Author Topic: MESS and fixed software lists  (Read 7599 times)

Offline PandMonium

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MESS and fixed software lists
« on: January 13, 2010, 01:28:51 AM »
Hi all,

Most of you probably already know that for a long time MESS developers have discussed about the possibility of having fixed lists in MESS, in a similar way to what happens in MAME. I don't know all the details and could be wrong but from what i've read before, the goal was to have a fixed list of good dumps, running away to the console/computer rom mess (:P) we have today, with tons of formats and garbage, which will benefit devs and users. They have discussed about new dumps, the lists and lot more so if anyone with a bit more time and interest want to read: http://www.bannister.org/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=57572 .

In my view, and not knowing all the details (haven't had time to read it all) it seems a good idea, might have some disadvantages and i'm curious on how it will be done, which sets will be listed (especially on computers since fixed lists seem more logical to console stuff), how they will be named in the end (8.3 for all parents?), how will they support unknown sets/homebrew, will the lists be organized in "categories" for some systems, are they new dumps, the format and a ton of other things, but in the end and if it all goes well it can sort the things in emulation outside arcade and optical media.

So, why am i posting it here? So we can discuss it, let people know it (those who didn't), share a bit more information if anyone has some and especially talk about how will we handle it, better to be prepared and well organized than just decide things on the fly as usual. :P

If that happens (and i guess it really will now), those sets will end up in tosec someday, it all depends on how they will be but one thing that would be important is to in some way keep the original mess names, if they are in 8.3 i guess in more info flag for example (if they were longer with more details and followed some rules, possibly a conversion could be done). Should they be present in new dats/categories ( - MESS, for example), or somehow inserted in the existent ones, i also have no idea on what the lists will contain, if there will be a MESS software list for a system, with all genres (so in computers it could become a bit confusing with software varying from programs, games, to operating systems and so on. Will they be newer/perfect dumps or in some cases they there will be sets that are already in on other dats.

Those are some of my doubts, hope i'm not completely wrong in some and don't want to look like a complete idiot but i really haven't had time to read it all and i'm not sure on how will it work, anyway lets discuss this and wait to see what will come, hope they can do it and have great success :)



Offline idoru

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Re: MESS and fixed software lists
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2010, 02:09:44 PM »
It's similar to No-Intro in a way, that the goal is to include good/clean dumps only.  I suspect MESS will have an option where you can "force" it to load any file in the right file format otherwise homebrew/hacks/etc won't be able to be run & the emulation wouldn't be complete for computer systems - for consoles it would be much easier.  afaik the listings will be in 8.3 format & work exactly like a MAME datfile (see HazeMD as a sort of example).

It could be quite good, I've long thought about whether it's worth "removing the crap" so to speak from dats, this might make it worthwhile.

Offline PandMonium

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Re: MESS and fixed software lists
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2010, 02:45:32 PM »
Right what i thought it would be, for me it seems a good step specially on console front, a lot of my questions still remain until i have time to read it all.
As for the dats, our primary goal is to catalog/identify what is around so people could see that their sets suck or were good, in my opinion (and is one of my goals), we could also provide "filtered dats" or a tool to do so, it isn't hard to do at all (if i had a bunch of free time i could do it in dat explorer for example) and would give a lot more possibilities to users, to choose between having the full dats or one with only [!], or excluding bad/under/over/virus/alt dumps or any other combination (i know there will always be people wanting the full stuff).

Other idea (from the hundreds i have ;D) would be to also provide some sort of dats in XML format, again i know that from the POV of renamers it may suck / make it harder to edit, but in other ways it would extend the data easy accessible to others willing to use our information, i'm talking about an extended XML format, not just setname/romname but also to include all information well organized (title, date, publishers, bla bla).
Anyway this is just another idea that and i know there are drawbacks like the renamers part and the increase in datfile sizes.

As for the MESS part, lets see how it goes and would be willing to help out if something was needed.

Offline idoru

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Re: MESS and fixed software lists
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2010, 03:12:48 PM »
the ability to remove bad/hacks/alts/virus etc. from the dats was on the old website for a short amount of time - this was an intention of the project, the problem with tape or disk based systems is it's harder to create a "verified" good image than from a rom cartridge & therefore who decides which that is from all the alt's out there without playtesting everything 100%.  eg. [a5] could potentially be the only 100% functioning version.

just because bad dumps exist shouldn't mean we all need/want to collect them ;)

Offline PandMonium

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Re: MESS and fixed software lists
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2010, 03:44:12 PM »
Yes, in that way i think this MESS initiative could be great in fact, helping to sort that out and knowing (i hope it is possible) which [a] is the original/most common/verified/bla. Off course they will probably just adopt the better existent format or go with newer ones and new dumps in some cases so this it wont be always helpful but it is something.
I badly remember that system but have seen it in internet archive (static version obviously), still after being able to parse any setname that follows our convention it is +- trivial to generate dats excluding / including sets under certain rules, would be a great addition to have and in the future with the advance of some other ideas it could be came even better / more complex.

For now i'm just curious on how MESS will handle all this :)

Offline niallquinn

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Re: MESS and fixed software lists
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2010, 04:21:27 PM »
I read about it the other week, and I thought, oh flip, here we go.  Converting 2TB of isos to chds for the console stuff!!!

:)


Offline Aral

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Re: MESS and fixed software lists
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2010, 09:53:25 AM »
I started a project a while ago to convert scene Amiga DMS files to adf and to check them against the TOSEC dat of the time.  I found that 90% of the files i converted matched either the original file or the first [a] file.  Taking that into account it could be safe to presume that most of the original amiga ADF's were probably converted from the scene DMS file.  Also being that the scene DMS files are untouched from the day the game was cracked these files would be the best to use if one was to remove all the shit from the ADF dat :)

Going back to the original question i will have a chat to robbbert from the MESS crew about the possibility of them using the TOSEC dumps as the basis for their MESS testing and development.  It would then give us a goal to ensure that all the good stuff on the net is brought into the dats and then the existing broken shit is removed ;)

Offline idoru

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Re: MESS and fixed software lists
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2010, 06:25:44 PM »
i suspect MESS would use the IPF's in preference to ADF's, but of course they don't cover everything.  With the introduction of KyroFlux the IPF format should open up to other floppy disk formats fairly quickly as well, SPS already have a fair number of IBM PC & Atari ST dumps done with the original Amiga based copytool, but these & others should grow quite quickly with any luck with the newer easier method.

i know MESSdev were using TOSEC-ISO CD-i dumps in testing from a prior conversation

Offline haynor666

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Re: MESS and fixed software lists
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2010, 06:27:35 PM »
What about hash base in MESS? It was generated form Good Tools right?

Offline idoru

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Re: MESS and fixed software lists
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2010, 09:46:06 AM »
I'm sure there's a fair amount of correlation between Good & MESS, seeing as Cowering's part of MESSdev.

Offline haynor666

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Re: MESS and fixed software lists
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2010, 12:18:47 PM »
Actually some hashes are from GoodTools like Atari 2600 -> " This MESS HASH file was auto-generated from Cowering's Good2600 database (V3.14)" but some from TOSEC sets like EACA -> "EACA Colour Genie EG-2000 (TOSEC-v0.22)"

MAME pass 8+3 naming convention and eventually extended scheme a bit. It might very hard to rename so many files in 8+3 scheme.

Offline idoru

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Re: MESS and fixed software lists
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2010, 05:10:59 PM »
CRC32.ext & hope for no checksum clashes :P

Offline PandMonium

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Re: MESS and fixed software lists
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2010, 05:32:42 PM »
It might be hard, specially in computer systems with so many kinds and quantity of software.
Afaik they will use the 8.3 only for parents which might help in consoles, still i guess they will only add some main stuff for computer (at least for now) lets see how it ends, crc.ext seems great :D