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bobz Offline OP
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This thread is to advertise a little hack I made as a workaround for SDL input limitation (especially in Linux)

It allows to use multiple mice with one MAME instance (using other computers mice) in Linux.
It allows to use the same keyboard on several instances of MAME in Linux.
It allows to use several joysticks/wheels with multiple MAME instance.

It's here: https://github.com/Bob-Z/NetInput

Note that I haven't tested it on Windows yet, but since it is written in LUA and Python it should be compatible.

I hope this will be helpful.

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Why did you write it as an autoboot script rather than a plugin? If you wrote it as a plugin you could have provided a configuration UI like the autofire and input macro plugins do rather than relying on the user writing JSON files and setting environment variables.

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Also, I need a way to slap people over the interwebz if people keep using the human-readable names of fields as identifiers. They aren’t stable, they can be changed on-the-fly by scripts, they change depending on the UI language. It’s not perfect, but the (port tag, mask, type) tuple used in MAME’s .cfg files as well as by the autofire and input macro plugins is a far better identifier than the highly unstable display name.

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bobz Offline OP
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Thanks for the feedback !

I used environment variables to be able to use scripts to run several MAME instances with different IP/port configurations. Anyway, I agree that adding a menu to choose this might be more user friendly.

JSON files are for the python client so they can't take advantage of MAME's UI.

As for the field's names, I used them because I wasn't aware of cfg files tuple. I will take the risk of being slapped, but human-readable names seems more user friendly. I should let users choose between quick and dirty human-readable name or clean and stable tuple.

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The tuple will work for all languages and locale settings, which on Linux is always important smile

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Originally Posted by bobz
I used environment variables to be able to use scripts to run several MAME instances with different IP/port configurations. Anyway, I agree that adding a menu to choose this might be more user friendly.
You can run several instances of MAME with different plugin data directories using the -homepath option. It’s also generally a good idea to use different NVRAM directories if you’re running multiple instances of MAME at the same time.

Originally Posted by bobz
JSON files are for the python client so they can't take advantage of MAME's UI.
If the user has to create/edit those JSON files at all, you’ve already failed on user-friendliness. If they can’t select a suitable input from a menu, it’s already well into “no-one will use this” territory.

Originally Posted by bobz
As for the field's names, I used them because I wasn't aware of cfg files tuple. I will take the risk of being slapped, but human-readable names seems more user friendly. I should let users choose between quick and dirty human-readable name or clean and stable tuple.
If the configuration breaks by changing the display language, it’s not user-friendly. If it relies on being able to type something from a visually ambiguous string, it’s not user-friendly. Consider things like consecutive spaces (used in the generated names for keyboard inputs), multiplication symbol vs letter x, currency symbols, and visually-similar letters.


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