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Posted By: gspat MAME version numbers... Time for an update? - 01/09/22 05:57 AM
First off, I'm NOT a MAME dev, so if my suggestion below is unrealistic or stupid, feel free to leave a simple "GO TO HELL, GLEN!" comment below...


Anyways, This was just posted in the r/mame subbreddit:


The poster honestly didn't know the difference, or at least understand, the versioning system as it is. He honestly thought that 0.37b5 was newer that 0.236.

I've corrected posters before with similar ideas before, and will again in the future. I have no problem with that.

But maybe it's time to make the versioning system a bit more idiot proof? (I understand, they'll just build better idiots - I work in IT and there's truly no amount of simplifying some things)

I'd like to suggest MAME YYYY.MMR

ie: MAME 2022.01

So, 2022 and January in the above example, with R being a revision letter (ie: "A") if a release is totally borked and needs to be re-done.

It's a new year... So fresh start?

Anyways, that's it. Thank you for reading!
I won't tell you to go to hell, but I will point out that if you take a jaunt over to the "Old Releases" page on the MAME website, you can see that the current versioning scheme has held since August, 2001: https://www.mamedev.org/oldrel.html

I was still in high school, for fuck's sake.
- Both World Trade Center buildings were still standing.
- Suge Knight had just been released from prison.
- System of a Down were still putting the finishing touches on Toxicity.
- Jay & Silent Bob were still 12 days away from Striking Back.
- Square Co., Ltd. (which were still two years away from merging with Enix) had just released Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within through their Square Pictures label.
- Blizzard were gearing up to announce World of Warcraft the subsequent month.
- The first iPod was still two months away from being released.
- Intel had just released the ill-fated Itanium series.

Now, are you honestly suggesting that that if in the span of a little over 20 years, people are still too stupid to comprehend a monotonically-increasing number, replacing it with something with even more and different numbers, is going to somehow be more comprehensible to them?

That said, I actually like the date-based suggestion for exactly two reasons, and having said all of that, believe we should switch to it:
- The current year is far larger than any existing MAME version index, so there won't be any conflict with the existing numbering scheme.
- It tidily handles the whole MAME2003 bullshit. Pretty hard to argue that 2003 > 0.239 when 2022.01 > 2003.
The mamedev.org website literally shows the year and date next to every single release, albeit not on the latest release page itself since it's shown on the home page anyway. If MAME 0.37b5 is newer than version 0.239, Windows 98 must be a hell of a lot newer than Windows 11.

In August 2001 I didn't have a PS2 yet (because they were still hovering around a thousand "pacific peso" AUD and the games were $100 each), I had a 200 MHz overclocked Pentium 166 with 32MB of RAM as my main PC and didn't even know what MAME was until 0.58 (and even then, I didn't really get into MAME until 0.61). however I did have NESticle, SNES9x and PSEmu Pro, having been around console emulators since 1998. The Pentium system, with its S3 ViRGE 'graphics decelarator', was able to run Tekken 1 in PSEmu Pro at roughly 5 fps; Tekken 2 didn't run in PSEmu at all, and Tekken 3 would go in-game but randomly freeze. I had to go to the arcade to get my Tekken Tag fix; luckily it was still in just about every single arcade known to mankind back then.

Adding to JD's history lesson:
- The Australian dollar was at its lowest exchange rate in history, dropping to 48 US cents
- Metallica were on the brink of breaking up after twenty years, bassist Jason Newsted "fookin' left the band"
- When MAME 0.53 came out, Windows XP hadn't even been released yet (OEMs would get Windows XP twelve days later; retail had to wait until October)
Posted By: Haze Re: MAME version numbers... Time for an update? - 01/09/22 11:54 AM
This was actually discussed in the shoutbox recently, and I think OG even proposed to the list a YYYY.MM numbering system.

The kind of problem you see in that reddit thread is becoming VERY common

Usually I see it with people thinking 'MAME 2003' is newer than 0.2xx (because 2003 is a much bigger number than 0.2xx)

I've encountered many people 'upgrading' from 0.2xx to MAME2003+ and thinking they really upgraded, then wondering why I'm telling them to 'downgrade' to a 0.2xx version again when they complain that about bugs in the crappy MAME2003 versions.

Sadly even after I carefully explain that 0.2xx is a good 20 years newer, and they've found that using 0.2xx fixes their bug (no sound in Toaplan games?! is a common one) I often get people still insisting that I'm wrong

They'll still tell me that 0.2xx is older, because 0.2xx is a lower number, and because it runs slower isn't as optimized, which again means it must be older. I guess they're used to most modern emulators adding speedhacks in newer versions, as if you look at all the 'emulators' for modern systems, that tends to be the pattern - the newer versions are faster because they've added more hacks.

Also they tell me that it doesn't work with the 'REFERENCE SET' roms, and because a reference set absolutely can't be questioned, it's again further proof that the 2003 is newer than 0.2xx. Why people distributing ancient MAME ROMs have decided upon the terminology of 'reference set' I don't know.

Even when I point out for example that the 'reference set' does not include the required protection MCU dumps for various Taito games, they'll still somehow use that as proof that 0.2xx is 'older' because it hasn't yet integrated proper emulation of the protection and is still relying on a file they shouldn't need to have. I guess again because they're used to newer versions of other emulators slowly removing the need for BIOS ROMs and such as they do their own HLE instead of requiring them.

On top of this, even if I point out how 0.2xx has not only fixed their issue, but point out another 10 things that work in 0.2xx, they think those issues must be temporary regressions in 2003, and say basically that they'll hang on to the 'older' 0.2xx build for a while, until the a new version of 2003 is out, because it will probably fix the bugs. They'll point me at quotes saying '2003 is an actively developed product' and a whole bunch of pages recommending it.

Despite, you know, developing the software, apparently I don't know what I'm talking about.

If these were mobile users, fair enough, but these are people running MAME on modern gaming rigs, alongside the PC-arcade loader stuff, PS2/PS3/Wii U/Switch emulators....

There was good reason the old MAME license stated that you had to use the same version number as the base version if you called your project MAME, and it was in part to prevent this confusion, but then you got projects like MAME4all and MAME2003 entirely ignoring that license requirement (despite still being bound by the old license) and hiding the real version number.

Personally I'd either drop the "0." bit, and just go with the version number, although that wouldn't really solve the '240 is less than 2003' problem, or, better, as OG suggested, just go with a YYYY.MM format.

My only reservation with the YYYY.MM format is that some people see those as 'development versions' not 'release versions' as it doesn't look like they've been assigned 'real' version numbers, but given evidence from the scene we have, I don't think that would happen here.
MAME2022Jan what I see. smile
Posted By: ssj Re: MAME version numbers... Time for an update? - 01/09/22 12:52 PM
I think if people are dumb enough to think 2003 is newer than the current MAME release there's no hope for them. It takes 5 seconds to check MAME's official release page.

That being said I do like the calver system (https://calver.org/) as it makes versioning much more intuitive, but don't think that will solve the problem of some folks still thinking 2003 is the newer version because it won't. Spring framework migrated to this versioning scheme last year for example.

Even though I'm not a big fan of the current versioning system, I'm so used to it that it would feel kinda strange to see it change after all these years smile
The problem with changing anything to try and fix dumb people is that dumb people will still be dumb. We've been trying to come up with a wording for the MACHINE_NOT_WORKING message for 20 years that people can't misinterpret, and yet it happens almost every week on Reddit still. And you know the second we switched to 2022.37 that people would report bugs omitting the version and just say "MAME 2022", thus blessing the RetroArch abomination and making it unclear which version they're running.
Originally Posted by Dullaron
MAME2022Jan what I see. smile

For once in your life, realize you rarely know what you're talking about and shut up please, a 2-digit month isn't the same as "Jan".
@Haze - I didn't know it was suggested. I was looking to try a Linux distro again after a few years, and that's the way Ubuntu does their version numbering.

@Just Desserts - I'm not just suggesting people are that way, the link sorta proves it. To a fair number of people, yes. Bigger numbers = better. ie: Outlook 2016 is better than Mail 365.
Originally Posted by Just Desserts
Originally Posted by Dullaron
MAME2022Jan what I see. smile

For once in your life, realize you rarely know what you're talking about and shut up please, a 2-digit month isn't the same as "Jan".

Year and month is the release what I'm talking about. lol

I careless about it now. Move on.
On that reasoning, Windows 2000 must be the latest and greatest version. (Well, in some ways it is, but let's not go there laugh )

If the dot might cause even more misunderstanding, take it out. So 202201 for example. No argument now as to which version is the latest. Or just use the date (YYYYMMDD): 20220126 - even more obvious, and handles the 'A' version issue too.

But in all honesty, I'll go with whatever versioning scheme is decided upon.
Posted By: Haze Re: MAME version numbers... Time for an update? - 01/09/22 06:57 PM
Originally Posted by Robbbert
On that reasoning, Windows 2000 must be the latest and greatest version

You jest, but I've had real world conversations within the last year with people who still think XP is about 7 years old.

Had they called it Windows 2001 I think a lot more people would have realised just how long in the tooth it was much earlier, and upgraded to something newer, except they didn't, because the name XP failed to indicate how old it was, and the newer versions failed to indicate how new they were.

It's a different side of the coin, but by not putting the year in there, people seemed to lose track of just how old the version of Windows they were running was, seeing no incentive to upgrade to (Vista)/7/8/10.

Not that Microsoft's clusterfuck of version numbering is something to look up to, 'Windows 10' is really about 5 very different versions of Windows, that was meant to be 'the last ever version of Windows' but now here we are on Windows 11.

Windows Server does use the YYYY naming system however.
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