Now to address concerns:
I've been told that this has been tried before and failed. I don't think someone elses failure should be a reason for me not to try. I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that the person who tried this before was a student at the time and this played a major role in the demise of his project. I also believe he tried to support this himself.
I've been criticized for not starting with one of the already derivative versions floating around. Most of these are not based on the current release. I started with 0.102 and have made the move to 0.103. I plan to make a release in conjunction with every major MAME release.
I've been told that people will lose interest, drop off the project and the whole thing will collapse eventually. Yet another stupid reason not to try. I plan to handle the brunt of what makes derivative versions difficult. This is the source management and merges to release new versions. Their will be times when architectural changes to MAME hose us and we will need to re-architect our own code. This is inevitable. If we can develop a positive relationship with the MAMEdevs, we may be better prepaired to handle these changes.
I'm sure, that people will lose interest but there will always be people who are and we should be able to handle attrition. We should all make an attempt to embrace the MAME code and become intimate with its workings. This will allow seasoned developers to teach the new ones. This will also make it possible for a leaving developer to pass his work to someone else.
Regardless of what kind of support I get with this project, I intend to go forward. If I end up doing it myself, I will just get features in slower than if we work as a team.
Not sure if this was just for the lighting features or PowerMAME but I think it would be a big loss to MAME if you don't continue your great work. I understand that real life has to take priority just trying to show some support. Hope you can continue working on it, even if at a slower rate.
Unfortunately, a team never really materialized and I'm a little more educated now. It seems most people want to just take and not give. If a team of people had formed, it would be easy to hand it off to someone for a while. If I can't keep up with each MAME release, it gets very hard to merge up. Small incremental changes merge well. If I take the rest of the year off and come back and try to merge with .112, it is going to be ugly. For that reason, I probably won't be able to continue. A release takes me at a minimum 6 hours to merge, build all the configurations, make new .dsp for DevStudio and do documentation. Then for a week it is a constant stream of emails about new problems that are usually not related to PowerMAME but rather the fact that I use DevStudio. However, I debug each one and pass what information I can onto the MAME team.
I'm making a career move that is going to have me very busy for some time as well as other issues that are taking up a lot of time. I can barely find the time to keep up with email on the forum let alone PowerMAME.
For now, I'm leaving the website up and people can download .105. Beyond that, I can't make any promises.