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What's missing in RockNES?
Poll ended at Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:28 pm
A Windows style interface, with menus. 53%  53%  [ 9 ]
Allegro sucks. 6%  6%  [ 1 ]
Your emulator sucks at all. 6%  6%  [ 1 ]
Gimme da sources n0w. 24%  24%  [ 4 ]
Your emulator rocks, but I prefer another one. 12%  12%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 17
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:50 am 
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Zepper wrote:
3. User interface. It's old, and what's wrong with it? What's the problem of being that way? "Modern" people will never enjoy the oldies, like only playing PS4 instead of good Atari 2600 games, as example?

This is not about being modern, it's about usability. The first thing most people do when getting a new emulator is change the settings to their liking... video, controllers, and so on. This step feels very clunky in your emulator, and this doesn't leave a very good first impression.

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Stella has no Windows interface, and it's still a great emulator!

That's true, but it too is a bit clunky to use. It makes up for this by offering very configurable video and a great debugger, even though it's presented in a really weird way, with everything packed in a single screen with tabs for a few extra things. People still use it despite the awkward interface because it offers things that other emulators don't.

The market for NES emulators is kinda saturated, so you really need to offer something other emulators don't if you want any attention, specially if you have flaws to make up for. We already have accuracy elsewhere, we already have great user interfaces elsewhere, we already have good debugging tools elsewhere. Why would we put up with flaws that bother us if we're not getting anything new?

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5. Debugger. Wait a second. In fact, you can't add breakpoints or view a memory region, but the emulator brings a disassembler and points to the current instruction once you open it. All the flags and CPU memory are exposed. So, what's up?

A static disassembly is hardly useful. Can you at least step through the code and watch the CPU state change as the program runs? You're also neglecting a HUGE post of NES debugging, which is the PPU. When developing or analyzing existing games, we need to know what the name tables look like, what's mapped in the pattern tables, which sprites are used where, what palettes are being used. And, ideally, we want to *modify* all of those things in real time, and see the impact of those changes in the game.

FCEUX does it really well with CPU debugging, but the PPU side could be much better if it included sprite debugging and allowed real-time modification through the interface.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:15 am 
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Zepper wrote:
3. User interface. It's old, and what's wrong with it? ... Just tell me what could be improved.

I gave you a list of things that could be improved about it in my first post. I did call Allegro's GUI old, but that's not a reason for it being bad by itself. Probably the most important thing the GUI has to do is be able to find the ROM file to open, and Allegro's file dialog is atrocious. It even broke down once I got to "My Documents" and couldn't even navigate to the folder I keep my ROMs. Did I mention that it crashes when I select fullscreen?

Zepper wrote:
4. After reading a few other comments, people are very sensitive and really are "attactted" for things that everyone repeats as "the most accurate" or "the best one", an essence of advertising more and more.

Nobody in this thread say anything at all about the accuracy of RockNES. What comments are you referring to?

Zepper wrote:
5. Debugger. Wait a second. In fact, you can't add breakpoints or view a memory region, but the emulator brings a disassembler and points to the current instruction once you open it. All the flags and CPU memory are exposed. So, what's up?

Okay, so how do I stop on the piece of code I'm interested in, and then step through it to see what the CPU is doing?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:32 am 
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Zepper wrote:
1. Open source thing. Other than portability, give me reasons for it. If you want to compile & fix yourself, why not joining the project?

2. Windows only. Well, how many of you are using Unix/Linux? MacOS? Ouch, that incident with Mr. Bannister wasn't nice.
I use Linux exclusively, since 2006.

As for not using closed source, it simply cannot be trusted. For all we know, your binary includes an altcoin miner, cryptolocker malware, a MBR corrupting virus, child porn planter, *and* a Windows 10 installer.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:36 am 
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FCEUX is too damn good.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:37 am 
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Regarding the interface, it is not the fact that it looks old or something like that. If this was the case, why would we be programming for the nes anyway? :lol: So your argument about PS4 and things like that felt short to me.

What is important to any software is the first impression, plain and simple. How to you think Microsoft gained market share in the first place? Even though the interface may work and does the job the current interface feels awkward and people will just quit using it. You should know that people have short attention span so if you don't get their attention right away, they will just use the next one that feel easier for them. Engineer/Developer may not mind about that and puts up to it but normal people don't. So basically the interface sells your emulator, simple marketing. If I remember well you are a teacher, right? Like students, you need to get people interested and the UI is the first thing they will see and gets their attention, not how accurate it is.

So either you improve the interface so your custom UI becomes so awesome that people won't give a damn about the fact it doesn't follow the native windows look or you just bite the bullet and change the UI to windows. If it does work in wine properly it doesn't matter if it's a native mac osx, linux or not (I use all 3 os in many scenario and don't care as long the app does the job).

A did a little bit of research and it seems possible to use allegro with wxWidgets so it could be a solution. Of course it will be a pain at the beginning to figure out all the quirks but I think it would make quite a difference.

As for open source, it's your call. Doesn't have to be, that is just politics and I don't want to get into that.

As for your answer, just be careful how you answer since yes, you feel defensive and that makes people feels why are we taking the time to give our opinion if this is the kind of answer we will receive. It could be a non English native thing so I take the comment meaning with a grain of salt (I sometime do some "hard" comment by accident in Japanese so I know it is sometime involuntary ;)).


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:16 am 
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Zepper wrote:
1. Open source thing. Other than portability, give me reasons for it. If you want to compile & fix yourself, why not joining the project?

Portability, ability to continue the project should you retire or be forcibly removed from the project, and ability to verify that it does not contain malware. Not everybody does read the source; compare the promises of "many eyes make bugs shallow" to the reality of Heartbleed. But if at least one person can, posting source code is a signal of good faith.

Quote:
2. Windows only. Well, how many of you are using Unix/Linux?

I use X11/Linux on my laptop, as does calima. I also use Android (which uses Linux as its kernel) on my Galaxy Tab A tablet, and a lot of people use Android phones with a USB or Bluetooth gamepad and HDMI output.

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After all, do you wanna play the games or enjoy the interface?

The former. But the former requires the latter if the current interface interferes with starting the games, such as if it requires a magnifying glass to see anything or if the user fails to configure the input or video.

Quote:
Just tell me what could be improved.

As mentioned above: Drag and drop, larger fonts, and exclusion of non-ROM file types from the file chooser.

Quote:
5. Debugger. Wait a second. In fact, you can't add breakpoints or view a memory region, but the emulator brings a disassembler and points to the current instruction once you open it. All the flags and CPU memory are exposed. So, what's up?

In FCEUX for Windows and Wine, I use breakpoints, memory viewer, pattern table viewer, and nametable viewer.

Banshaku wrote:
How to you think Microsoft gained market share in the first place?

Its market share since about 1982 is a result of being in the right place at the right time with IBM. Did you mean prior to that, when it was best known for its BASIC interpreter?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:49 pm 
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I use my PowerPak to play games, FCEUX for debugging, and Nintendulator to quickly test raster effects. I have, in the past, modified FCEUX to play around with custom mappers. There hasn't been a good reason for me to try any other emulators.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:19 pm 
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If I'm not mistaken, the only time I tried RockNES was to get a simulation of Dendy audio with swapped duty cycles. In other words, to use a feature that was absent from existing NES emulators.

This feature is worth trying once but not something you'd want permanently, so I didn't use RockNES again since, and especially not since a FCEU hack having that same feature was released.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:22 pm 
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Fine, fine.
Suggestions taken.

Thanks for the feedback. It was constructive, really. :beer: :beer:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:46 pm 
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By Zepper's request, the August 2016 round of feedback has concluded. For further feature requests or bug reports, feel free to open a new topic.


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