The Old School Emulation Center

Hi all, as you can see we are still alive and here with a brand new TOSEC release at last! Since 2007 many things have happened, including a lot of unfortunate inactivity, as you all know, but also a number of exciting things:

- New Homepage: www.tosecdev.org
Unfortunately we have a bad tradition of loosing access to our sites/domains but we are trying to improve that. Our new URL is www.tosecdev.org, but the old tosec.org address will still redirect here. We also have a new forum there where you can contact us or discuss/contribute to the project (www.tosecdev.org/forum). There is also toseciso.org dedicated to the ISO branch of the project.

- IRC Channel:
If anyone is interested we still idle around in IRC but instead of Newnet we are know idling at ForeverChat network.

- TIM Discontinued:
TIM, the tool which was used long ago to do releases and maintain our databases is no longer maintained and has been discontinued. The tool was badly in need of modernisation and the advantages it gave were sadly not great enough to justify its upkeep. Future TOSEC releases (in the near term anyway) will be in clrmamepro *.DAT format. Roman’s excellent clrmamepro tool can be found here: http://mamedev.emulab.it/clrmamepro/.

- TNC Changes:
TOSEC Naming Convention has evolved several changes since 2007, the latest ones relating to country and language codes (now following proper ISO standards), " + " was dropped (when splitting groups) and a few more smaller changes (adding some descriptors, removing duplicated ones, and so on). The latest TNC can be found here: http://www.tosecdev.org/index.php/tosec-naming-convention.

- Members Departure:
Due to inactivity and real life a lot of our members formally active are now MIA, one of them being Grendel unfortunately. We are now a smaller team but also a better one in my view, with well defined objectives and will for correctness, which sometimes lacked in the last years.

- Datfile Changes:
2.5 years is a lot of time and naturally many changes have happened. Don’t expect a trillion new sets added however. Correcting existing issues and fixing mistakes has been our goal recently, in order to provide a solid base moving forward.

For example:
+ The entire TOSEC collection is now split into 3 branches (some probably know TOSEC-ISO already):
- TOSEC: The main collection covering disk, tape and ROM images
- TOSEC-ISO: Collection for optical disc based systems
- TOSEC-PIX: Collection covering magazines, manuals, adverts and other types of scans/art.
+ Categorization: Datfiles without a proper category ('Various') have now been split out/re-categorised properly, and the use of ‘Various’ has now been depreciated. Whilst we still do have a few ‘Various’ DATs remaining, we are working towards getting these remaining ones split too. Additionally, the category of 'BIOS' has now been replaced with 'Firmware' to more accurately reflect the types of images included.
+ We have corrected a number of the companies and/or systems names to better match reality, and all of our DATs should now properly follow the convention of "(Company) (System) – (Category)".
+ The biggest volume of changes will be the HUGE number of fixes of TNC errors and general errors (especially since a ton of errors have been around since early on in the project in some of the oldest DATs), but there have of course also been some new additions and even completely redone DATs or newly covered systems.

Future/Current Goals:
Our objectives now are much more related with correcting and expanding the information we already have, as well as covering older and less known systems. Therefore in the very short term, don't expect to see DATs increasing in volume hugely. Most importantly though, we really want to bring the project back to life properly and create a nice community again.

We’re currently focusing on:
+ Continue fixing existing DATs that still have incomplete or incorrect/unverified information.
+ Cover 'new' less known systems.
+ Have a (much!) more frequent release cycle than these last few years.
+ Create/maintain a source of valid/verified information for fields such as publishers, scene groups and so on. This might take forever but would be a great addition to our project and give us the opportunity to improve correctness by checking not only naming convention rules but also content inside many flags.

-Last But Not Least:
Come and check out the new site, peruse the forum and GET INVOLVED! :)

TOSEC Project.
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