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Omegamatrix

Organization of Roms and Revisions

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I've been through the public roms, and IMHO it needs standardization and someone to maintain it. Looking at it I found these issues:

 

- Old revisions of roms with the current latest and greatest public version of that rom missing. I tried Venture Reloaded and could tell right away that it is not RC3. Circus AtariAge was also old versions with newer ones missing. The Menu hacks are also older versions.

- I'm not sure who actually controls the public roms and who can replace roms as mentioned above. It might be @Al_Nafuur or someone else, but I'm not sure.

- Some authors publish multiple revisions really fast. I find it overwhelming to look at versions 1 through 19 of an early development. I would suggest keeping the latest only and removing the rest.

- It is difficult to tell folders from roms when the name is long. I would suggest maybe putting a folder symbol in front of a folder.

- This has been suggested in other threads, but I will also voice that global filters for roms should be an option. Perhaps NTSC, PAL, PAL60, SECAM.

- Some standardization for roms would be good in terms of capitalization, removing extensions, hiding NTSC/PAL/SECAM from the readible text (waste of line space) and so on. For example sometimes I have released roms as This_That but really for reading purposes it it is a space. I recognize grooming the roms is almost a full time job in itself, but the roms currently seem all over the place with some having folders, others not, etc...

- For roms that can change format the global filter will have to pick them out for them out for each setting.

 

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Hey @Omegamatrix I'm the one who's been handling the plus store and yes it's a full time project. @Al_Nafuur and I are still trying to find the best way to standardize everything and make sure stuff is up to date. If you happen to have any those things you mentioned that's missing any help would be appreciated.

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I did update the Venture Reloaded to the RC3, I have a hard time finding which Atariage Circus is the right one for the most recent. BTW I love Venture Reloaded, one of my favorite games to play for the system. Anything your willing to do to help me out would be much appreciated. To me the Public Roms area is a daunting task and it can be overwhelming. Thankfully PlusCart is very much is beta and gives us time to find what works best for the service

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54 minutes ago, Prizrak said:

Hey @Al_Nafuur if you know anyone who wants to tag team the public roms with me I'm cool with that. 

26 minutes ago, Omegamatrix said:

Thank you Prizrak! I'll send you some roms as soon as I organize it.

That's fine for me,  there are only 2 user in the ROM Admin group in Nextcloud 🙂

Currently @SvOlli volunteered for the Demo area.

So if you like, @Omegamatrix I can add you (or everyone else who volunteers), to the ROM Admin group too?

 

I recommend using the nextcloud client, so you can sync a local folder with the "public ROMs" area (and your private "My ROMs" area too).

 

btw. here are my suggestions for the TV modes:

 

 

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It would be cool if roms were autodetected for TV type, maybe in the near future. Currently and I'm sure it's a lot of work but maybe Roms could be organized like

 

Public Roms/NTSC/Homebrew

Public Roms/PAL/Homebrew

Public Roms/PAL60/Homebrew

 

Etc, like TV type is sub folders of Public Roms and then Categories

 

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I'm happy to help if you add me.

 

Prizark that is good idea and maybe we start with that. What I am wondering though is if something can be setup on the backend to do an MD5 checksum, and then associate attributes to the rom. This is what the Stella Emulator does. On the user interface side options could be selected to do filters such as NTSC, Paddle, and so on.

 

That way the rom names can be short and you can hide extensions. You could also populate the folders with the settings. So if I set my filter to NTSC when I go into a folder for Homebrews all that is there is NTSC roms. 

 

Properties should be split up in some cases. For example we have games that can change their format from PAL to NTSC to SECAM, and the rom is the same for each. So PAL, NTSC, SECAM, and PAL60 should be different fields in the properties so that you can indicate it supports multiple TV modes. Another example is some games support paddles and joysticks with the same rom (Astroblast).

 

What do you think @Al_Nafuur and @Prizrak and @Andrew Davie ?

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Omegamatrix said:

I'm happy to help if you add me.

Just added you to the "ROM Admin" group, you now have write permission in the "Public ROMs" folder. Note that all your changes are immediately effective for all PlusCarts!

 

27 minutes ago, Prizrak said:

It would be cool if roms were autodetected for TV type, maybe in the near future. Currently and I'm sure it's a lot of work but maybe Roms could be organized like

 

Public Roms/NTSC/Homebrew

Public Roms/PAL/Homebrew

Public Roms/PAL60/Homebrew

 

Etc, like TV type is sub folders of Public Roms and then Categories

I'm not a big fan of the "NTSC/PAL/PAL60/SECAM" folders. I would prefer one folder for all and hide the doubles, that not fit to the selected TV mode of the requesting PlusCart.
see my example here:

https://atariage.com/forums/topic/311315-filter-roms-to-pal-or-ntsc/?do=findComment&comment=4653991

11 minutes ago, Omegamatrix said:

What I am wondering though is if something can be setup on the backend to do an MD5 checksum, and then associate attributes to the rom. This is what the Stella Emulator does. On the user interface side options could be selected to do filters such as NTSC, Paddle, and so on.

 

That way the rom names can be short and you can hide extensions. You could also populate the folders with the settings. So if I set my filter to NTSC when I go into a folder for Homebrews all that is there is NTSC roms. 

 

Properties should be split up in some cases. For example we have games that can change their format from PAL to NTSC to SECAM, and the rom is the same for each. So PAL, NTSC, SECAM, and PAL60 should be different fields in the properties so that you can indicate it supports multiple TV modes. Another example is some games support paddles and joysticks with the same rom (Astroblast).

 

What do you think @Al_Nafuur and @Prizrak and @Andrew Davie ?

Such filters would be a very cool feature. In Nextcloud files can be tagged, so we could use this nextcloud feature for the filters, but it would be a lot of work to initially tag all ROMs with Tags like:
NTSC, SECAM, PAL, PAL60, Keypad, Paddle, Joystick, 2 Player, 1 Player, ....

For ROMs that support multiple TV formats multiple tags could be set.

 

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Stella also does some static autodetection of the controllers. Maybe you could copy from there and save some work in tagging. And if the filename contains PAL, SECAM, PAL60 etc. Stella uses that TV format.

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3 hours ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

Stella also does some static autodetection of the controllers. Maybe you could copy from there and save some work in tagging. And if the filename contains PAL, SECAM, PAL60 etc. Stella uses that TV format.

@Thomas Jentzsch could we use Stella and analyses (e.g. via a batch script) all ROMs in the "Public ROMs" folder locally ?

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I'm also rolling some ideas about maintaining a ROM collection in a community effort for a quite some time now, and the best thing I came up was to create a git(hub) repo with some rules what to put where and how to name it, so additions could be done by a group of admins and for everyone else via merge requests. For better visibility it could be added to the "stella-emu" group, or a newly created group like "atari 2600 homebrew collection".

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36 minutes ago, Al_Nafuur said:

could we use Stella and analyses (e.g. via a batch script) all ROMs in the "Public ROMs" folder locally ?

As long as you do not violate Stella's license, you can do whatever you want.

 

Credits would be nice. :) 

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12 minutes ago, SvOlli said:

I'm also rolling some ideas about maintaining a ROM collection in a community effort for a quite some time now, and the best thing I came up was to create a git(hub) repo with some rules what to put where and how to name it, so additions could be done by a group of admins and for everyone else via merge requests. For better visibility it could be added to the "stella-emu" group, or a newly created group like "atari 2600 homebrew collection".

I thought of using GIT for the PlusStore too, it would be perfect for maintaining the "Public ROMs" area. But it would be difficult for the "normal" users to add/maintain their private "My ROMs" area.

Maybe a hybrid solution with the public area in a GIT repro and the private user areas in a content collaboration platform like nextcloud.

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11 minutes ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

 

As long as you do not violate Stella's license, you can do whatever you want.

 

Credits would be nice. :) 

I don't want to use Stella's code. I wanted to know if I could use Stella's autodetection functions via the commandline?

 

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58 minutes ago, Al_Nafuur said:

I don't want to use Stella's code. I wanted to know if I could use Stella's autodetection functions via the commandline?

 

I found -rominfo <rom> and -listrominfo in the command line options of Stella. We could use this to analyze the files in the PlusStore repository and add tags (or Custom Properties) to the nextcloud Database.

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I have to ask @stephena (or check the code) what these params reveal exactly. I don't think they will run the auto detection code.

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I did a short test script to check how many ROMs in the PlusStore have a md5sum that is in Stella's rominfo list. It seems that 1446 of the PlusStore ROMs are in the Stella list and 3269 not. I can do a second script that checks the remaining 3269 unknown with the -rominfo command line option, but a few manually checks have shown that this option doesn't give reliable information about the ROM..

 

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Yeah this is not suprising given the volume of hacks. Many of those will never have had Stella properties made. For the original games it will have good coverage.

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@Prizrak, @Omegamatrix, @SvOlli
I think we should move the "Public ROMs" folder from my Nextcloud user account to a general maintenance account. I have blocked the usernames "Admin", "PlusStore" and "PlusCart" for such purposes. Which one shall we use?

 

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Not a clue 🤷 Something generic for now?

 

BTW I tried to do some organizing in the Homebrew category, maybe it looks a little better.

Edited by Prizrak

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10 hours ago, Prizrak said:

BTW I tried to do some organizing in the Homebrew category, maybe it looks a little better.

It does look a little better already. It is a daunting task though to sort the 1000's of WIP, hacks, etc... I like though that you started to consolidate it. I actually got an email from the PlusStore of the activity. Very nice!

 

I don't know if it is bad idead or good idea, but it just popped into my head of having a tag for the orginal game, i.e. Asteroids.

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Prizrak said:

Maybe, you mean to link hacks to the original game?
 

Yeah, if some type of filtering system could be set up on the pluscart then you could search by tags. But, thinking out loud I'm not sure of how it would be implemented or what the interface would be like. I mean would you have to type the whole word and it have to exactly match the spelling to work? That wouldn't be too pratical.

 

 

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