[LisaEm] Status (was Re: disk sizes, organization, and bugs. )

From: Ray Arachelian <ray_at_email.domain.hidden>
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2007 22:41:29 -0500

Kallikak wrote:
> How's the next release coming on? The bug with bad disks getting
> stuck and the problems managing multiple configs are significant
> limiting factors for me at the moment, so I'm very interested in the
> next update. I hope it's getting close. :-)

It is. Short answer - hoping for end of this week.

I've fixed (I hope/think) the multiple preference files bug. I've converted the ImageWriter emulation code to a C++ class and it currently has the code to spit out a PNG image for every page, am working on spitting out a printout using the host OS's printing routines. Future additions might include spitting out PDF's. I'll have to think about this. The code is really page oriented, so it can't tell one document from another, but perhaps something can be built to merge several pages into a single PDF. There's a wxPDF library as part of the wxCode project that I've yet to play with.

Also I need some sort of printer configuration UI. i.e. setting the ImageWriter/ADMP dip switches, paper size, etc.

The next release will be 1.0 Beta and will be the first source code release - hopefully by end of this week. Was planning to release it earlier, but life got in the way and my attention was spent on other stuff. :-) Hopefully by opening up the source, it'll also allow for patches/features to be contributed to this project by others who know wxWidgets and are interested in the emulator.

To allow for a source release, I've written a set of installer scripts, which I've recently merged and I'm in the process of polishing. It's not quite the usual ./configure; make; make install. This is partially because wx-config provides all the requirements, so there's no need for autoconf/automake and partially because the Generator core requires a two phase build. The win32 version requires the wxdsgn.sourceforge.net version of the Dev-C++ 6.10 package which comes bundled with mingw and wxWidgets 2.7.x, and additionally a fairly complete install of Cygwin so as to be able to run build.sh This is actually a simpler build system than most. i.e. you'd extract the archive, then as root "cd lisaem; ./build.sh install"

The current code also moves the sounds out of the binary and into the install directory as WAV files, so if you wanted to you could replace it with your own. The graphics are still part of the binary (except on OS X, where they're png files as resource inside the lisaem.app folder and will remain that way), but they will be moved out eventually as well more than likely, but that's a future release.

Brian Foley is working on a faster/lighter version of the UI. It might make it into the very next release if it can be merged in time. Otherwise, one of the next releases. He has options for disabling the skins as well - which means that if you don't turn them on, the emulator will have a smaller memory footprint and a faster startup. The mockup I saw a few days ago from him is very promising.

There's some other minor stuff needed such as registering file types with the OS - i.e. .lisaem or something like it should be the extension for a preferences file. The idea is then that you'd double click on a configuration file instead of the emulator application itself and it would open and run the Lisa defined by that config. So you could have one for Macworks, another for LOS, another for LPW, etc. Brian's working on this on Os X I think. I'll have to figure out the magic registry invocations for windows, and also how to make a shortcut in windows so it can populate the start menu and put an icon on the desktop - usual stuff you'd expect from a civilized application.

James MacPhail wrote a very nice Lisa ROM dumper from some earlier crufty 68000 assembly code I've written. I'll try to finish this off and include it in the release, but it might be a slightly later release as well. It will grow into having other features such as disk and profile dumping as well. It will be a 400K Disk Copy image which you'll be able to write to a real floppy, then boot your Lisa from it, then transfer the ROMs over the serial port using a terminal program.

There's a nasty bug in wxFileSelector that caused crashes with the first preview release on XP. This is a bug that shows up in other platforms as well when passed filters such as "*.dc42". I'm looking to see if I can replace it. The wx2.8.0 docs no longer mention this function - at least for win32, so it sounds like its deprecated, so I'd want to replace it.

I have some howto docs as well, not too much, just how to get Lisa Office System and MacWorks installed - the bottlenecks here are basically that Brian and I are changing the code, so documenting it will be worthless as the screenshots and options will have changed by the time they're documented. :-)

Part of the reason for the lack of releases is that it takes me about four hours to build and test all of the versions before releasing them, so it tends to be a tedious and boring process - I'd rather do fewer releases which contain more features and bug fixes than release more often. :-)

There's about half a dozen more features to go before I'll consider this emulator complete in terms of the vision I've had of what I wanted to build, but they'll be released as future versions (i.e. 1.01, 1.2, 2.0, whatever.) But I think the next release will be a suitable beta of a 1.0 and perhaps a release candidate if it proves not to have too many bugs.

Speaking of which, are there any feature requests, or perhaps annoyances you'd like addressed beyond what was already discussed here? Received on 2007-02-18 22:41:31

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