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stephena

Stella 3.9.1 released

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I'm super happy/excited to the continuation of this superb emulator ;-)

Aside, I am wondering why you intend to jump on SDL 2.0 as soon as possible(?) ?

To me, it seems that will just keep numerous people from compiling it on there main systems (such as debian for example).

Does SDL 2.0 have substantial benefits over 1.2 ?

Just curious.

Keep up the splendid work, it helped me soo much in getting timings and things right,

Martin

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SDL 2.0 will fix quite a few issues in Stella. The most important one is that the rendering can be fully hardware accelerated without having to use OpenGL specifically (since in Windows, Direct3D often works better). Of course in Linux and OSX, it will still use OpenGL. That's from the users' POV. From my POV, it makes the code much simpler, since I don't have to maintain two separate rendering engines (software and OpenGL); I can just pass the framebuffer to SDL and let it render as quickly as possible, using the best possible underlying functionality on each system. It will also allow easy porting to Android and iOS.

 

There are many other nice things in SDL 2.0, like copy-paste support, etc. And over the years, much of the platform-specific functionality I've added to Stella was modeled on SDL, so now that SDL2 has it, I can discontinue that code. The less code I have to write and maintain, the better (for me).

 

And then there's the issue of SDL1.2 and Xcode in OSX. SDL1.2 only really works with Xcode 3, and Xcode 3 has been discontinued for several years. So I need to keep an old install around, and this limits developers on that platform. SDL2 is for Xcode 4, which is supported on the very latest versions of OSX.

 

When I get around to doing the release, it will contain SDL statically linked where-ever possible, now that the license allows this. This will take care of people not having SDL2 installed on their system. And Ubuntu is due to have SDL2 in 13.10, so it shouldn't take too long for others to get it.

 

Finally, 'as soon as possible' will probably still mean December or so. So it's still quite some time away.

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Thanks for your comments and explanations.

I see there are many reason from your perspective. Accepted ;-)

So far I always compiled the SVN version and I most likely wont change my OS for this (but in principle I could at least ;-)

I always loved SDL and it might just take a little time ;-)

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I'll probably add instructions for compiling SDL in Linux as well. It's very easy, and if you can compile Stella, then SDL is no problem either. But this is far enough away that I can't say for sure what will happen yet. I may try to port to SDL2, and run into major issues that require upstream fixes. In any event, I won't release it until I'm sure everything works. That will be Stella 4.0, whenever it happens ...

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Im fine. In fact I just tried compiling sdl 2.0 which on THIS system worked considerably well. I was just wondering. Dont feel criticized or anything at all.

I just felt that it was rather unusual to make use of such a brand new library and witnessed it in several projects.

If it helps you, that's all I need to know :)

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I just felt that it was rather unusual to make use of such a brand new library and witnessed it in several projects.

 

 

The main reason being, that SDL1.2 is old. It's based on concepts in graphics rendering that haven't really been relevant for almost 10 years at this point. It was created and popularized before video hardware acceleration was common-place. Today, even the slowest, crappiest type of computer sold has acceptable hardware acceleration for low-end games and emulators.

 

So what happened is, over the years people using SDL1.2 have added code to their own projects that filled in the gaps in SDL. Eventually, this meant writing platform-specific code, which is exactly what using SDL was supposed to eliminate! Now that SDL2 is available and fixes most (all?) of these shortcomings, people are probably going to flock to it.

 

And something else to consider: SDL2 has been in development for years. So although it looks like a new release (and it is for the general public), it's not exactly new from a programmer POV.

 

I don't mind answering these questions, and I don't take it as criticism. I always try to state my plans for Stella, but I'm trying not to give release dates anymore, because I almost always miss them :)

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Can i make a quick GUI request please? Would it be possible to mark favourites in the ROM list window? There are a lot of TOMs to trawl through sometimes. Just an asterisk to the left of the games name or even just mark the game name in bold text. Perhaps a 'Recent Games' list too?

 

Regardless of your response, if any, I'm thankful for your work on this and when I leave this God forsaken place (China) I'll drop you a wee Paypal gift. Afterall, without you I wouldn't be able to play any Atari at all just now... :)

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Since Stella understands directories and VCS roms are tiny, I just keep a separate directory called favorites.

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