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Quote
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
I've got a front-end feature request for Brad:
Could you add the same file name "extras" to the Flyers, Marquees and Cabinets folders, that the Screeshots folder uses? ie. Being able to recognize images_c.zip, images_n.zip and images_##.zip, in addition to just images.zip?
My inclination at this point is to just use any and all .zip files that are found in a given frontend artwork-related folder. So in the "Screenshots" folder, it would just search through any zip files it found, in alphabetical order based on the filename of the zip. That seems like the most flexible solution, and I can't think of a downside off the top of my head.

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Quote
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
My inclination at this point is to just use any and all .zip files that are found in a given frontend artwork-related folder. So in the "Screenshots" folder, it would just search through any zip files it found, in alphabetical order based on the filename of the zip.
Cool. So, how would that work from a prioritizing standpoint? ie. If images_1.zip in the screenshots folder has frogger.png in it, and images_2.zip has frogger.png in it too, would it use the first one it encounters, or the last? The way it currently works (favoring higher numbers) makes sense to me, as far as updates go.

Yes, it is past my bedtime. Thanks to those of you who are asking. :p


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just thought of something randomly right now...could you put in monitor selection? when i have a tv hooked up i usually leave it as the 2nd monitor...and currently mame will only play on the main monitor (unless something changed recently and i never noticed). its annoying to move the menubar over to the tv and have all my running apps go there, barely readable because the tv resolution...course i also play on a rotated tv so that just makes things worse.

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Here's my take on a new UI for MacMAME...

1) Please keep it simple, like *the* Steve would force you to do if you were working at Apple. Constantly ask yourself not what feature you should add but what feature you should remove or hide, at least in the main window. Think iTunes or iPhoto.

2) Any option that is not used on a regular basis should go away or be put in a preferences dialog similar to the iTunes one, with iconic sections. No more tabs in the main window, please, and no more Options button. Personally, I have always been confused by the menus in MacMAME, that seem to duplicate some options in the tabs.

3) The main window should really be about selecting a game and starting it. If you feel that some noncritical option still belong to the main window, maybe put it in an expandable drawer.

4) Maybe some good use could be made of the new WebKit library. For example, some artistically inclined people could create beautiful web pages (remote or local) for each videogame, that would be displayed when a game is selected. Ultimately, MacMAME would become like a museum of videogame history. The current way of displaying screenshots, game flyers, etc. is not too exciting, with no artistic possibilities. It's about opening up these possibilities for people who are not programmers but can do a much more kick ass job than a programmer when it comes to graphic design.

5) Sometimes, I like to play in a window rather than full screen. In that case, I would much rather have the game play in the main window than in a separate window. Less flashing on the screen and all that. It would just look cleaner. And the software could automatically adjust the video for that game (overridding the defaulf video setting so that it fits the size of the window except for borders, toolbars, and the like. And resizing the window would adjust all that on the fly.

6) I like the idea of playlists very much and I like the idea of being able to see a list of games with many columns of metadata to sort them. However, reusing the iTunes track indicator at the top of the window does not really make sense and is a total waste of space.

7) Will the new paying front end (which I will be happy to pay for) use the current MacMAME icon, which is really great, or does it belong to someone else? Otherwise, how do you plan to top it?

8) The idea of attract mode videos is not unreasonable at all. It is quite likely that these videos would be quite small for many video games, especially older ones, where the majority of pixels do not change for every frame. And I cannot see how all these videos would be bigger than the ROM folder, anyway (last time I checked mine, including hard disk images, it was more than 10 GB).

9) Can we expect, in this age of the Internet, to finally see some centralized high score management so that anyone playing MacMAME would automatically see his scores compared to an online database, and added to it if he makes the top 10 or top 100 or whatever? Such a feature would definitely give MacMAME a new boost. Is something in the works (either a Mac-only server or a MAME server independent of any platform)?

10) All the reports/analysis features should definitely go in some kind of menu (Report?) or separate dialog. This is pro stuff and it should not clutter the main window.

11) There should be a Help menu with access to a Mac OS X style help instead of all these files in the Documentation directory. This menu should also contain items that link to places where you can find the latest screenshots, game flyers, etc.

12) Whether there is centralized high score management or not on some server, there should be a column, in the game list, for personal high score.

That's all for now. Thanks for listening.

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Lots of good ideas in here. Let's get started...

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Originally posted by xelph:
1) Please keep it simple, like *the* Steve would force you to do if you were working at Apple.
This is something I'm hoping to do, definitely.

Quote
3) The main window should really be about selecting a game and starting it. If you feel that some noncritical option still belong to the main window, maybe put it in an expandable drawer.
I'm not a big fan of the drawer UI. For windows with lots of data, I typically like having my window super-sized. In that situation, having a drawer pop out and resize things annoys me from a UI perspective. It may end up being unavoidable though - we'll see.

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4) Maybe some good use could be made of the new WebKit library.
I'm not quite ready to require Jaguar. If I do though, I'll definitely consider this.

Quote
5) Sometimes, I like to play in a window rather than full screen. In that case, I would much rather have the game play in the main window than in a separate window.
If I understand you, you want the game to play in what would now be the front-end window? That's unlikely to happen. If the front-end is moved out to a separate app, it'll be impossible. Aside from that, it's not something I'm interested in implementing. Someone else can have a go at it.

Quote
7) Will the new paying front end (which I will be happy to pay for) use the current MacMAME icon, which is really great, or does it belong to someone else? Otherwise, how do you plan to top it?
I haven't decided on the specifics, but the front-end would almost certainly have a different icon, if only to avoid confusion. Whether it'll be a variation on the existing one or a totally new icon, I couldn't begin to tell you at this point.

Quote
9) Can we expect, in this age of the Internet, to finally see some centralized high score management so that anyone playing MacMAME would automatically see his scores compared to an online database, and added to it if he makes the top 10 or top 100 or whatever? Such a feature would definitely give MacMAME a new boost. Is something in the works (either a Mac-only server or a MAME server independent of any platform)?
This is a great idea, but I don't see this happening any time soon, mainly because there are a lot more pressing issues on my plate.

Quote
11) There should be a Help menu with access to a Mac OS X style help instead of all these files in the Documentation directory. This menu should also contain items that link to places where you can find the latest screenshots, game flyers, etc.
I agree, and you'll see some baby steps down this path with MacMAME 0.72. Now that Brian has html-ified and updated the help stuff, the main thing that's stopping me at this point is my own personal distaste for the help viewer app in 10.2 and lower. WIth Pan-thor, it works well, but on Jag-wire and lower, it seems like I'm almost better off spawning html files into the user's preferred browser. I haven't done a poll of OSX users to see if there's some groundswell of love for the Apple Help Viewer vs a regular browser, so I've been studiously avoiding the issue. smile

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Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
I haven't done a poll of OSX users to see if there's some groundswell of love for the Apple Help Viewer vs a regular browser, so I've been studiously avoiding the issue. smile
Only self-flagellists and masochists could ever enjoy the current viewer.

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Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
I haven't done a poll of OSX users to see if there's some groundswell of love for the Apple Help Viewer vs a regular browser, so I've been studiously avoiding the issue. smile
It would be impossible for me to express my distaste for Apple's unHelpful Viewer without sounding like Nathan talking about fighting games. :what:

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Quote
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
If I understand you, you want the game to play in what would now be the front-end window? That's unlikely to happen. If the front-end is moved out to a separate app, it'll be impossible. Aside from that, it's not something I'm interested in implementing. Someone else can have a go at it.
You mean a bit like viewing Quicktime movies in a web browser? ;-)

Even as a separate app, it *could* be possible - although whether you would ever be inclined to do so is another matter!

Quote
I haven't decided on the specifics, but the front-end would almost certainly have a different icon, if only to avoid confusion. Whether it'll be a variation on the existing one or a totally new icon, I couldn't begin to tell you at this point..
Personally, I think a new icon is a little overdue. Not that there is anything *wrong* with the current icon - but it is a little 'OS 9'... higher res and more colourful wouldn't hurt ;-)

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Originally posted by scarlet:
Personally, I think a new icon is a little overdue. Not that there is anything *wrong* with the current icon - but it is a little 'OS 9'... higher res and more colourful wouldn't hurt ;-)
The current OS X icon was put together by me, with input from the message board. Unfortunately 1) I've never been really satisfied with it and 2) we never got around to do a set of OS X folder icons.

The longer I've had it in my Dock, the more out-of-place I think it looks.

I made a couple of stabs at trying to come up with a better OS X icon, but didn't end up with anything I really liked.

I'd be interested in knowing what Brad thinks of the icon, now that it's been around awhile, and also if there will be separate "MacMAME" and "front-end" icons, or will they be one and the same?

If he thinks a change is in order, it would probably be best discussed in a new thread. If not, then that resolves the issue.


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Quote
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
I'd be interested in knowing what Brad thinks of the icon, now that it's been around awhile, and also if there will be separate "MacMAME" and "front-end" icons, or will they be one and the same?
Honestly, I really really like the current OSX icon. I love that it's hi-res and that it blends an old-school Mac with an arcade console. I don't think a more Aqua or OSX-ish icon would be more appropriate for MacMAME.

The front-end is a different beast. It doesn't play games, it essentially organizes them and launches MacMAME. It needs a different icon because it's a different app. In a perfect world, there will be tons of Mac front-ends, and confusion would reign if they all used the same icon as the MacMAME app.

I have two thoughts on the matter. The first is a front-end icon could be visually related to the current app icon, say with a badge on it (like an aqua X or some other more appropriate element) that distinguishes it, but also ties it in to the app icon. The second would be a completely different icon that doesn't share any visual similarity with the existing MacMAME icon.

That's as far as my thinking has gone. Honestly, the icon design is pretty low on my priority list at this time. I still have to decide on if/how I'm going to move forward with this notion of a separate front-end, and if so flesh it out. After most of that is settled, then I'll worry about the icon. smile

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