Originally posted by Marc Mame:
Are you going to extract it from the MacMAME core as an outside app ? So, even if you stop updating it, it'll still work with future release of the MacMAME core ?
That is the intention. Obviously if new features are added to the MacMAME core (like the artwork stuff), an existing front-end would likely still work but would need an update to take advantage of those new settings. Similarly, if the ROM audit or ROM listing output of MacMAME ever changes, a front-end would need to be modified to understand the new info, like the recent addition of SHA1 and MD5 checksums for example.
This front-end for free, no longer updated (not by you but someone else ?) but still supported and the future one as a shareware ?
Or is it just dead as we know it ?
It'll die (as far as I am concerned) the moment I release the shareware one. In its place, MacMAME will instead have a crude file-picker for when you run it without a front-end. You'll be able to change options from within MacMAME via the MacMAME menu bar. For anything fancy, you'll have to use a separate app. One upside to this is that I can beef up the ROM auditing and maintenance stuff over what exists in MacMAME now, since it'll live in a separate app.
It's possible that someone could take the existing front-end stuff and pick up maintenance where I leave off. That would be perfectly legit, although since it falls under the MAME source license, it would have to remain open-source. That's one reason why I've been reluctant to add too many improvements to the front-end recently. I want to save some cool features for my reimplementation without "giving them away" first.