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GameBase.NET

Discuss GameBase, the Universal Emulator Frontend!

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JohnCKirk
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Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:43 pm

Just a quick follow-up, since all has been quiet for a while. I obviously didn't get the new version finished as soon as I'd planned to (due to other commitments), but I haven't abandoned it. I won't announce any new dates until I'm further along, so stay tuned for updates.
hardmanm
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Fri May 01, 2009 10:09 am

How is the project coming along, there are many gamebase creators like my self who are very interested in this developement. I would like to be a beta tester if thats possible. I have a few gamebases to test it on.
Gamebase Developer
JohnCKirk
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Fri May 01, 2009 5:38 pm

It's still a work in progress at the moment. Basically, it now runs, but it relies on the VB6 compatibility layer. This is part of the .NET SDK, but not the normal runtime, because it's just intended as a temporary solution for developers. I'm now going through all the different files, and getting rid of the VB6 stuff, but it will be a while until I've finished. I will announce the beta version as soon as it's ready, so thanks for your interest.
hardmanm
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Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:50 pm

Any news yet on developent?
Gamebase Developer
JohnCKirk
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Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:55 am

Nothing much to report at the moment - I'm still chipping away at it, so if I have a spare hour in the evening then I'll convert another chunk of code, but it's slow going. Meanwhile, I've been looking at integrating Visual Studio with SourceForge. If I can get that working, it will have two main advantages:
a) If I get hit by a bus (or just abandon the project) then someone else can take over where I leave off.
b) I may be able to share the work with someone else.

Anyway, don't hold your breath, but I'll keep you posted.
Jimbo
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Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:55 pm

Good luck with the project!

James
JohnCKirk
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Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:02 am

Thanks. Actually, a quick question while you're here - have you gathered many statistics on the systems that are currently running GameBase?
Jimbo
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Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:14 am

PM Sent!
James
JohnCKirk
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Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:48 am

Following up on November's post, I've now set up a new project on SourceForge:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/gamebasenet/

The live version of GameBase uses CVS for source control, but I'm using Subversion (aka "SVN"), which has basically superceded CVS. So, you may need to download a new client in order to get the files. I'm using TortoiseSVN, which integrates into the Windows shell:
http://tortoisesvn.net/

I hasten to add that I'm pretty new to SVN, so I can't offer much help if you get stuck. However, these basic instructions should work.

1. Install TortoiseSVN.

2. Reboot. (This seems to be essential, otherwise it won't work properly.)

3. Find a suitable folder on your hard drive. E.g. In my case, I keep all my source code in D:\Source. Don't create a new subfolder for GameBase.NET yet.

4. Select the parent folder, right-click on the background, and choose "SVN Checkout..." from the context menu. The URL of repository is:
https://gamebasenet.svn.sourceforge.net ... amebasenet
By default, this will create a checkout directory called "gamebasenet", but you can rename that if you want to (either now or later). Click "OK".

Anyone should be able to download the files anonymously, but you won't be able to make any changes unless I approve you as a developer, and you'll need a SourceForge account for that (you can use an existing OpenID).

I'm using Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition (i.e. the free one), and you'll need some version of Visual Studio 2008 to open the files.

So far, I've only added the Borg Assimilation Console (BAC). This is a self-contained application, and it's now fully converted to VB.NET, i.e. it compiles and it runs. However, I haven't added any new functionality to it, so it's still in the unfinished state that James left it in a few years ago. So, this isn't amazingly useful by itself, and I'm not planning to make any changes to it, but if anyone else feels inspired then I'd recommend using this as a starting point rather than the VB6 code.

I'll add the rest of the files/projects soon, but in the meantime please let me know if you have any trouble downloading the BAC.
Jimbo
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Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:31 pm

John,

Are you just doing a complete port of GB to .NET? I think if I was doing somthing like that I'd want to change some the basic architecture of the program from the ground up... that's something that is very hard to do (and time consuming) if you have to modify existing code.

For example, if I were to re-write gamebase I'd definitely have an arbitrary number of data tables/fields, a much simpler ini file format (e.g. *one* place to set all text for field/table names displayed in the frontend). I'd probably also use something like JavaScript or Python as the scripting language, instead of GEMUS.

It's too late for those kind of fundamental changes in the VB version of GameBase, but maybe its not too late for the .NET version. If this is your plan, gimme a shout, I have dozens more "I wish I'd done that at the beginning" type ideas sitting around (e.g. UI skinning).

Might get a few more offers for help if its in SVN too.

James
JohnCKirk
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Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:00 pm

The BAC was just a straight port; the only real change is that it's now self-contained, i.e. it doesn't rely on GBFuncs.dll anymore.

I've been fiddling with HVSC2GB64 over the last couple of days: that's the app that updates the GameBase64 database with the High Voltage SID Collection. (I don't think it would be any use for other GameBase databases.) The exe file for that isn't in my GameBase installation folder, so presumably nobody else is using it; as with BAC, it also looks as though it's not quite finished, e.g. the "Browse" buttons didn't have any code behind them. Is that something that would be any use to anyone? (It looks like the HVSC is updated more frequently than the master GB64 database.)

For the main GB app, I'm doing a much bigger overhaul. The main external change is that I want it to work properly as a standard user (e.g. storing config info in a different part of the registry), but I'm also doing internal changes, e.g. removing as many global variables as I can, and I'm moving gemus.dat into XML format.

Regarding ini files, I want to move away from them as much as possible, although I realise that I'll then need to backtrack a bit later. For instance, I could replace "OK" with "Affirmative" in the ini file, but then there wouldn't be enough room for the longer text on the command buttons. This can often be an issue with internationalisation/localisation (aka i18n/l10n), because German words are about 50% longer than English words on average. VB.NET makes this a lot easier than VB6, so in a case like that it's better to have localised versions of the resource file for each form, then you can type the new text into each button and resize it as appropriate. I'm not sure whether you can use this method for different "skins" in the same language, but I can look into that. I'm guessing that people who do edit the ini files (e.g. for new category names) are only modifying a few lines, so I'll basically have to see what breaks in the beta version and then restructure the app to handle that.

I'm definitely going to add the main GB code to the SVN repository, but right now it doesn't compile: I've moved all the "database conversion" code to a new project, but it still refers to some bits of the main app. So, I want to get it in a vaguely working state before I upload it.

I haven't looked through your recent changes yet, so this is all still based on v1.2 rather than v1.3. Anyway, feel free to tell me about your other ideas, and I'll see how easy it will be to work them in.
Jimbo
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Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:47 pm

HVSC2GB64 should work, Michael has been using it for years afaik. Maybe the browse buttons are the only thing that wasn't finished.

What database format are you using? If I were to start again I'd probably use sqlite, but not sure whether .net has any decent libs for that.

The resource file for internationalisation sounds good. I really screwed up with the ini files in GB, it should have been far easier, i.e. one setting to change for each field (or at least all field name changes in one place). Right now they are all over the place. Resource files for the language choice, and ini for the "per database field names/table names" text. I think that's how I'd do it (but see below, because adding arbitrary no. of fields might make sense to store their names in the db anyway).

in terms of fundamental changes, for starters I think these would be a good starting point if you're doing an overhaul on the main GB app: -

- Change DB format (e.g. sqlite, utf-8 storage)
- Make sure it can be run on a flash drive, or from a DVD
- Arbitrary tables/fields per database (i.e. if I want my snes db to have 50 fields then so be it)
- Skinnable UI (or maybe an MDI interface with dockable windows)
- Python or JavaScript, or some other well know scripting language in place of GEMUS
- 3rd party Plugins (big topic, plenty of potential, perhaps compiled (COM?) ones (e.g. vb, c, delphi) and interpreted ones (e.g. javascript))
- Stick all backend code into a library, so that others can easily write a different frontend for it (e.g. a GFX-intensive arcade cab frontend)
- Support for videos in addition to screenshots
Patch61
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Is this project dead?

Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:05 am

It's been such a long time since any posts have been made, I assume this upgrade project has fallen by the wayside.

I hope I am wrong.
JohnCKirk
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Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:14 am

I must admit, it's been a long time since I did any work on this project (or visited this forum). However, I never deliberately abandoned it, and this does remind me that I ought to get back to it. So, I can't promise anything, but I will try to resume it. I'll be using VB.NET 2013, and I'm happy to share the files on SVN with any other developers who want to help out.
Jimbo
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Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:41 am

Nice to hear from you John,

If you haven't already, take a look here... its some ideas I had for a new GB that I didn't ever get time to work on...
http://www.bu22.com/wiki/gb2

I'd be happy to help out where I can (won't be very much I'll admit) but I'd prefer git over svn any day of the week/

Cheers

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