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Author Topic: Controls.dat and related projects  (Read 6935 times)

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SirPoonga

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Controls.dat and related projects
« on: January 26, 2010, 05:52:58 pm »
Controls.dat is moving.  It will move here to http://controls.arcadecontrols.com.

It's going to take some time because I have to reprogram some of the php to handle the new settings.  I am not sure if I can integrate the forum to grab usernames like I did at donkeyfly.  I may have to create my own user login system for people that want to submit or admin.

Since I will have to do some reprogramming it is a great time to add in code to integrate work others have done while the donkeyfly site was down.  Anyone who has created unofficial controls.dat projects email me with the detail (link to files, any information you think I need to know).  My email is sirpoonga at hotmail.com.  This way I don't forget who has done what.

I will be talking to saint to get a controls.dat subforum to discuss entries.

iwillfearnoevil

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Re: Controls.dat and related projects
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2010, 08:22:24 pm »
great news ... good luck!

headkaze

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Re: Controls.dat and related projects
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2010, 11:27:22 pm »
If you want the source code to my ControlsDat program SP just message me...

Howard_Casto

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Re: Controls.dat and related projects
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2010, 06:54:16 pm »
Sorry I left abruptly..... I had real-world issues to deal with.  I'm ready when you are!

SirPoonga

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Re: Controls.dat and related projects
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2010, 01:24:13 pm »
Had some permissions issues to deal with.  I found an older backup of the donkeylfy db.  This weekend I am going to try to get the database up.  Then all I need to do is update the php code to point to the database and new location.  Then I will have saint create a controls.dat subforum here.

I also found the vb tool I created that takes the output of mamediff and created database update commands.  Hopefully within the month I will have the site up and going and updated to the latest mame.  That is assuming mamediff has been kept up to date.

Any major control changes in mame in .111?  What issues are you developers having with controls.dat?

Howard_Casto

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Re: Controls.dat and related projects
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2010, 07:28:31 pm »
Cool man.... 

I have a single issue that popped up around that time.  Mame internally used to parse rom/parent/driver/default, but since then it has evolved into rom/parent/romof/driver/default.  As a whole I don't think this really effects controls.dat much, but....  the question arises..... should the neogeo entry be renamed to neodrvr?  I'm not sure if both work or which one overrides the other.  My cab is out of commission atm so if anyone could check that it'd be extremely helpful.  Also... I hate to admit it, but it might be time to add start buttons.  Probably a dedicated label would be overkill but maybe something like we did with the service buttons.  It's mainly because since we started controls.dat all these devices that light up buttons have popped up. 

Finally it might be nice to have some way of linking to the resources....  I would be willing to go through the resources and manually add in hyperlinks, but it might also be nice to have a local copy of the control panel packs on the site.  That way if somone has a pic of the panel but is unwilling/unable to make an entry they can upload the image and somone else will have the reference handy to do the entry.  Also, believe it or not there are still games in the packs that don't have entries.  This is mainly due to the fact that they have "wierd" controls and at the time we were waiting to add/modify that control type before doing the entry.

Just sugggestions since you are starting from scratch.  Again let me know when/if you need me.

u_rebelscum

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Re: Controls.dat and related projects
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2010, 05:13:32 pm »
I have a single issue that popped up around that time.  Mame internally used to parse rom/parent/driver/default, but since then it has evolved into rom/parent/romof/driver/default.  As a whole I don't think this really effects controls.dat much, but....  the question arises..... should the neogeo entry be renamed to neodrvr?  I'm not sure if both work or which one overrides the other. 

Hmm...  I think of "romof" as "biosname".  And IMO both "neogeo" and "neodrvr.c" are fine and on the same level.  (I'm using the ctrlr file system names, which do need the dot cee to be include for the name to work.)  AFAIK, all games that share a bios are in the same driver, and if one game in a driver uses a bios all of them use the same bios set (zip file).  This puts the two on the same level, and neither are above the other. 

One reason to use the driver name and drop the romof is all games have a driver, but not all have a romof.  And since the two are near equivalent, dropping one shouldn't cause problems.  And of the two, we can't drop driver name.

Of course, the name "neogeo" is more identifiable by users.  And if the bios<->driver link ever is unlocked, it would be good to support both.  But until the link is broken, we don't how it will be broken, so the exact hierarchy isn't set in stone.

As for why the hierarchy is so flexible, here's an example.  Two companies, say Art & Way, team up and share a hardware system with only small differences.  Each company uses similar but different bios, say BiosA & BiosW.  Mamedev could group all these in the same driver, and group the bioses in one zip file.  However, it's possible that there's one driver & two bios files.  Or for one bios file and two drivers.  And for either to be split or joined in latter versions of mame, of course.

If anyone knows of any in mame, I'd like to hear if there are any real examples.


Anyway, I think ATM they are interchangeable, but we should support both ways if possible.
Robin
Knowledge is Power

SirPoonga

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Re: Controls.dat and related projects
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2010, 02:48:14 pm »
Good news, I got the database moved over.  Bad news, the only backup I have is from 106.  I will have to see if I can create a diff between 106 and 111 and update the db with the changes.

Next goal is to move over the php so a website exists.  You will not be able to submit for awhile.  I have to look into using this forum's cookie to determine user name.

Once I get the site moved and working like is use to I will probably delay putting in updates that have been requested.  I am thinking about learning Silverlight and using this project as a way to start.  Part of the idea then would be the site will have a simple control viewer.  Since Silverlight can be launched standalone some people might find it as a control viewer for an FE.  For an FE dev I think all one would have to do is embed a web browser and point it to the control viewer.

Howard_Casto

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Re: Controls.dat and related projects
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2010, 06:49:35 pm »
I've been thinking about this.  If you do the controls viewer idea we MIGHT want to also do a flash version.  Flash isn't as universal, but it is easy to scale.  Also it might be cool to have it read the users controller files.  It isn't difficutl to do programmatically, espeically considering we have to deal with xml anyway, it's just a matter of giving the site permission to read it.  Perhaps a manual add that puts the info in the cookie? 

It might nto be worth it, I'm just snowballing since you basically want to start over. 

garwil

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Re: Controls.dat and related projects
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2010, 11:33:17 am »
I'd love to get back on board with updating the DB but I'm in the final year of my nursing degree and my dissertation is due in June. I'll be available on the 23rd of June, ableit with a monster hangover!  :cheers:

SirPoonga

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Re: Controls.dat and related projects
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2010, 01:52:02 pm »
I am slowly getting it working.  This month is going to be busy for me.  I have my sister's wedding, a graduation party, a birthday party, and some other stuff so my weekends are filled.

I think I am going to revert back to .106 then diff the ini file with the .11 file and manually enter the changes.  There shouldn't be many.  Then update the game list to .137.

The cool thing is I decided to move my Core 2 Duo desktop to my arcade.  I haven't touched a desktop PC in over a year, I have been mainly using my two laptops (one is a Macbook).  So my gaming machine isn't getting used anymore.  I've moved to the Xbox for gaming.  Also the desktop isn't stable, the motherboard has some flaws.  It isn't reliable for doing work or long gaming sessions.

So for now I am going to turn it into my arcade box.  Plenty of power then.  I will also turn it into the the control.dat dev box where I can mirror the website for test development.

Once I get the site working the same way it worked on donkeyfly I need to look into improving it.  Updating the game list and name changes is tedious.  I use mamediff to determine the changes between two version of mame - this includes new games and rom name changes.  Then I created an utility that take those results along with catlist to create a bunch of SQL queries to update the DB.  It's annoying to do every time a new mame comes out.  I need to find a way to automate it a little better.  Maybe port my SQL utility to the website, though what would be awesome is if I could tap into some existing resource, like MAWS.

Howard_Casto

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Re: Controls.dat and related projects
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2010, 06:02:25 pm »
I think a maws partnership would be a good idea.  In addition to having info useful for the update, they also have links to manuals and control panel images if they are available. 

SirPoonga

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Re: Controls.dat and related projects
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2010, 12:11:29 pm »
Alright, the site is up, at least in guest mode.  I have to integrate it with this forum's login yet to determine usernames and administrators.  I also have to update it to the current version of the dat then to the current version of mame.  Hopefully I will get around to it this weekend, looks like rain so I won't be out on my motorcycle.  Once I get that far I am going to work on rewriting the site completely and have the code more organized.

There might be still a couple of bugs from the move, let me know if you get an error and on which page.  Now that the site is basically running I am going to get saint to make a subforum for the project.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2010, 12:13:56 pm by SirPoonga »

headkaze

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Re: Controls.dat and related projects
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2010, 12:49:35 pm »
Nice one SP  :cheers:

SirPoonga

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Re: Controls.dat and related projects
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2010, 05:24:52 pm »
saint is on the ball.  He made a subforum for me but didn't make it public yet.  Once it goes public I will move this conversation over there.

Howard_Casto

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Re: Controls.dat and related projects
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2010, 06:31:38 pm »
Cool beans man.  Let me know when you need something from me. 

SirPoonga

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Re: Controls.dat and related projects
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2010, 12:31:33 pm »
http://controls.arcadecontrols.com/controls/faq.php

Basically a way to correctly label controls in frontends and relate real world controls to how they are used in mame.

  
 

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