Homebrew A Call for Open Source [aka MSXDS Source Where Art Thou?]

wavemotion

Benign Geek
OP
Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
727
Trophies
1
XP
5,200
Country
United States
So I've been playing a lot with MSXDX and ZXDS over the last couple of weeks. Both are really great emulators for the DS. ZXDS is really polished - the ability to customize the controls has me thinking I need to do better on the Atari Emulator side (I do provide some helpful options on XEGS-DS but not the others). The most notable help comes in the form of being able to map the Up and Down arrows to buttons. Jumping by pressing UP sucks - it was always kinda bad with a real joystick "back in the day" but it's made worse by the D-PAD of the DS. Using one of the otherwise unused X,Y,A,B buttons for UP makes these games much more playable. Witness Alley Cat on XEGS-DS which is very much un-fun when played without mapping the A button to UP.

MSXDS unfortunately doesn't have a ton of configuration in the keys (mostly just selecting Joystick 1,2 or keyboard/cursor).

Also, it bugs me that the file listings take so long (more than 5 seconds to load 400 entries... and they aren't even sorted!). For the Atari emulators, I figured out how to speed that up so I can load 1000+ filenames in less than a second (and they sort properly).

So I figured I'd just go find the MSXDS source code, make these changes and maybe add command-line input so @Robz8 could call it in the future from TWL++ menu if he wanted and release an improved version of the emulator back into the world.

But the sources are no where to be found. I also had a bit of trouble even locating a contact link for popolon (one of the primary authors). In many cases the sources these (now closed source) emulator ports were open source - the irony of this is not lost on me.

So I was struck by the lack of freely available sources on these emulators. It's not like anyone makes money on this stuff - the whole purpose is to provide useful tools for gaming to the community of retro-enthusiasts. Even on the Atari front, I had to kinda beg-and-borrow sources that were not released (fortunately Alek still had them and was kind enough to email them). I guess I understand some resistance to releasing code - maybe you don't feel it's finished (hint; it's NEVER finished). Maybe you don't want others to criticize your work (hint: anyone willing to help improve it will never criticize the herculean efforts you've done so far). Maybe you think others will tinker with it and make changes and claim credit (hint: it took a decade for someone to come along and be interested enough to improve the Atari emulators and hopefully we can agree this was above-board improvements with proper credit to the giants of the past).

Not much point to this post except to say that it's a shame more sources aren't available. I have the ability and desire to improve this emulator - but not the means as the code isn't anywhere I could find. If you're an emulation author - please consider putting your code up on GitHub or similar and let the world have a chance of extending the legacy. It's one of the kindest things you can do for the retro community at large.
 
Last edited by wavemotion,

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
35,499
Trophies
2
Website
trastindustries.com
XP
25,343
Country
United Kingdom
If we can hack controls for games it stands to reason that such a thing could be done for homebrew.
Most times with source available then it makes sense to go there instead but hey.
If there is some measure or remapping as well then it could be one of the easier ones, though unused buttons means you could probably do the basic cheat approach with a debounced section and just copy the state of the Y button or whatever to it.
 

cloudstr

Member
Newcomer
Joined
Apr 11, 2019
Messages
18
Trophies
0
Age
32
XP
130
Country
Vietnam
Yes, email has been sent!

Hey @wavemotion, I managed to find popolon's eBay account! He seems to be a longtime and well known seller with very high feedback score. :)
https://www.ebay.com/usr/popolon_fr

If you get in touch with him through eBay (click Contact) there's a very GOOD chance he'll respond to you, probably a lot more than trying to contact via his sub email !
 
Last edited by cloudstr,

Deleted member 514389

GBA Connoisseur
Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
510
Trophies
0
Location
the toolshed
Website
f.ls
XP
753
Country
Germany

cloudstr

Member
Newcomer
Joined
Apr 11, 2019
Messages
18
Trophies
0
Age
32
XP
130
Country
Vietnam
Yes, email has been sent!

@wavemotion, good new here!!! popolon_fr is waiting for your confirmation before sending you the source code. He only wants to share the file for you because I am an outsider :P

Check your inbox and pm him, hurry!
 

Attachments

  • Popolon-fr message.png
    Popolon-fr message.png
    69.6 KB · Views: 22
General chit-chat
Help Users
    KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName: sorry shes on the line with me your mom will get back to you later