply 13 of 19, by `Moe`

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Minuous wrote:
>Which means they must either ship binaries and sources together, or must supply a written offer for the source code. If you got […]
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>Which means they must either ship binaries and sources together, or must supply a written offer for the source code. If you got such a written offer yourself, you may forward it.

There is no offer of sources in any of the documentation of the ports.

>In the age of the web, putting binaries and source into the same download seems stupid

Hmm, why? I would have thought it made more sense now than before, since we don't have to worry as much about what will fit on a floppy? For software up to a few Mb in size it seems better to include both in the same package. It will avoid all the problems we have been discussing. Giving a URL (nearly all of which go dead eventually) or written offer for a limited time means that the source will inevitably be lost. eg. the programmer might die, or the site is shut down, etc. I think the GPL is very weak in this area, this is one of the main reasons I don't use the GPL for my own software.

Surely at least it is reasonable to require that when a binary package is released to a file repository such as Aminet, that the source package is also released there?

A) Well, in that case, they are violating the GPL.

B) I rather see it that way: Classically, you get software on CD, and you have to get binaries + source. On the web, it is appropriate to simply offer two downloads, one source, one binaries, since this is the way the web works. This is allowed by the GPL (although not required, you could as well ship source+binaries in one package)

C) It is not just reasonable, it is a minimum requirement.

Reply 14 of 19, by MiniMax

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I have split off the discussion about Amiga hardware into a separate Milliways thread: Amiga hardware - old and new

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Reply 15 of 19, by icemann

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I`m with collector on this one. Why in the hell would you want to run an emulator within another emulator? The whole notion just seems ridiculous to me. The whole thing sounds like a weak excuse to have a bitch about something that isn`t even worth bitching about in the first place.

Your more than welcome to work on a port to the Amiga yourself though Minuous.

Till then just run dosbox by itself through windows, rather than running an amiga emulator and dosbox through that.

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Reply 16 of 19, by FeedingDragon

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Actually, someone gave a mostly complete reason for wanting to run an emulator inside another emulator, but it got moved with the topic split. UAE (and WinUAE,) are designed so that if you do it right, you can built a PC that boots straight into the emulation without direct access to the underlying OS.

Want an Amiga computer, but don't want to go through the hassle (or cannot afford some of the prices,) of collecting the no longer manufactured parts to build one? Build yourself a relatively inexpensive system, and have it boot straight into the Amiga emulation. With the right hardware, you can even set it up so that your floppy drive reads the Amiga disks as well (no messing around with adf images.) Though that last piece of HW is relatively expensive, it's the only expensive piece you need. SB16, 32 or 64mb video card, 64mb of system memory, 1.5ghz processor, 20gb HDD, CD-Rom, Floppy, Catweasel, and a MB and you are ready to go. Oh, and KB, Mouse, Monitor of course. Set it up with UAE, and you are good to go.

If you have the last stable version of DOS UAE, then it is extremely easy to set it up and get it running. And it would boot fairly quickly as well. Though, at this time, work on the DOS version seems to have completely stopped, and you would need to do a bit of searching to find it. Having 2 classic Amigas myself (an A2000 w OS 1.3 & 2.1 and an A4000 with OS 3.9) so I don't need to go this route. I do know how much it cost me to rebuild just one of my Amiga systems, and I could have built the unit I described above at half the cost (of just one of the Amigas,) at the most.

Feeding Dragon

Reply 18 of 19, by Thematic

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Hello. I have compiled Dosbox 0.70 for AmigaOS 4 - not a proper port, since some stuff that could be implemented, I've omitted - and will be uploading binary w/ the slightly modified source to OS4Depot soon. I did not use any of the work of the previous Amiga versions, simply because I did not even bother asking. 😜

I think it's, at least in places, noticeably faster than older builds, due improvements to both Dosbox and SDL.