Software Support > controls.dat

dat redesign discussion

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Creating a thread to discuss how the dat needs to change.

I am going to start with the dat will be xml and possibly JSON.  The ini format is going because it is limiting.

I have a couple of ideas for the format. I will put some samples together. I am thinking the xml will be database-like. In other words there will be sections of the xml that can be used as a lookup table.  For example, one possibility is to ha e the list of control types - 8way joy, spinner, etc - has a separate node and then in the game i will link to the control via an I'd.

Anything we come up with I will provide a C# example of how to efficiently access the data.

The website is going to be redesigned also. I want to learn HTML5 and there is a bunch of new elements we can take advantage of. In my mind I can see how I want it to work, utilizing drag and drop, web storage, and other html5 things. :cheers:

Also I am thinking thw we sit will act like a social media site. There will be like/dislike on entries and that will determine if the entry stays in the dat. Some type of voting system I think. It may be a good or bad idea.  The idea is to have the project be self managed.

Part of that will also be if an existing entry needs to be changes someone can change it and the public approves the change.

Ok so I'm not saying keep the ini, but in what way is it limiting?

It uses far less white space than xml.  It's quicker to parse than xml and it's easier to read by human eyes than xml. 

The limitations I had with it in the past had a lot to do with the fact that we still had to support windows 9X, which is no longer the case. 

If anything the xml is very limiting.  I didn't like it when we originally switched and as the years have rolled on and mame's own xml output has gotten more bloated and convoluted I like it even less.

It might make more sense, truth be told, to make controls.dat true to it's name and just make it a database.  Why put it in xml which has to be parsed into an array by any reader before it's presented by the program when it could already be in an array? The dynamic column numbers might be a bit of an issue, but most languages can handle that pretty well. 

Ini is limiting because it is difficult to make relationships and change. Xml can easily be change. Xml  parsing is not slow. In facx xml can be used like a database.

However, that's why I also suggest JSON. It has the same functionality as xml but much less text. It is not as human readable though.

I need a refresher, what are the oddball things in mame?
I know there is a game that has different controls for 2nd player than 1st?
What uses a 49 way joy other than Blitz/Gauntlet/Midway games?

Also, how do I filter out non-arcade games?  Is it the ismechanical attribute?
<game name="jd_l1" sourcefile="wpc_dcs.c" ismechanical="yes" cloneof="jd_l7" romof="jd_l7">


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