look, I don't know at all how MAWS or ProgettoEMMA translate the xml into a website (we should ask to cutebutwrong or s_bastian), but I don't think is so hard to
* create mess.xml with -lx
* parse it as usual
* extract all the <softwarelist> items (they are already present in xml, as if they were devices)
* for each of them, run -listsoftware to create the software subpages
it seems to me that it can be made as automated as only parsing the -lx output...
but at the same time, if I want to only extract the hardware info without the software ones, I still would be able to...
There hasn't been a single compelling reason given to be different other than 'because we can' and 'people can work around the differences, so they don't matter' You're not giving any good reason for the differences to exist in the first place.
The XML lists are there, what's wrong with allowing MESS to output all the data, in an identical format to MESS, but with a 'platform' flag for each entry. It's an established and understood, standard format.
Otherwise you may as well not have a -listxml at all, and just tell people to directory list the folder and load the xml dats directly.
This is what I mean by differences for the sake of differences and change for the sake of change.
If MAME/MESS do things in a similar way it's also healthier in the long-term, there is less temptation to start introducing things like the gross hack that is/was the ingame Windows-specific menubar if the mantra is to be equal where possible, and only differ where there is no real choice.
Note, I'm not saying MAME is always right and MESS is always wrong, but the projects should be able to influence each other, not end up going in opposite directions which will eventually cause nothing but usability and code-sharing problems. (need I mention pinMAME which rendered itself unreabable, and unmaintainable, and unable to benefit from any real MAME improvements by taking such a path? Come the day MAME implements proper votrax speech they simply won't be able to benefit without a complete rewrite; likewise the PinMAME test cases can no longer be used for development of such a core because the codebase is so incompatible, a situation MESS/MAME should always avoid.)