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DirtyHairy

Stellerator gets a new face

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After doing its service faithfully over four years, I am the current frontend code of Stellerator is being replaced with a shiny new, rewritten frontend. While the old frontend is still available at the usual place on github, the new frontend finally is ready to be used in its place. At some point, I will switch the frontends over The new frontend is accessible here: https://6502ts.github.io/stellerator-ng

 

The only feature still missing is gamepad support --- this will be coming back soon, together with support for remapping gamepad buttons. Also, the help page is not yet updated. Some of the improvements of the new fronted are:

 

  • New responsive UI that fully supports mobile devices. iOS devices work well; unfortunately, I have no Android devices for testing (however, last time I checked, the emulator still ran too slow on Android)
  • The UI size can be modified in the settings
  • The list of ROMs can now be searched and filtered
  • ROMs can be mass imported, either by selecting multiple ROMs in the file dialog, or by importing a zip file with multiple ROMs
  • Keyboard controls in the ROM list --- ROMs can be navigated with the arrow keys and launched via enter
  • Phosphor now is a per ROM setting

 

The emulation core is unchanged.

 

The new Stellerator works well as a progressive web app on iOS devices: just add the page to the homescreen in order to use it like any other app (including offline mode). This is the preferred mode of using it on iOS --- in Safari, zooming gestures cannot be disabled and the browser UI occupies space. As of iOS 13, the app can be suspended in the background and resumed without losing context. Supported browser are recent versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari. No IE. Probably no Edge, either 😈

 

I am looking forward to feedback from anybody who tests the new frontend.

 

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Edited by DirtyHairy
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I have published a new version (1.0.0-beta.3). Please note that it might take a few reloads (or even a browser restart) until the new version is picked up due to the local caching for offline use. You'll get a notification popup when the updated version is loaded for the first time. In addition, you can check the currently running version at the bottom of the help page.

 

The new version contains a few improvements, optimizations and bug fixes. Most notably, paddles (via mouse) work again, provided they are enabled for a game (I had forgotten to hook up the corresponding code. Ups :)). Furthermore, I have changed the license from GPL back to MIT. A visible consequence is the loading "curtain" on supercharger games --- that was taken from Stella, and I have removed it in order to steer clear of potential license compatibility issues. Of course, supercharger cartridges still work.

 

I have noticed that some games cause my mobile (iPhone 7 Plus) to head up to the point where it is throttled by the OS, and emulation speed drops. In that cases, it helps if you change the "CPU emulation" setting from "Instruction" to "Cycle". That settings uses less CPU resources, in particular on games that keep the 6507 busy most of the time, and the only game that I know to be incompatible with this setting is Pole Position. If you still have performance issues on some games, you can change Audio from "PCM" to "Waveform". The difference is almost inaudible on most games, but this mode will keep audio running smoothly even if emulation speed drops below 100%.

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